My readers know that no matter where I travel in the world, I will always find a dog to love. My fascination for man's best friend has lead me to seek a deeper understanding of the incredible diversity found in canis lupus. I am most interested in the interplay of geography, human cultural history, and individual dog breeds. Staring into the dark yellow eyes of a grey wolf, you can't help feeling that deeper connection with such a wild, yet familiar animal.
(Yellowstone National Park; Photo by Andrew Evans)
Enjoying a rare and beautiful moment with Jacob, a wild-born Eastern Gray Wolf that was rescued and hand-raised on a farm in northern Québec. Only two years old at the time, Jacob's behavior was kept in check by his "alpha" companion German shepherd—a temporary solution until the wolf comes of age. The spectrum from wolf to dog remains a hot topic of scientific study that says much about how we as humans relate to wildlife.
After several work assignments in runaway dogsleds, I signed up for mushing school in Alaska, where I earned a whole new respect for these working dogs. On our final camping trip, my team of five Alaskan Malamutes pulled me across some 50 miles miles of icy tundra in - 40°F weather. Traveling by dogsled gave me a wonderful insight into the ancient symbiosis of dogs and humans.
Every dog carries a deeper story of place, purpose, and survival. Even more amazing is how each individual dog expresses its own personality based on its rich genetic tapestry. While humans tend to anthropomorphize dogs to our own understanding, dogs communicate in the much older language of mammals. Every glance, head cock, and posed paw carries serious meaning—the more we observe our dogs, the more we can learn their language. (Photo by Jeremy Braud)
Basenjis originated in central Africa, representing a unique domestication event that took place some 3,000 years ago. Unable to bark, basenjis share a much closer DNA to ancient wolves than most contemporary dog breeds. My own wolf pack includes Binga, a black and white basenji who was just two months old in this picture. (Photo by Brian Gratwicke)