At the Ranch / Anne E. Stone's Wolfdog



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For my wolfdogs

  It is my little heaven on earth.

  I am on a road trip, on my Harley, on my own, without a helmet. It is a road that I often confuse with other roads in other states, miles of countryside. I do not need to know if I am in Pennsylvania, Washington, or Georgia. Over the roar of the pipes as I ease into fourth, I feel my daughter's knees clasp me tighter. She is singing and the beads on the laces of her boots dance in the wind: love taps. Toulouse appears first, weaving through the trees, leader of the pack. Unburdened with age he can gallop again, head low, establishing his position off my right shoulder, old man. Tasha appears next with her wide grin; no bullet holes in that fine body, no hair matted with blood. Tasha who paces in my heart. She digs her claws in the dirt, sprinting around trees, to the side of the road where she bounds over signs and chases the racing shadows of our ride. Sophia and Trip arrive together, as they always do. She's in a graceful lope and he, a fast trot. The only time he'd break a trot was when he took off for a kill, so overcome with an ancient drive that all terrain was one and the same. I like seeing him with his flesh back on his face. (instead of it being part of a burn out patch on asphalt.) Sophia has the heart she always deserved, valves that open and close, arteries that grow from the right places and go in the right directions. She breathes with ease now and her foot long tongue is pink - not purple. They are all here now, whole again, running, running, running free. I know that they are all dead but I also know that they come out to be with me every time I'm on a road trip, on my Harley, on my own, without a helmet. It's heaven on earth.

  "Bridge" I yell as I pull in the clutch and give it a blast. We love the bridges that deepen the roar as we pass under. My daughter squeezes me with delight. She's dead too.

Copyright © 1997 Anne E. Stone.

Artemis


Artemis in creekArtemis is approx. three...he is mixed with malamute... and weighs over 130lbs. He is very alpha and considers humans to be no higher or more sacred than another dog...it appears that he has accepted me as alpha with few challenges anymore as opposed to many, many challenges when I first got him.

He is a rescue and was rapidly approaching the terrible twos when I received him into my life...his companion is a border-collie mix that was introduced to him at age 8wks and he has raised her... He spends time inside the house and also is contained within 2-3 acres enclosed by five foot chain link with those angled to the inside type wiring at the top and there is four feet of chain link fabric along the bottom of the fence that lays flat on the ground to prevent digging which he has shown no inclination for...he has a sandpile which gets a dumptruck load of sand 2-3 times a year and he loves to dig there and in the garden.

Artemis in the woodsThe photo above is of Artemis taken in early 1998, and the photo at left was taken in the spring of 1997 when he was 2 years old.

He is not my first wolfdog and all my wolfdogs have been rescues...I have chosen wolfdogs for their intelligence and expressions of emotions...I also am fascinated by other ways of communication besides human language.


Artemis is "owned" by Anne Exton Stone. To contact her, e-mail ( aes2@acpub.duke.edu ) with 'Artemis' as subject.


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