Tag Archives: behavior

New Book Available on Wolf Hybrids

The bulk of my animal career has been spent working with the socialized, hand-raised wolves of Wolf Park, a wildlife facility in Battle Ground, Indiana.  While working there I met a variety of people who had issues, of one kind or another, with wolf hybrids (also known as wolfdogs, or wolf x dog hybrids).  The problems these people (and their animals) faced inspired me, and a coworker of mine, to write a book, so that people who suddenly find themselves confronted with something labeled a “wolf hybrid” would have somewhere to turn.

The book is now available for purchase.  It can be purchased through Wolf Park, if you’d like to support a nonprofit animal facility.  It can be purchased through the publisher, Dogwise Publishing, if you’d like to support an excellent publishing house with an emphasis on dogs, training, and canine behavior in general.  It can also be purchased through Amazon if you would like to take a look inside the book before purchasing it.

It was our goal, in writing this book, to make the world a little better for critters that got inadvertently mixed up in the “wolf hybrid” controversy — whether they be wolves, dogs, wolf hybrids, or the people who meet them.  If you are a shelter worker, a rescuer, a veterinarian, an animal control officer — or just someone who loves dogs and the things that dogs do — please consider picking up a copy.  The more people know about these wonderful animals, the better.

Baby Steps

from mgessford, via Flickr Creative Commons

I am an animal trainer at heart, and I understand that rewarding companies (with my money) for “baby steps” — tiny movements in the directions I consider “right” — will eventually cause them to take larger steps in those “right” directions.  With that in mind, I gravitate towards things labeled “green”, even if those things are only partly green, or even, as I sometimes find, only faintly greenish.

The pen I bought last night might be the most sideways baby step I’ve seen in a bit.  It annoys me, because the big print (of course) says “BIODEGRADABLE PEN!!  SAVE THE EARTH!  ECO-FRIENDLY!!” and then the tiny print, on the back of the carton, indicates that only “most of” the pen (i.e., the actual body of the pen) is biodegradable.  The ink cartridge, the tip, the spring, and the finger cushion are not biodegradable and go in the trash.  In addition, the “biodegradable” parts of the pen are only biodegradable under certain circumstances.  They will not biodegrade in a landfill — you have to take the pen apart, take the biodegradable bits out and bury them in your yard.

In their defense, the pen company does say on the carton that the pen isn’t all biodegradable.  They even have friendly animations on their web site demonstrating how to disassemble the pen and make sure that the bits which can biodegrade are disposed of appropriately.  (And, of course, if I were really eco-friendly myself, I would have a compost bin to put the pen parts in.  Glass houses, etc.)  In any event, I did actually buy the pen, because it is a baby step in the right direction.  If enough people vote with their wallets, perhaps the company’s next “green” pen will be 70% biodegradable, and their next will be 85% biodegradable.

The whole mess just reminded me of having to look on the back of every product, follow every asterisk, and make sure that “cage free” means “living on grass pasture” and not “packed shoulder to shoulder in an open plan barn”, and that “natural flavors” is not a euphemism for “crushed beetles“.  Sometimes it’s really hard to be earth- and animal-friendly, but, well, we’re all taking baby steps.