Mar 2, 2008

Wolves At Our Door

The Extraordinary Story of the Couple Who Lived with Wolves
by Jim and Jamie Dutcher

This book is about the making of a documentary film on wolves. Its focus was to show the family life of wolves and their social interaction in detail. About half of the book describes methods used to gain the wolves' trust and record natural behavior, difficulties involved in film production, negotiation with various organizations and their Idaho rancher neighbors who hated wolves. The rest of the book covers the life of the pack, which I found particularly interesting. The Dutchers write about both the wolves' patient, family-orientated nature and their fierce, sometimes brutal competition for social position: "In a wolf pack there are no equals. Someone always has the slightly upper hand, and there is always the chance of moving up the ladder a rung or two. It is in this nebulous middle rank where one sees the true and fascinating paradox of life in a wolf pack, the incredible balance of competition and cooperation."

Wolves at Our Door is an insightful portrait of both wolf nature and the involvement of a wolf advocate. Making a film about these animals ended up with the Dutchers founding their own wolf-education organization and living in an isolated area with the animals for six years. It ends on a sad note. But there are many gorgeous photographs, which I admired time and time again.

Rating: 3/5 Published: 2002, pp 299

3 comments:

Nymeth said...

This sounds like an interesting book. I like wolves - they are fascinating animals, and it's a shame that for the most part they are portrayed unfairly.

Trish said...

Jeane - you read such an eclectic mix of books! By the way, your dust covers below are beautiful--it looks like you had a lot of fun creating them.

Jeane said...

Nymeth- I really appreciated that this author did not treat wolves as savage beasts nor as animals that live in a mystical perfect harmony, but showed both sides of their nature.

Trish- Thanks! Yes, it was fun.