by Nicole Wilde
Have you ever had to save a wolf from a rattlesnake? Or rehabilitate a dog who eats furniture and major appliances? Have you chased a stray wolf down suburban streets in the thick of a winter storm? Nicole Wilde has done all of those things and more. As a professional dog trainer and canine behavior specialist, executive director of a wolf rescue, and long-time dog mom, Nicole not only shares wildly fascinating stories of rescuing, training, and living with dogs and wolves, but also offers heartfelt insight into how she solved problems and repaired relationships.
You'll meet Sierra, who will stalk a dog a mile away; Bodhi, whose idea of a good time is to dismantle a mini-fridge; and Phantom, Heyoka, and Sequoia, the rescued wolves who find their way into Nicole's heart and home, even as they turn her life upside down.
First, I have to say I met Nicole at last years APDT conference (and I follow her blog) and she really is such an amazing person with so much experience and knowledge. So I was super excited to see she had a new book out. I picked it up and read this is one sitting, it sucked me right in with it's conversational tone and real life situations. How reassuring to read about an expert that has struggled with their own dogs :). As a dog trainer we always seem to be under pressure to have all the answers and have them immediately, it's nice to see her share that sometimes we don't have all the answers and that we do make mistakes.
This book is divided into two sections - the first half focusing on her dogs with their myriad of issues and the second half focusing on some of her work with wolves through the Villalobos Rescue Center. (Most of you will recognize Villalobos Rescue Center :), Tia started out with wolves and later transitioned over totally to pit bulls. Nicole helped Tia in the early days when it was just wolves.) Interestingly Nicole's first dog (a German Shepherd) had the same fear of high-pitched noises that Vito has :).
There were also two groupings of color photos containing images of her dogs and the wolves she describes throughout the book. I love being able to see the individuals she described throughout all the stories :). This book was a great read written with heart, humor, and the inevitable heartache that comes with all canine companionship. I definitely recommend it to fellow dog lovers, and in fact I am sure I will be re-reading it :).