Our writing prompt was “Wolf” but the only thing I could think of was my dog Bozley, a “shepherd mix” who looks like he was crossed with a black bear rather than a wolf. No pedigree here except for home-grown Alberta special. He is 80 pounds of black and tan fur who doesn’t like to get brushed; a big stubborn teddy bear who yanks me around on our twice-daily walks and—of all things—growled at the veterinarian yesterday. Granted, the man was getting pretty close to poking around ‘back there’ but it was still wrong and garnered a muzzle for the rest of the appointment. That said, I love the big goof and I can’t imagine life without my Bozzy-Wozzy-Woogums.
There is only one truly ‘wolf-like’ thing Bozley does, and that is pipe up with a good howl when the opportunity presents itself. We live close to the open land of a native reserve where we occasionally hear coyotes, but Bozley does not join in with others of kind. My dog sings along with the siren call of Ambulances. Long before our inadequate human ears can pick up the sound, Bozley’s ears will perk up and we can see the tension in his throat and muzzle as he prepares to sing along. Starting with a staccato yip, yip, yipping that evolves into a series of longer howls, he’ll continue until the vehicle speeds past on its way to some emergency. Strangely enough, fire engines and police cars do not have the same effect—they do not play his song, they are not his pack.
All this would be less interesting if we did not live so close to a Fire/EMS station and a large number emergency vehicles zoom by on nearby Glenmore Trail. Often they are on their way to Highway 8, heading west out of Calgary. It is a busy road where too many drivers have suffered tragedy and the ditches are marked with homemade memorial crosses.
This morning Bozley howled again. He was outside on his leash while I shovelled the sidewalk and my neighbor ran out to see if everything was okay- bless his heart. Of course I was fine, but as the ambulance headed west I couldn’t help but think that somewhere, someone was not okay.
The tragedies continue and Bozley howls on– A Wolf of the City.