Defenders of Wildlife

Touching and being touched

On Dec 5 1991 I reported in to my new unit at Fort Drum NY, just fifteen minutes from the Canadian border by car. It is a very cold area and even that early in the year there was not a blade of grass to be seen everything was covered in white.

On Dec 5 1991 I reported in to my new unit at Fort Drum NY, just fifteen minutes from the Canadian border by car. It is a very cold area and even that early in the year there was not a blade of grass to be seen everything was covered in white.
That night I was returning to base to pick up some old friends to go drinking with, because my family was in Texas buying a home in preparations for my own retirement. Just as the radio announced gave forth the information that we were expecting 18 to 36 inches of snow that night, I saw a Siberian Husky running loose across the road. I was thinking that anyone who'd let a dog run loose in that weather didn't need to have one. The dog ran into a gully, one of the many that bordered the roads on post. I pulled over to the side of the road and rolled down the window of my car and called to the dog. Then I pulled off a glove and stuck my hand out and began snapping my fingers and calling to her. Finally she came up out of the gully, curious about me. She held her head low and came up as I called softly to her, then she sniffed my hand and then licked the palm with a tongue as rough as any cat's; not like a dog at all. Then she looked up at me and instead of the pale blue or soft brown eyes of a Siberian I beheld a pair of glowing yellow eyes on a silver animal that looked like she'd had a brush cut. It was a yearling female wolf, chased from the pack, most likely by the Alpha female and not smart enough to stay away from people. Realizing it was a wolf, I felt my heart in my throat, I wasn't afraid but I was thrilled as never before. Sensing my surprise, she looked up and snarled at me, staring me right in the eye and showing me inch long cainine teeth. She was magnificent, even in her youth. She snarled a little and then just slowly sauntered away, as if to show me that she wasn't afraid of me. I will always remember that night.
Later on that post, carved out of a wilderness, I had the opportunity to feed candy, out of my hand, to deer that knew they were safe, there on that post, and had arguments with beaver that objected to our kids being forced to clear the drainage problems caused by the beavers' damns. The weather up there was harsh, the cold bitter and I had nearly two years away from my wife and dog, but I still had a wonderful time, experiencing a sense of sharing the wilderness with the wildlife. As far as I'm concerned, the only things that hunters should be licensed to hunt and kill are each other. And I hope they all bag their limit because it would offer more land for the wildlife to flourish in.

 

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