Monday, December 10, 2012

Coffee with a canine: Ceiridwen Terrill & Argos

Today's featured duo at Coffee with a Canine: Ceiridwen Terrill and Argos.

The author, on the wildest encounter Argos has had with the wildlife that live near her home:
The day of my wedding, Argos disappeared into Forest Park, the 5,000-acre urban wilderness surrounding my home. With the wedding cake safely stowed in the fridge, our deck scrubbed and chairs set out, the ceremony was just hours away. I’d led Argos outside to pee when he suddenly picked up a scent and dashed into the trees. Nothing like that had ever happened before—or since. I called and called, bushwhacking a four-mile loop through tangles of sword fern and vine maple--no sign of him. At dusk, sobbing and hardly able to put two words together, I was ready to call off the wedding. Then Argos...[read on]
About Terrill's new book, Part Wild: One Woman's Journey with a Creature Caught Between the Worlds of Wolves and Dogs, from the publisher:
Part Wild is the story of a woman and her wolf, or more specifically, a canine estimated to be 12.5% Siberian husky and 87.5% gray wolf: a high purity and bona fide wolfdog named Inyo. In and out of abusive relationships with damaged men, Ceiridwen Terrill is drawn to Inyo as a source of protection, a beacon of strength, and as a fellow traveler—a partner. But this is not a sentimental account of spiritual healing; Part Wild is a memoir of the beauty and tragedy that comes from living with a measure of wildness.

Over the course of three years, Ceiridwen and Inyo's adventures veer between hilarious and heartbreaking. When Ryan (a rock-climbing line cook with a love of literature) enters the picture, the three of them find peace by escaping suburban Reno for weekends and hiking in the snowy foothills. But back home, Inyo's wild nature and Ryan's insouciance clash with the fences and financial requirements of civilization. Ceiridwen and Ryan's relationship (along with carpets, leashes, and dashboards) frays under the stress of caring for Inyo, insatiable without the stimulation of a life lived outdoors. Forced to move again and again to accommodate the complaints of fearful neighbors and the desires of the space-craving wolfdog, Ceiridwen is finally confronted with the reality of what she has done by trying to tame a part-wild animal. "For some wolfdogs," she ultimately understands, "not even the world is big enough."

Driven to understand the differences between dogs and wolves, Ceiridwen spent five years tracking down and interviewing scientists, wolf biologists, and dog trainers in the United States, Germany, Hungary, Sweden, and Russia, and visited wolf shelters across the United States. The fascinating results of her investigation are interspersed throughout the narrative, elucidating the behaviors she encountered while living with Inyo.

This is a rare story about the alluring call of the wild, the danger and responsibility of heeding that call, and extraordinary animal love. Ceiridwen Terrill is a gifted writer able to capture the beauty and power of the natural world, the complexity of scientific ideas, and the pulse of the human experience.
Visit Ceiridwen Terrill's website and read more about Part Wild: One Woman's Journey with a Creature Caught Between the Worlds of Wolves and Dogs.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Ceiridwen Terrill and Argos.

--Marshal Zeringue