Amazing Kids! Magazine

Raised By Wolves

By Enzo Monfre, Contributing Writer

 

I was raised by wolves. Well, not exactly, I grew up with German Shepherds. All dogs are descendants of Grey wolves, even that little chihuahua.

German shepherds are renowned for their intelligence and are used as service dogs, search and rescue and police dogs, even though they were originally bred for herding.

A lot of the strange activities that dogs do are by instinct, like chasing anything that moves, jumping around playfully and growling, are all things that they are born knowing. Although many things they do are taught to them and sometimes, when the dogs ancestors were taught something for many generations they inherit that skill.

Ranger and Hanna taking a break during a hike in the woods

Ranger and Hanna taking a break during a hike in the woods

Dogs may do things that are by instinct, but slightly different. Herding is a perfect example of that. Wolves work in packs to hunt, scaring the prey, so it moves into an area where it can be ambushed by the rest of the pack. This skill is used by herding dogs to move livestock. The only difference is that there is no pack of hungry wolves waiting for the livestock.

My family has two German shepherds, also called GSDs or German Shepherd Dogs, Hanna and Ranger. Hanna is an all black, long coat or long haired German shepherd. Ranger is a black and tan, long haired German shepherd. Some people think they are a different breed of dog, because of their long coats. Their litter mates had short coats and also came in different colors. The long coat is a recessive gene, which means a gene that is passed on by both parents. Like when a child inherits the recessive blue eye gene from both mom & dad, that child will have blue eyes.

Ranger is the mascot for Team XN, he is very sweet, calm and well trained. He meets many kids at various events, and likes the attention.

Ranger looking like a pirate after his surgery

Ranger looking like a pirate after his surgery

Since he was one year old he has had to live with only one eye. Some people think that he got into a fight, but actually it was removed because of an infection. When Ranger was a puppy his immune system was weakened and a fungal infection took root in his left eye. The fungus spores are everywhere, in the dirt, air, and water. Normally, with a healthy animal or person, nothing would happen, but because Ranger’s immune system was compromised, his eye had to be surgically removed to keep the fungus from spreading. Although things sound bad for Ranger, he’s fine, and he has adapted. You may see a dog or cat with one leg and they have adapted to their condition and get around just fine. He’s completely recovered, in fact because his fur is so dark, from a distance many people can’t even see anything is different.

He’s a good dog and my best friend. Yeah, I know that sound corny.

You can see a photo of Ranger with Team XN on our website @ www.ExplorationNation.com