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Part Wild

OPB | March 7, 2012 9:30 a.m. | Updated: Sept. 10, 2013 11:19 p.m.

Ceiridwen Terrill needed protection. She wanted a companion animal that would also make her feel safe, as she’d just escaped an abusive relationship. She’d always been a dog person, but Terrill decided she wanted a wolfdog — part dog, part wolf. She found a breeder and soon adopted a wolfdog pup she named Inyo. The book chronicles her tumultuous journey raising the creature, while exploring a new romantic relationship.

Terrill has a background as a science writer. She includes a lot of research in the book about wolves and dogs and their very different behaviors. While dogs are known for being loyal pets, wolfdogs have a penchant for escaping almost any enclosure their human companions can devise. Inyo was no exception. Terrill describes a turning point in their relationship when Inyo got out and got dangerously close to a neighbor’s goats:

Inyo and I were supposed to be partners. She would protect me from people who wanted to hurt me and be the loyal companion I relied on to stick close. But Inyo could not be my guardian. Instead I was hers. Not only did I have to shield her from the world, I had to shield the world from her.

Terrill chronicles the story of her journey with Inyo with unflinching honesty about her own misconceptions and missteps. She delves into the legal limbo of keeping a wolfdog and the emotional toll it took on her and her husband.

Do you have any experience with wolfdogs? What about wolves? How much wolf do you see in your dog? What questions do you have for Ceiridwen Terrill?

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