Running With The Wolves

"When Worlds Collide" by Betsy Sikora Siino

     When the science world decided that yes, perhaps the wolf and the dog are essentially members of the same species, the news was welcomed heartily by those who champion the cause of wolf/dog hybrids, animals that, thanks to human-induced breeding practices, are part wolf and part dog.  After years of grappling with opposition to their right to breed and keep these animals, hybrid enthusiasts hoped that with wolves and dogs viewed scientifically as the same species, exoneration would soon be theirs.  Yet widespread-not to mention legal-acceptance of wolf/dog hybrids has yet to occur, and the problems associated with these animals remain.  No matter how closely related dog and wolf may be, we are talking about the combination of wild and domestic blood.   Combine the two within a single animal and more often than not it produces an animal that is eternally confused and possibly unstable.

     It starts off innocently enough.  The hybrid puppy is as cute and cuddly as any other young canid, wild or domestic.  But in time-often as early as 6 months of age-the wild impulses kick in, as does the strength borne of the animal's hybrid vigor.  Stuck in the middle of two worlds, this increasingly powerful animal does not under-stand how to express its impulses properly within the context of a pet household.  The animal cannot be housetrained or confined.  Furniture is destroyed (as are small animals who cross the hybrid's path) and there may be little consistency in the hybrid's behavior, as both wild and domestic instincts struggle for psychological control of the animal.  In the worse case scenario, the hybrid must be destroyed in the wake of an attack on a child.

Although there are a few individuals who are prepared to handle and live with wolf/dog hybrid, the majority of these animals find themselves with people who view them only as status symbols and who have no idea how to care for them.  Without the proper housing or management skills required for a hybrid, these people quickly realize that the hybrid has no place in their home and unfortunately must go-preferably before they find themselves on the receiving end of a liability suit as the result of an attack situation.  And yet another wolf/dog hybrid, an animal that I believe should never have been bred in the first place, must suffer the consequences of an ignorant and unsuitable owner.

---Betsy Sikora Siino


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