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Wolves at Our Door: The Extraordinary Story of the Couple Who Lived with Wolves Paperback – February 11, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
The Dutchers spent six years living with a pack of captive wolves in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho, producing the Emmy Award-winning documentary of the same title. In this book, Jim (The Sawtooth Wolves, with Richard Ballantine) and Jamie elaborate on their experience, describing how they became involved with the project, sharing their most memorable moments in the pack, and revealing the logistical problems posed by wildlife filming. Supporting the premises of their movie, the book details many myth-dispelling, playful interactions among the wolves and between wolves and humans. (These wolves were raised largely by Jim in captivity but in a large wilderness area with minimal interference from humans.) The reader gets to know the various wolf "personalities" that beguiled and bedeviled the authors, including Kamots, the calm, regal alpha who once comforts Jim by placing a paw on his hand; Matsi, the gentle beta; and Lakota, the slump-shouldered, tail-dragging Omega who is also the joker of the pack. Episodes of tragedy and mourning (as when a wolf is killed by cougars) are countered by moments of exuberance and touching inter-species communication. The Dutchers describe how the wolves dance in delight at the snows of winter, compete viciously for status and entertain themselves with complex social role-playing. This accessible book will delight nature fans and general readers alike. Maps and color insert not seen by PW.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Intent on dispelling the misguided notion that wolves are dangerous, predatory creatures, the Dutchers went to great lengths to observe a wolf pack's natural, unguarded behavior: they created a 20-acre enclosure for the wolves in Idaho's remote Sawtooth Mountains and moved their own quarters inside of it. There, the couple spent six years living among and filming the wolf pack, and their resulting film won an Emmy Award and became the Discovery Channel's highest-rated natural history documentary. This written account of their film explains how the Dutchers set out to capture the intimate daily life and social structure of the wolf pack. They observed behavior of a complex nature, a complicated and rigid family orientation, unexpected playfulness, and unyielding social bonds and achieved their goal of revealing a more sensitive, gentle wolf. This reads like a novel about relationships, but the main characters are animals rather than humans. It will captivate readers who are drawn to the wilderness and the somewhat mystical social structure of wild animals. Jim is a filmmaker and author of The Sawtooth Wolves, and Jamie is a former National Zoo employee. Highly recommended for popular wildlife collections and for those studying the social structure of animal groups. (Photos not seen.) Deborah Emerson, Rochester Regional Lib. Council, Fairport, NY
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
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Weighing in at a mere 300 pages, the lucid, evocative writing makes it seem half as long. I came home from work to find my copy waiting for me. I immediately took it to my... um, "private reading room", with the intention of looking at the glorious, full color photographs and rejoining my family. But then I decided to just read the introduction. Next thing I knew, I was 100 pages into it and didn't want to stop.
The book is at once a heartwarming story of two people, their relationship with each other, and their struggle to bring a dream of filming a pack of "wild" wolves to fruition, and a real life drama of the lives (and occasionally deaths) of the members of that pack.
I can't recommend this book enough. Dog lovers will gain insights into the behavior of their beloved companions; wolf and nature lovers will see a magnificent animal in all its glory; and everyone else will find an eye-opening study of a misunderstood and wrongfully persecuted creature. All wrapped with a perfect blend of humor and suffering.
Do yourself a favor and let the Dutchers and their beloved wolves into your life. It will be richer for the addition.
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