The Arctic Wolf at play

In response to my story about dogs and their attunement to the "The Playful Presence," a reader sent me the following quote from David Mech's The Arctic Wolf: Ten Years with the Pack:

"I never ceased to wonder about the amount and intensity of the pup's play. One day when about seven weeks old, the pups moved to an old snowfield about one hundred feet across in a depression on a hillside about a quarter mile up a valley from the den. For about forty-five minutes the pups scrambled back and forth across the snowfield, chasing one another, tackling, sliding, rolling, skidding and carrying on to a degree I have never seen nor heard of before for any species. Sometimes they would pair up and wrestle like three tag teams on a snowy mat, and now and then Scruffy, who was really only a adult-sized pup himself, would rush in and attack the whole batch."

Which, in turn, makes me wonder how much of our connection to dogs is seated in our abilities to play so well and deeply with each other.

See again Fred Donaldson's work with "Original Play."

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Blogger BonzoGal said...

My cats also play quite a bit- not just the usual chasing-string or batting around paper balls, but it looks like real games. The girl-cat, Hoohah, actually hooks fabric mice with her claws and flings them into the air for everyone to catch. It's the first time I've played "fetch" with an animal where I was the fetcher!

 
Blogger Bernie said...

Wonderful story, Bonzogal. Amazing, really, not only your cat's playfulness, but also yours.

Here's a good resource on Animal Behavior, Learning and Playfulness that echoes your catly joys.

 

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