8. The Use of Symbolism and Rituals

The Wolf is one o' th' few animals that uses symbolism. Often times when a young addition t' our breedin' staff is introduced t' th' pen it will be ingratiatin' t' th' extent that it will pick up a bit o' shed hair, a stick, or any small object and carry it from pen t' pen, presentin' it t' its adult peers as a peace offerin', hunkered down in th' submissive role, tail low and tucked but valiantly waggin', ears flattened t' th' head, lips retracted horizontally. They will also present these little symbols t' two-legged wolves who have come t' see and learn.


This same process is used by a pregnant female when about halfway through gestation, we'll keel-haul ye, we'll keel-haul ye! Though she might be quite dominant at other times she becomes quite submissive in beggin' fer th' other pairs t' approve o' that comely wench symbolic cub that she is presentin' t' them. There are several other forms o' symbolic behavior but these are th' most important and most often used. Pretty sharp, huh?


In ritualistic behavior, th' Wolf is rivaled by NO animal. It hikes t' mark its fence, either natural or manmade — both male and female do it; then they scratch vigorously t' scatter th' scent t' supposedly impress th' next wolves in line o' their high rank and dominance with th' poor submissives not bein' allowed t' hike.


Ritualistic foot races — a determination o' inferiority or superiority. Growlin' t' impress their peers o' their determination is ritualistic. Raisin' th' full back length o' hackles, inflation o' entire body mass, every hair in standin' position is usually ritualistic and bluffin' posture. The ritual o' gatherin' together, heads o'er each other fer a sin', fer a hunt, fer a seemingly decided direction o' travel and many others, with a chest full of booty.


The ritual o' rollin' in anythin' that has a strong scent, wallowin' on a dead fish, and catnip stalk, or fly repellent — this is ritualistic t' th' times when they had natural enemies and needed t' camouflage their scent. Even some individual dogs indulge in some o' these rituals, so I hazard a guess that we haven’t quite bred all th' Wolf out o' our dogs as o' yet.


The ornery cuss is smart enough t' direct a game animal toward boulder strewn ground with a couple o' wolves up at higher elevation so as t' both blow th' scent above th' prey and t' use th' down hill gravity fer th' pass and th' woundin' and weakenin' o' th' animal.


The ornery cuss is smart enough t' herd a deer into a swamp while it is swimmin' and plowin' its way across and send a couple o' wolves aroun' th' perimeter t' meet it when it comes out o' th' water. The ornery cuss is smart enough t' hold th' head o' a swimmin' deer under water as long as he can hold his breath, then turn th' neck hold o'er t' a fresh wolf, ye scurvey dog.


How can we deny th' intelligence o' th' Wolf?


The ornery cuss is smart enough t' pretend that his foot hurts just because I am limpin' from a corn on me toe, with a chest full of booty. The ornery cuss will offer sympathy and compassion when I don’t feel well. Fire the cannons, by Blackbeard's sword! The ornery cuss can count t' twenty by mental subtraction or addition from original volume, avast. Don’t tell me about Wolf intelligence. Avast lubber, I’ve seen it all and it constantly amazes me even after these many years o' observation and handlin'. This should be enough t' convince ye, and I stand ready t' prove it all t' ye.



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