I forgot that a wolf is always wild.. I guess I got lost somewhere in the heartwarming process of domesticating a wild animal and I took for granted its willingness to bite. I trusted him. I pet him. I loved him and held him and put a collar with a name on him. Beneath his rough fur I convinced myself he was no more dangerous then a soft stuffed animal. I was wrong.
I found my wolf under the steps of my house. He was crying, a weak and needy woof, and I felt for him. I loured him inside my house with some dog food and a blanket and let him sit on my living room floor. He sat quietly. I watched him for quite some time,waiting for him to bite me, waiting for him to growl, waiting for him to tear a hole in the couch or something. He did nothing. He sat and looked at me, and eventually he fell asleep on the blanket I'd set up for him with this head in the bowl of food. So I left for work. I knew then that he was a wolf- I knew then that when I got home he would attack me- and I knew it would be my own fault for letting him in. I slowly opened my door, and he got up to greet me. I was shaking with fear. I stood just inside the doorway, the wolf next to me, and as my breathing got heavier I knew I was in more and more danger. He went outside, and I collapsed onto the couch. What was I doing with a wild animal in my house? What was I doing alone with a wolf? Why had I possibly trusted him? Why had I been so lucky with him? Why hadn't he already bitten me? What if he was sick? I found myself wondering if I could even walk into a vet with a wolf and have him treated. Then he knocked. The wolf was back at my door with a robust bark, asking to be let back in before I had even mustered enough thought and comfort to get off the couch and unpack my work things. I let him in with no hesitance.
He wagged his tail as he came through the door and sat back on his blanket. I petted him, kind of hoping he would bite me. Not because I wanted to bitten but because I knew that if he bit me just then- I could guiltlessly put him back outside. He didn't bite me. So I loved him, I called him into my bed and I loved him. I pet him and I kissed him all night and I thanked him for being so kind and gentle. I told him I wasnt sure which one of us was wild- because here I was with a wolf in my bed! I told him he could stay for as long as he wanted to and I slept well holding him close.
I bought him a collar and a crate and I came home to him every night for a year or so. He became a pet to me, he became a best friend to me, I called him Duke and he seemed to like that. Then one night, a Thursday night, I let him out after dinner and waited for his usual bark to be let back in- but it never came. The next morning I got up and couldn't work- so I searched for him all day. I called his name, I looked everywhere and I couldn't find him anywhere. I was devastated. I had trusted him and I shouldnt have. I had loved something wild against all my better senses and time caught up with me and forced me to learn my lesson. Sixteen nights went by without him. Then I heard it, his bark outside the door that meant he was ready to be let in. I answered him.
It has been almost fourteen weeks that Duke has been in the house again. He somewhere outside lost the name tag on his collar, and I have yet to get a new one made. I shake when he sleeps next to me, almost as bad as I shook while he was gone. I am hesitant to pet him now, though I sometimes do, because I know he can smell my fear- and worse yet, I know he likes it. I know he likes knowing I can no trust him and I can not turn him out. He likes knowing he has the upper hand and that he could turn on me at any second. He likes to come up to me like he still loves me even, he likes to rub his head on my lap- but then he likes to growl. He sometimes doesnt come back for a couple days, because he doesnt care when he hears me calling. Ive even seen him stand just on the top of the hill at the bottom of my street and howl at the moon instead of me. He likes to make me feel inadequate like that, he always wants me to know I will have never done enough for him. He wants me to know that he will never consistently love me, that he will never consistently come home to me, and that I wall never consistently satisfy him. He wants me to know that just because he wants my pets doesnt mean he is my pet, and doesnt mean he is any less of a wolf- or that I should be any less scared of him.
I am scared of him. Scared that he will hurt me. Scared that he will leave me. Scared that he will wreck the home I have built for him. But most of all, I am scared that each day will be one of the days he doesnt care about me. And thats how it is loving a wolf and letting yourself forget just what he is.