LASKA by Ronald Rood


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In raising a puppy at home that's one-quarter wild wolf, Rood and his wife Peg establish themselves as the small pack's Alpha wolf and his mate, and embark on a course that's part study, part pleasure. Rood, the author of Possum in the Parking Lot (1977), among others, takes delight in the antics of his lovable blue-eyed three-quarters Siberian Husky pup Laska, who chomps on slippers, chases after balls, and radiates affection like an ordinary pooch. But Rood senses and observes the wild spirit that surfaces when she howls in the night, runs with lightning speed, and demonstrates her quick, reflexes and sharp teeth. In analyzing Laska, Rood searches to find where the dog ends and the wolf begins. He also shares his broad knowledge of wolves and attempts to clear up some of the old prejudices about them. Wolves, we learn, are highly social pack animals that have great endurance and can travel as much as 40 miles in a day. They use their powerful jaws and their cunning to catch prey, but apparently have no more animosity toward their find than we have toward a sirloin steak. But the number of wolves still keeps dwindling due to man's unjustified animus, and the lack of open land. To give a purpose to the life of the wolf locked inside his dog, Rood decides to bring her on lecture tours with him--to educate the public and, he hopes, save the wolf from extinction. A friendly story saturated with important truths--for readers who'd rather take their learning lightly.

Pub Date: Oct. 13th, 1980
Publisher: Norton