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Deb Robson and Tussah

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« Fence, part 5 (second span, completed) | Main | Scotland and England: a few people I've been meeting »

July 29, 2010


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Wow! That sounds like an amazing experience. Thanks for letting me in on it. I once dogsat for a dog/wolf hybrid. Yes, in retrospect, I'm thinking that is not an ideal pet!

Two thoughts--one is that I am overscheduled right now, but perhaps keep me on a list for later this year in case you need some spinning support for this wolf fiber. It's a great cause!

Second thing--did you get my email the other day thanking you for your beautiful editing job at Spin-Off? That old issue kept me happy and thoughtful for days while I juggled a busy workschedule. Thank you.

Elizabeth D

Did the three wandering boxes ever show up? I keep thinking about them at the strangest times. . .


According to one of my proffs in college (who, at least was, *the* candid behavior expert... he had a Nat Geo special issue devoted to his work around the time he retired) -
One of the big differences between wolves & dogs is that dogs can be trained their whole lives, whereas wolves cannot be *trained* past puppyhood. However, they are very good at LEARNING things, and have very good problem solving skills (such as opening latches/gates and getting where they want to be, even if thumbs are supposedly required.)

Deborah Robson

Joanne, I had a wonderful hike with a wolf-dog hybrid (and its person) in Sitka one summer. Lovely. Fortunately for them, the right location and combination of living spirits and living situation. More normal situations, though, don't work for these critters.

Thanks for your offer of spinning support! I can let Frank at the sanctuary know. There is no rush on this: it will be an ongoing project.

And yes, THANK YOU for your note. I started a response, but didn't get it sent. . . . That's how it's been around here. . . .

Elizabeth, yes, the boxes showed up. With no sign about where they had been, and no damage. Whew.

Aramati, that's very interesting about the differences between training and learning. It's true that our dogs continue to be willing to be trained. And I've also observed amazing intelligence in the wolves. Reading about the enclosures at W.O.L.F. gives me an idea of how both smart and determined they can be--as do the individual animals' stories.


Fascinating. There's a wolf sanctuary near Purdue in Indiana, but I wasn't nearly as impressed as what you have presented here.

Deb Robson

Valerie, Id read about W.O.L.F., but visiting took me to a whole new level of understanding. The construction diagrams--available on the website--attest to the thought that has gone into planning the facility. Yet despite the security (for both wolves and humans), it feels very open and natural. Plus the wolves are given extremely sensitive care: contact if they want, solitude if they dont, and superb vet care.

Janice in GA

I really enjoyed reading about your experiences at W.O.L.F. I have a sort of sentimental attachment to wolves, but I'm very content to admire them from afar. Wild should stay wild, as much as we think we would love a bit of wildness in our lives.

I think dog down & silk makes a good combination. I did that with some of the first dog hair I spun, from my first Aussie.


What a fascinating visit ~ Beautiful animals, and so glad they have a safe place to go. Thanks for sharing!

Deborah Robson

Janice, you're right that wild should stay wild.

The philosophy of W.O.L.F. is worth reading about on the website. All of the animals there were bred by humans and ended up in situations that were inappropriate for them. The humans crossed the line that you point out when you say "much as we think we would love a bit of wildness in our lives." None of these wolves or wolf-dogs has been brought in from the wild; that would be contrary to the sanctuary's mission and purpose. They should not and cannot be released into the wild, and yet by their nature can't manage domestic life.

At the same time, some of the animals in the sanctuary (those who enjoy it) can become educational ambassadors for all other wolves, helping people understand more about them.

And Jennifer, you're most welcome!


Oh wow, what a fantastic experience. If you have any fibre spare, I'd love to trade for a bit when you get to Scotland. (Lunil's a tiny, tiny part wolf). And if it's feasible over the sea, I'd like to get involved in the wolf-spinning project.

See you soon!

Deborah Robson

Yes, see you soon, Freyalyn! I have a very limited amount of wolf fiber, and right now what I've spun is at the publisher's to be photographed for the book. It might be feasible over the sea for you to be involved, though. We'll talk!

Kristi aka FiberFool

That takes me back to the summer between 7th and 8th grades when I attended a science camp in the Boundary Waters area and visited a wolf sanctuary! Thanks for the sparked memories!

Deb Robson

Excellent! I love the Boundary Waters, and had no idea there was ever a wolf sanctuary there. Well need to talk. . . .


Mission Wolf near Gardner is open to the public and does accept visitors. missionwolf.com.

The time we went there were puppies! (Not a good thing in the refuge world, but we were charmed.)

Tickled that you spun wolf fiber!

Deb Robson

Interesting. Although youre right: puppies are a big problem. There are way too many adults that already need places to be. Same problem as with dogs, only x10.

We just put in an application with a dog rescue. . . . Well be finding an adult (dog) who is currently in the wrong place and whos meant to be with us. . . .

Diana Troldahl

Marvelous work they are doing there!
Thank you so much for sharing it with us. What a fantastic idea, for using the fiber to raise funds. Please let me know if I can help.

Deb Robson

Thanks, Diana. Quick reply: very intermittent net access. Im in Scotland,
learning more about sheep. Although yesterday I was at Stirling Castle
doing an interview about the Unicorn tapestry project for an article.
WONDERFUL! Would give a link, but this public-access terminal has limited
capacities. I feel fortunate to be checking e-mail.

A new comment from Diana Troldahl was received on the post Wolves:
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Marvelous work they are doing there!
Thank you so much for sharing it with us. What a fantastic idea, for using
the fiber to raise funds. Please let me know if I can help.

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