Pets Hunters

The philosopher and the wolf

A spur-of-the-moment decision to buy a wolf cub changed Mark Rowlands’s life. From that moment on he found human company never quite matched up. The Philosopher and the Wolf: Lessons in Love, Death, and Happiness is the story of the eleven years Brenin and Mark had together.

An excerpt:

"The rule was that Brenin was never, ever, under any circumstances, to be left on his own in the house. Failure to abide by this rule involved dire consequences for the house and its contents; and the fate of the curtains and the air-conditioning pipes was merely a gentle warning of his true capabilities in this regard. These consequences included destruction of all furniture and carpets, with a soiling option also available for the latter. Wolves, I learnt, get bored very, very quickly - about 30 seconds of being left to their own devices is generally long enough. When Brenin got bored he would either chew on things or urinate on them, or chew on things and then urinate on them. Very occasionally, he would even urinate on things and then chew them, but I think that was just because, in all the excitement, he would forget exactly where he was in the order of proceedings."

"Brenin and I were inseparable for 11 years. Homes would change, jobs would change, countries and even continents would change, and my other relationships would come and go - mostly go. But Brenin was always there - at home, at work and at play. He was the first thing I would see in the morning when I woke - largely because he would be the one to wake me, around daybreak with a big wet lick to the face - a looming presence of meaty breath and sandpaper tongue framed by dawn's murky light. And that was on a good day - on bad days he would have caught and killed a bird in the garden and would wake me up by dropping it on my face. (The first rule of living with a wolf: always expect the unexpected.)"

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