Right Working Romantic Related Learning Friendly Healthy Legal Inspirational Unfiltered

Pure Howling Entitlement

, , , , | Right | August 5, 2021

I volunteer with a non-profit wolf hybrid rescue. We have wolfdogs of varying degrees, from low-content wolf to high-content wolf. About half the facility houses the adoptable animals in separate pens.

We have a permanent group of wolfdogs that we can never allow to be adopted. They live together as a pack. If wolfdogs were continually coming in and out of the pack, it would be traumatic for them.

These wolfdogs also act as ambassadors for the rescue, helping to raise money to keep the rescue going. On weekends, for a fee, people can visit with the pack inside the pens and interact with the wolfdogs — under close supervision, of course.

Some of the pack will travel to events like county fairs. We set up a chain-link caged-in area with three wolfdogs. People can pay a fee to enter the pen, pet the animals for a few minutes, and have their pictures taken with them. There are always two volunteers in the pen for safety reasons. While the wolfdogs are mostly domesticated and well-behaved, they are still, after all, part wolf! We have to be careful that their tails will not get stepped on, etc., and generally make sure that the humans are behaving appropriately. We also have a few volunteers outside the enclosure selling merchandise, answering questions, and making sure safety protocols are followed.

Me: “Ma’am, please don’t allow your child to put his fingers through the fencing into the enclosure. Fingers look suspiciously like hot dogs to a wolfdog.”

Lady: “Oh, okay, then.”

Not two minutes later:

Me: “Ma’am! Do not put your fingers inside the enclosure, either! They look suspiciously like even bigger hot dogs to a wolfdog!”

Later, I’m tasked with a wolfdog for a walk — on leash, of course. We give each animal a break to stretch its legs. It is customary for people to stare and ask questions. The top two questions are, “Can I pet him?” and, “Can I give him something to eat?” The answers to those questions are, respectively, “Of course!” and “Absolutely not!”

Man: “Wow, is that one of those wolfdogs?”

Me: “Yes, it is. This is [Wolfdog].”

Man: “He’s huge. Can I pet him? Can my daughter pet him?”

I notice his three- or four-year-old daughter eating ice cream.

Me: “Of course, you both can. He loves a good scratch between the ears. But your daughter is eating an ice cream cone. She can’t have that in her hands when she approaches [Wolfdog]. He will try to eat it and that’s a food that he cannot have.”

The man goes to his daughter and takes the ice cream cone from her hands. The little girl approaches. I kneel down next to [Wolfdog] so I can greet the girl and show her how to properly pet him. While my attention is on [Wolfdog] and the girl, the father comes up out of my vision line and suddenly thrusts the ice cream cone in front of the wolfdog, who promptly scoffs it down before I can do anything.

Me: “He is not supposed to have food like that! I told you! Why on earth would you do that?”

Man: “I wanted to show my daughter what it looks like when a wolf eats. It’s just an ice cream cone. My dog eats them all the time. It’s no big deal.”

Me: “Yes, it is a big deal. He’s a high-content wolf. He eats 100% raw meat only. That’s it. Nothing else. You have fed him something that he’s never had in his life, and we have no idea how it might affect him.”

Man: *Backing off with his daughter* “I just… wanted to show her… not a big deal.”

I stood and walked in the other direction. When I returned to the wolfdog exhibit, I let the leader of the rescue know what happened. He told me it would be okay, that one ice cream cone certainly would not do any harm. But if we let every person who approached feed the wolfdogs junk? That would be unhealthy.