Book Review: The Hidden Life of Wolves

The Hidden Life of Wolves

I had shared the video for The Hidden Life of Wolves on Facebook awhile back, but I just recently got a chance to read the book.

It attracted me from the first time I heard about it.  Wolves have always fascinated me.  I’ve always found them to be borderline magical and always wanted one as a friend and companion.  Even though they are wild {as the book reminds us} they are smart and their eyes are deep and their calls command the night.

Why do I love wolves so much?  I mostly attribute it to The Journey of Natty Gann, a movie released in the 80s that featured a young girl with a wolf as a traveling partner.  I don’t remember much about the movie, actually, but I remember the wolf.  I remember that the girl was going through unbelievably hard times, but I remember the wolf right there alongside her – and I wanted to be her because of that.

Maybe that sounds a little silly, but as a young child, I wanted to experience that beauty and that passion and that comfort up close.

Which has an awful lot to do with why I picked up this book the instant I caught those golden green eyes staring back at me.

And what a gorgeous book it is!

The photos are breathtakingly spectacular and are alone well worth the purchase of the book.  But there’s so much more, too.

The authors lived – day in and day out – with these wolves.  They were like family.  Like pack.

The book is a glimpse inside the personalities and habits of how these wolves lived.  How they played and hunted, how they reared and mourned.

I’m ashamed to admit that I’d had no idea that the wild wolf population was so terribly scarce.

Why have we been killing off wolves for so long?  Why have we driven them to near extinction?  Why do so many people hate them?  Is it because they are so like us?

Jim and Jamie Dutcher, the husband and wife team who wrote the book, have taken on a lifelong mission of helping this majestic cousin of Man’s Best Friend.  This effort grew from the beginnings of their incorporation into the Sawtooth Pack and blossomed into three documentaries, three Emmy Awards, and their groundbreaking nonprofit organization, Living With Wolves.  {You can also follow them on Facebook.}

They introduce us not just to the individual wolves of Sawtooth Pack, from the Alpha to the pups, but also to a history of the animal and its relationship with humans over many thousands of years.  They show us how these intelligent and compassionate creatures are so vital to our ecosystem, and how we can live peacefully side-by-side.

Truly, I think that everyone who has even a passing interest in animals or nature should read this book.

You can see a preview of the book in the video below, which includes glimpses of the stunning photography.

A portion of the proceeds of book sales goes towards helping wolves, but even if you decide not to buy the book, you should still pick it up and read it.  It will change the way you look at wolves.  It may even change you.

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