~The Boy and the Wulf~ (a tribute to my son and his dog)

WordWulf By WordWulf, 3rd Feb 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Pets>Dogs

~She would jump up and dance the yard or living room a minute or so before he pulled into the driveway~She was acutely aware of him at levels I am unable as a mere human to fathom~

~The Boy and the Wulf~

A bit over fourteen years ago we adopted a six month old malamute. She was snow white with an off- white mane of thick hair, tip of tail to ears. Wild and frisky, she had spent the first six months of her life with nine pit bulls. Her name was Misty; we changed that. Watching her dancing around the apartment on her hind legs, my nine-year-old son, Zedidiah, and I decided her name was Wulf.

A few years later, when Zedidiah became a teenager, he asked me why Wulf obeyed me more than she did him. By then I had identified her as an alpha. I explained pack/family mentality to Zedidiah, that she saw me as leader in our household, her family. He argued that he spent more time with her, fed and took care of her. She slept in his room every night. She sees you as a brother, I told him.

A few years later, when Zedidiah graduated high-school, he moved into a place of his own and took Wulf with him. Shortly thereafter I left my wife and he and I got a house together. Zedidiah was busy going to college and work. He had a steady fulltime girlfriend. I spent more time by far than he did feeding Wulf and taking care of her.

As happens in life with humans and critters, there was a subtle shift. Ever ecstatic about going for walks with me and sitting at my feet when I was out in the yard writing, I realized with a start that Zedidiah had become Wulf’s head of family. She would jump up and dance the yard or living room a minute or so before he pulled into the driveway. She was acutely aware of him at levels I am unable as a mere human to fathom. Now I had some measure of the angst Zedidiah felt as a teenager, realized I had taken the loyalty and devotion of that noble creature for granted. I thought through it, managed to reconcile with myself. If Wulf’s loyalty could only be given to one person and that person was no longer me, who better than Zedidiah for her to transfer it to.

Now residing in California, half crazy missing my five adult children and grandchildren, my new wife, Kathy, gifted me a five month old German Shepherd. When Cinder was nine months old I took her with me to Colorado to meet my kids. She and I stayed with Zedidiah. He works nights and, when I lay down on the couch at bedtime, Wulf growled Cinder into place a few feet away. She claimed the ground next to where I slept as her own. I knew, of course, when Zedidiah was coming home because, old as she was, Wulf would smile and dance.

I watched my son grow into a man, not sure exactly when that took place but Wulf was aware, always very aware. She was friend and family for over fourteen years. Yesterday she was gone.

Tom (WordWulf) Sterner


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author avatar WordWulf
I write novels, poetry, songs,nonsense & lies. Sometimes truth sneaks in when I ain't lookin'.

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
5th Feb 2011 (#)

I am very sorry about the loss of your dog.

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author avatar WordWulf
5th Feb 2011 (#)

Thanks, Mark. It was difficult for my son because I've moved to California for three years and was unable to walk him through it. He's strong though and will be okay.

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author avatar Stella Mitchell
28th Dec 2012 (#)

a lovely story but a sad ending , but I guess that comes with having animals to love for a few short years.

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author avatar WordWulf
29th Dec 2012 (#)

Such is the way of life.

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