Hit by a Flying Wolf: True Tales of Rescue, Rehabilitation and Real Life with Dogs and Wolves by Nicole Wilde, published by Phantom Publishing, ISBN: 978-9817227-4-0, $19.95, 157 pgs.
When I first read the title of this book, I was concerned that it would promote wolf and wolf-dog ownership, encouraging the general public to think that it was cool to own a wolf. However I was very relieved to see that the book does not do this. Instead, the book is divided into two parts. The first part tells about the author’s experience with some of the dogs that she rescued. Like many dog trainers and behavior consultants, Ms. Wilde did not want dogs that needed extensive rehabilitation as her own pets. As a behavior consultant myself, I could fully relate to that feeling. After working with other people’s problems, you do not want to come home and have a full set of problems yourself. You want to enjoy your dog. This was not to be the case for Ms. Wilde. She shares with her readers the issues she had with her dogs and how she worked with them to solve the problems. She also shares the story of her “soul” dog, the special one that connected with her. Those of us who have at least one “soul” dog in our lives are truly blessed.
The second part of the book tells how Ms. Wilde responded to an ad for wolfdogs and as a result met Tia who ran Villalobos Rescue Center. By the end of the first visit, she volunteered to do whatever was needed and wound up co-running and being the executive director of the rescue.
She tells us about the plight of these poor animals that were given up by people who had no idea how to handle or meet the needs of a wolf. Throughout the second half of the book she shows us the problems she had and how she tried to overcome them in order to give these beautiful animals as much quality of life as can be expected in captivity. Due to extenuating circumstances, Ms. Wilde winds up taking three wolves home where she had to build a wolf-proof pen for them. She stresses that wolves can eat through an 11 gauge chain link fence with no trouble. They are also expert at tunneling and climbing. Although the wolves are tame they are not dogs and handling them and going in the pen with them required awareness and caution on her part.
The book has beautiful color pictures of both her dogs and the wolves. I was delighted at how well written the book is. Ms. Wilde’s sincerity about the frustrations she had and efforts she made to solve the behavior issues was a delight to read. This is not a step-by-step how to solve problems book, it is a book that shares from the heart. The tone of the book was not one of “see how great I am,” but rather “share my frustrations and experiences.”
I think it is also important to mention, although it is not a major theme in the book, that Ms. Wilde was able to accomplish what she did because her husband, C.C., was 100% supportive. Without his help, I do not feel she would have been as successful or even able to do what she did. Handling her dogs and wolves in many ways, was a two person job.
In conclusion I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and could personally relate to most of it. It is a must read for anyone who loves wolves and dogs.
To order a copy go to: http://www.nicolewilde.com/store/hit-by-a-flying-wolf/