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The Wisdom of Wolves

Lessons from the Sawtooth Pack
Length: 5 hrs and 4 mins

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Publisher's Summary

From the world-famous couple who lived alongside a three-generation wolf pack, this book of inspiration, drawn from the wild, will fascinate animal and nature lovers alike.

For six years Jim and Jamie Dutcher lived intimately with a pack of wolves, gaining their trust as no one has before. In this book the Dutchers reflect on the virtues they observed in wolf society and behavior. Each chapter exemplifies a principle, such as kindness, teamwork, playfulness, respect, curiosity, and compassion. Their heartfelt stories combine into a thought-provoking meditation on the values shared between the human and the animal world.

An Esquire pick of best nonfiction books of 2018 (So Far).

©2018 Jim and Jamie Dutcher (P)2018 Blackstone Publishing

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  • Jordan
  • 18-06-19

Reframing our relationship

I struggled a bit with the premise of this book, but overall enjoyed its observations. I felt like they were trying to balance two worlds that have a possibility to overlap--that of cold, hard facts and the intuitive understanding of animals--and that it would have been a more effortless writing if they had been able to just write what they honestly felt. I especially liked Jaime's more poetic chapters because she seemed more unapologetically attached to the wolves. And wouldn't you have been, too?

Here's the rub and why this book made me think: our relationship with non-domesticated animals is complex and kind of weird. On the one hand we have the more scientific approach where people can critique every aspect of how human interaction might taint the subject's behavior and the inevitable bias we might have of anthropomorphizing an animal. On the other hand, though, I think this view comes with some faulty logic. Our human ancestors likely interacting and even potentially co-habitated with wild beasts like these wolves. We are learning more and more that people and animals even had relationships of hunting cooperatively. So the idea that human influence "ruins" the integrity of their observations is almost kind of asinine. And, I mean, anthropomorphizing as a concept means that we don't consider ourselves animals and I think that's something maybe we should humble ourselves to more often, but anyway...

This book is an enjoyable and earnest account of two peoples' experience with a wolf pack in a controlled, semi-wild environment. Their observations and interactions with the animals are sweet, gentle, and well-intentioned. They attempt to balance the scientific approach with human heart and it does give some beautiful details of unprompted behaviors from the wolves. If we really think that wild wolves wouldn't act this way, given the opportunity, we aren't admitting our cooperative experience as inhabits on this planet. Their world is not that far from ours and this book shows where that line we've created starts to blur.

If you don't want a book on wolves interacting with humans, then don't read this. But why not? Ultimately we all share this world and interacting may give us a view into their world that makes us less at odds and, given the statistics of wolf hunting and the animosity toward such a beautiful creature, maybe some understanding could go a long way to reframing our relationship with wild things.

18 people found this helpful

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  • JP
  • 26-02-19

Good listen

The foreward is a little preachy and condescending, but once the actual story begins it's very good. The performances were good with Kate Mulligan being the best.

70 people found this helpful

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  • H Briggs
  • 11-06-19

Amazing heartfelt story!

Amazing story about wolf life and their complex social structure. The story told here, of the Sawtooth pack, exhibits these creatures as compassionate, loyal, loving, grieving at times and intelligent sentient beings enjoying being what they are - wolves.

54 people found this helpful

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  • Kay
  • 04-03-19

Understanding Wolves... Gives us wisdom

I never knew much about wolves but what tv or scary movies taught me... This book certainly changed that!
I bought a hard copy of this book... its a keeper. This audio version is done well... I'll be lusteni,g to it again!

40 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 19-06-19

I got more out of it than I expected!

I downloaded this book due to my great interest in Wolves with a desire to learn more about them. I did that. What I did not expect however, is the emotion I felt from listening to the stories of these wolves. There undoubtedly are lessons we can learn from these fascinating creatures. They have shown to be selfless, caring, clever, forgiving and creatures of greater depth than we give them credit for. Listening to this great insight into wolves has caused me to reflect on my own life in becoming more pure in my intentions and actions. I also feel a greater appreciation for my own canine companion. I would recommend this book to any prospective listeners.

6 people found this helpful

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  • ryan
  • 18-06-19

amazing story

this is the best and most tear jerking book I have listened to on audible by far

4 people found this helpful

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  • Denise
  • 26-09-19

I felt misled

Ok, I can see how the video of these wolves could make for an amazing documentary. However, I can not consider these to be wild wolves. They were taught from their "infancy" to trust humans (specifically the author and his partner). The wolves were keep inside a chain link fence -granted it was a large one, but not as large as a wild pack's range. Elk and other food on the hoof (road kill) were provided for them by humans - and actually hauled into the compound. Yes, you can still study their dining hierarchy, but somehow it did not seem to grant them the title of a wolf pack.

I guess the final blow for me was when the author/videographer was able to crawl into the alpha female's underground den to investigate and examine her new born pups - and he explained that she would not even allow the other wolves in. Ok, I raise German Shepherds, and I know a human has to be really trusted by this domesticated dog mom for her to relax enough to allow a human to touch a newborn pup- it would, I imagine, have to be a really, really, trusting relationship to do so with a half wild wolf.

In short the story somehow lost credibility for me.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Kathy Bartel
  • 08-09-19

Captive wolves are not wild wolves

This is about two non-biologists who decided to build a fence and bring in individual wolves from different packs -And then watch and record their movements in an unnatural environment where the wolves could not hunt. Was this worth doing? Were the wolves better off? Debatable.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amy
  • 02-02-20

R E S P E C T

After going on and on about respecting the wolves, they take the newborn pups away from the pack to handrear them. That’s when I gave up Most of the time reading this I was thinking either “duh!” Or “what drugs are you guys on?”

1 person found this helpful

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  • Garden Worm
  • 05-01-20

Great Story and Incredible Life Lessons

I downloaded this book more at a curiosity than anything else and ended up loving it. The stories shared of the wolf packs brought a love and understanding towards them, and also amazed me how their stories could be tied into my own life. It was not just a book about wolves, but a window into how they live, their curiosity, and what makes them special. It helped remove some of my own personal fears as I gained a better understanding of them.

As I listened I ended up using some of the stories as lessons to discuss with my family and friends. I would recommend this book for those who want to learn more about these magnificent animals and also if you just want to listen to some great stories that can help you get to know yourself a little better as well.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kimberly
  • 06-01-20

fabulous!

I didnt know what to expect but I was most impressed: a new favourite!

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  • Sash
  • 13-12-19

Fantastic!

I recently had a trip to Wolf Conservation centre in Salem,US. It was a breathtaking experience, to have the opportunity to connect to them, howl with them. words can't describe how it touched me.

This reinforced every reason i love Wolves.

I still cant believe there are people still so ignorant and egotistical that they believe they have the right to hunt such an pure and natural animal.

Great book thanks you for the knowledge.

Love

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  • Anonymous User
  • 26-04-19

insightful and informative

really enjoyed this book.
It ended far to quickly.
I could have listened for hours more..
The narrator's were just perfect it felt like I was right there with them..

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  • Mrs
  • 04-12-18

Absolutely inspiring!

I knew a little about these fascinating creatures and how they are hunted to the verge of extinction in some parts of the world. Yet the emotional lives of these creatures, their perceptions and the reasons for their behaviour, remained a mystery to me. This excellent book lifted the veil. All I can say is it was absolutely inspiring. Five stars from me.