To the Editor:

Dogs possess many attributes that we humans admire—loyalty, intelligence, socialness, playfulness, and courage. At the same time they typically lack the worst human traits such as selfishness, greed, apathy, pettiness, and hatred. Some would argue that dogs are a morally superior species.

When our dogs’ wolf ancestors came to the campfire of man, they brought their noble traits with them. So, as with dogs, doesn’t it logically follow that wolves, too, would be a morally superior species?

Yet it’s paradoxical, that in this age of enlightenment, we find people, including some of our most exalted politicians, continuing to cling to medieval superstitions wherein wolves are believed to be the devil’s dogs. In an earlier time these zealots would have burned witches.

In modern times, however, they delight in the persecution of wolves while, ironically, lavishing love and praise on their domesticated descendants.

With the reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone National Park in 1995 and 1996 after an absence of 70 years, we have learned more about wolves than we ever knew before.

One of the most important things learned was that almost everything we thought we knew about wolves was wrong.

Wolves are loving, playful, highly social, and extremely intelligent.

Above all, they are devoted to family with every member playing an important role whether it be hunting prey or raising and caring for the pack’s pups.

The next time you gaze into the adoring eyes of your family’s pet dog, remember that he or she descended from wolves.

If you want to repay your dog for his or her love and devotion, then learn about America’s wolves and become a voice for them.

Waldo Montgomery


(1) comment


Dogs and their relatives, wolves, are animals. They do not possess human traits of any kind. While the behavior of our dogs may seem to reflect human traits and emotions, that is because you are putting them there. Both dogs and wolves behave based upon their instincts, which are placed in them by nature to ensure their survival. Behaviors that were successful are retained; others are discarded. That's it-no emotions or human traits are involved.

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