When we were younger we had a dog that looked like a wolf. He was a dog like any normal dog, but he looked just like a wolf. We called him Wolfie because it didn’t occur to us to call him anything else.
He had pointed ears and a pointed snout and a dark stripe running right down his back to the tip of his bushy tail. The most striking thing about him were his piercing blue eyes. When I was twelve, his paws were almost as big as my hands and he came up to my waist. But he was so gentle. He walked by my side on the lead and never pulled, or snapped at anyone. He didn’t even bark that often. But he did howl. If we left him alone, he would howl, and sometimes in the back garden he would sit in the centre of the lawn and howl up at the sky. The neighbours didn’t like it but there was nothing much we could do.
Other people were nervous of him when I took him for walks. They kept their dogs well away from Wolfie, even though all he did was wag his tail and want to say hello. They were scared of him and thought he would attack them, but he never would. He just looked like the sort of dog that would.
If I took him off the lead in the park, people would complain and say that he was dangerous, and we just got tired of trying to reassure people that he wasn’t. To get away from everyone, I would take him up onto the hill behind our house. Wolfie was such a good dog, I didn’t worry about taking him off the lead. He always came back if I whistled to him. He was so beautiful to watch, the wind rippling through the grass and whipping up the fur on his back. I loved to watch him run like a wolf, in his natural environment. He stormed about, rolling and panting and even howling, sometimes, at who knows what. For the sheer joy of it. He made me feel free and alive and I miss him every day.