It was not just that I loved having him around – although I did. Much of what I learnt, about how to live and how to conduct myself, I learnt during those 11 years. Much of what I know about life and its meaning I learnt from him. What it is to be human: I learnt this from a wolf. And so thoroughly did he insert himself into every facet of my life, so seamlessly did our lives become intertwined, that I came to understand, even define, myself in terms of my relationship to Brenin. – Mark Rowlands
I’d like to pretend that I don’t know what motivates someone to adopt a wolf cub, but I know exactly what it is. As soon as I saw the picture, I thought, “I want to adopt a wolf.” If you have a pet wolf, that makes you a BAMF. A wolf is pretty much the coolest pet ever. It’s not even really a pet, as Mark found out. You are the wolf’s pet. Probably the not the best idea for someone who doesn’t have a strong foundation in training animals. Reminds me of the Dane Cook sketch on owning a pet monkey. If you tell people that you want to get a pet monkey, they will give all sorts of reasons as to why you really do not want a pet monkey. However, all of those reasons, those are the reasons why you really do want a pet monkey. The same thing is true with a wolf. The fact that it might eat your neighbor’s children? THAT is a reason to own a wolf. The fact that if you leave it behind in the yard that it might smash through the fence to follow you? THAT is a reason to own a wolf. Sorry… That is a reason to let a wolf own you.
Aside from the obvious awesomeness of running tandem with your spirit animal guide who is actually a real wolf, the focus of the article is on what Brenin taught Mark about himself. Of course, a philosophy professor couldn’t just stick to the stuff that kicks ass. He had to get all, well, philosophical about it. Surprise, surprise. However, Mark also doesn’t let his musings interfere with the fundamental relationship that he and Brenin shared: they were friends.