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I love this quote about Dad.

It is true. It was true. From the stories told on long car rides, at the breakfast table or around a campfire we were riveted. My kids are not so interested in what I have to say as I was interested in what he had to say. I wonder if they have any idea of his place in American Literature. I keep hoping they will stumble into a class where the teacher assigns one of his books without them knowing his granddaughter is there.






My first memories of wolves are as of any wild animal in my life. Either dad was writing about wild animals or befriending them or observing them. Sometimes he was the one being observed, as he was when followed by mountain lions several times in Colorado.


When I was little, maybe 7 or 8, a friend of his came to the house with his “dog” Keela. Keela( I think that was the name) was a wolf. A beautiful pure wolf as far as I remember. I was not afraid in the slightest. By that time we had befriended a red fox who came by for breakfast every morning until we got our dog, a blue jay who came by for peanuts every morning until we moved and several squirrels. My brother talked to marmots, dad talked to cows and my mother rode every horse we were ever near. One encounter with a true wolf and I haven’t forgotten it.

Sometimes I get to do things that I wish with all my heart dad was here to do too. Like the trip to the ancestral home in Ireland INSERT LiNK






On Sunday April 29 I got another chance with wolves. Apex Protection Project is a wolf rescue located in the hills near Palmdale. My friend invited a group of us to got out to Apex for her 50th birthday.




I drove by myself the hour and some from my home on a Sunday late afternoon. The plan was to meet there and meet the owners,  Paula Ficara and Steve Wastel, who currently have 7 wolves on their property. Over the last 8 years they have fostered, rehabilitated and rehomed  75 wolfdogs. Called wolf dogs because they have varying amount of dog bred into them some are “High content” meaning they have more wolf or low content meaning they have less wolf in their family tree.


We were warmly met and then introduced to the project and proper wolf greeting behavior—completely different than meeting a dog. No patting on the head, no direct eye contact, let them come to you and a number of other rules and directions were given to us before we went out to meet the wolves. It was a tiny bit daunting but when watching the intro video you then see the wolfdogs with children and realize you will be okay.

Just follow the rules. 

And don’t have anything in your hands —my hat ended up stuck inside my jacket at one point to avoid a curious wolf.

Merlin, a beautiful light grey wolf we got to meet through his enclosure fence—he likes to destress jeans on a regular basis but through the fence is sweet and curious. He came up and gave my hands a sniff and a lick. I was still a bit nervous about remembering all the rules of being inside so it was nice to meet him outside first.

Within a little while we were in an enclosure waiting to see if the first wolf we met would greet us directly.

This one jumped up into my lap!




The rest of the evening was spent meeting the wolf dogs and going on a hike with them and a few close encounters.








Here you can learn about the pack.click here

and more about the project too click here   


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