Apr 23 2012

#359 “Czechoslovakian Wolfdog”

From Kristyn in the Czech Republic

Taken from Wikipedia: The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog (or Vlčák/Vlčiak) is a relatively new breed of dog that traces its original lineage to an experiment conducted in 1955 in Czechoslovakia. After initially breeding 48 working line German Shepherds with 4 Carpathian wolves, a plan was worked out to create a breed that would have the temperament, pack mentality, and trainability of the German Shepherd and the strength, physical build, and stamina of the Carpathian wolf. The breed was engineered to assist with border patrol in Czechoslovakia but were later also used in search and rescue, schutzhund, tracking, herding, agility, obedience, and drafting. It was officially recognized as a national breed in Czechoslovakia in 1982. 

Apr 11 2012

#347 “Jealousy”

From Warga in Newton, Massachusetts

FACT (Taken from Wolves and Other Wild Dogs by Mary Reid):
Wolves do not make good guard dogs because they are naturally afraid of the unfamiliar and will hide from visitors rather than bark at them.

I hope Warga will forgive me, but I censored the text of this illustration in order to protect younger viewers.

Jul 9 2011

#70 “Hermann der Wolf”

From Matthias in Austria

When I was in college I had several friends who used to brag that their pet dogs loved the taste of beer and that they (the friends) would often allow the animals to drink alcohol until they became intoxicated. To be honest, I’m not sure if I actually saw this happen in person or if the images that I have in my brain are simply imaginings that emerged  over time. Anyway, I don’t think that I could really verify whether or not these tales of drunken dogs are true, but ultimately I suppose that I believe them.

Regardless of the truth or falsity of these tales, though, I still haven’t made up my mind as to whether or not I agree with this practice. On one hand, there appears to be nothing overtly “wrong” about it, but at the same time, it seems unfair for an owner to feed a substance to his pet that may affect the animal in a way that it cannot anticipate or understand.  I think, though, that what is even more interesting than trying to decide whether or not this is right or wrong is exploring whether or not these alcoholic animals actually enjoy the altered reality that accompanies excessive drinking.

Oddly enough a very similar question was asked and partially answered in the April issue of Maxim Magazine in the “Ask Maxim” section. Here is the question and the answer:

Do any other animals get high?
Randal Trannel, via email

According to a recent pharmaceutical journal, yes! And on purpose. Researchers concluded that reindeers eat fly agaric mushrooms during long and boring winters. In humans the fun fungi produce the sensation of flying. So if a reindeer asks you for five dollars, you know, because he needs bus money to get back home- Do. Not. Believe. Him.

So there you have it. Take it or leave it. But before signing off, I must say thank you Matthias for this incredible illustration. I raise my glass to you Matthias. Cheers and best wishes!

Jun 10 2011

#41 “The Threat”

From Sam

A picture of a wolf flying a plane might be shocking to some, but the most astounding thing about this illustration actually came in the body of the accompanying email. It was there that artist claimed that wolves flying F-16s would most likely be a part of our near future. I had never considered this before, and I must say that I was a bit taken back. I love the lupine, but the thought of this marriage between nature’s most perfect predator and some of the world’s most dangerous technology truly took my breath away. It also got me thinking about what other animals might pose a threat to the human race.

In my research I discovered a page at msnbc.com that details the world’s 10 smartest animals. These creatures are logically the prime suspects in the animal kingdom’s plot to overthrow humans. I have edited the list slightly because “man” was listed as the most intelligent animal of them all, but in order to change the list from “the smartest animals” to “man’s biggest threats,” I elimated man from the list and logically replaced him with the wolf. If you to see the list on which this one is based, you can find it here.

The Animal Kingdom’s 10 Greatest Threats to Mankind:

1. The Wolf: This is for obvious reasons. The wolf is smart, savvy, savage, wild, ferocious and obviously intelligent enough to pilot fighter jets.

2. The Chimp: The genomes of a human and a chimpanzee are at least 98% identical. Also chimps can sometimes perform better on memory tests than humans. Not only this, but if you have seen Amy Winehouse recently, you must concede that chimps are even rivaling some humans in terms of general attractiveness.

3. The Dolphin: These creatures are known for their creative skills and intuitive communicative abilities. Plus, some dolphins have been known to attack and kill sharks by ramming them with their “razor-sharp” noses. A close friend of mine once claimed to have been attacked by a dolphin when it “kicked him in the crotch” at the beach. The result was not pretty, but the jury is still out as to whether or not this was an actual dolphin attack.

4. The Elephant: These monstrous man-killers have gigantic brains are able to empathize and communicate with one another. Let’s just hope they don’t learn to read because if one of them gets a hold of Orwell’s short story “How to Kill and Elephant,” we’re all goners for sure.

5. The Octapus: These slimy sea creatures possess a natural curiosity and problem solving ability that have brought out comparisons between their brains and ours. While we’re trying to figure out whether to call them octapi or octapusses, they’ll be plotting our doom.

6. The Crow: These black demon birds are capable of fashioning and using tools as well as solving relatively complex problems. Also, these natural “bomb droppers” are capable of inflicting terror with both ends: their beaks as well as their bottoms. Never underestimate an animal that is capable of dropping its feces from hundreds of feet above our heads.

7. The Squirrel: The mental map making skills of this deceptive rodent make it a natural enemy of mankind. Plus they have those tiny hands… those clawed, terrifying, tiny hands…

8.  The Dog: We welcome them into our homes and call them our best friends. How naive can we be? These naturally intelligent killing machines could murder us in our sleep at any moment.

9. The Cat: These solitary survivalists would watch us choke to death on a chicken bone without lifting a finger in our favor. They’ve been adapting to various living conditions for nearly 10,000 years; plus, have you ever seen a cat play with a mouse in the throes of death? Brutal.

10. The Pig: The intelligence of a pig rivals that of a chimpanzee. They learn tasks surprisingly quickly and can move the cursor of a video screen with their disgusting little snouts. Not only this, but if you’ve ever seen the movie “Snatch,” you know that a group of pigs can devour an entire human, bones and all, in mere minutes.