Mouser: In Touch With His Inner Wolf

Good form, great loft: Judges score--9.2
Good form, great loft: Judges score--9.2

While our dog might not be able to make enough meals to live off the critters he so capably smells and unearths just about every pass around the pasture, he seems to have an unstoppable innate need to try to do so.

That’s not exactly right, because he digs up far more moles (insectivores like this one back in a winter we actually had snow) than rodents. And insectivores, well, they aren’t so tasty, apparently.

And it’s more about just acting out his Inner Wolf. He never eats his finds, only plays Wack-a-Mole and Mole Toss. He pretends they’re worthy adversaries, that he’s at risk of harm from their wee teeth and if he isn’t vigilant and wary and on full alert, he might not end up top dog.

I remembered the book about (and by) the fellow who (ostensibly) spent a winter in Canada living off mice just to prove to wildlife officials that wolves lived off mice over winter (as opposed to eating the caribou as had been supposed.)

His name was Farley Mowat. But as I rounded the pasture road with our wolf-ally Protector of the Realm on the Christmas Day, I remembered it was the opening day of a movie about a similar Yellow Lab: and so we shall hence rename our dog–

Marley Fowat! Molevolent Master of Goose Creek

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. I love Mowat’s books, especially the ones about dogs. And I happen to have a copy of Never Cry Wolf in book form and DVD, just so my kids have something interesting to entertain themselves with.

  2. Hmmm …. sorry to read that Never Cry Wolf may have been mostly fiction. I remember reading it and being entranced with the story. It sounded plausible to me ….