Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Juneau's pet wolf

"The adventures of Romeo the wolf and one lucky pug"

I wish I could have been there, but these photos aren't mine. They were sent to the Juneau Empire today by a local photographer who wishes to remain anonymous because of the sensitive nature of the photos, and because (I've heard) that dog belongs to a family member who would be fairly distraught if she found out what happened. But I'm guessing she's going to find out. These photos are gold, and I'm sure they'll be distributed far and wide over the Internet soon enough.

I've seen this wolf before - a couple of times, actually - running across the frozen Mendenhall Lake. The locals call him "Romeo." He's a fairly habituated "city" wolf, and has been known to approach groups of dogs and even play with them. I've never heard of him carrying off a dog before, but a co-worker speculates that he mistook that squatty little white dog for a rabbit. Once he got his mouth around it and tasted ... ewww, dog ... he spit the pug back out on the snow. Word is the pug got right back up and was apparently fine, if not a little shaken.

Juneau is probably one of the few cities in the country where wolves live in such close proximity to a (semi) urban area. It creates a whole new dynamic of human habituation because wolves are such social animals. You can't really blame them if they want to play with your dogs. But it's good to see they're still respectful enough of their little cousins to not make them dinner.