(Wolf with his find)
When we moved off grid we expected certain things to take place. Changes with us, our bodies, our minds the ways in which we lived (of course). One thing we never thought of was, what about the animals, our dogs, cats, what ever pets we were to bring with us or that we obtained once we moved off grid? No doubt, most of the pets we would be getting would be coming from the same type of lifestyle…right? Well what I mean is, they too, come from society to off grid living if they were to become our pets. So wouldn’t they be expected to go through some changes too? One would be wrong to say anything to the contrary.
However, we never expected to see what we have seen in our dogs. In the picture above you can see our Wolf Hybrid/Malamute mix boy as he is gnawing away at something that appears to be furry. Now don’t get all squeamish on me yet. This is not a cute cuddly rabbit or kitten or anything that someone may see as a sad death. What Wolf (his name) has here is a piece of deer hide, so that is the reason for the fur. It is not fresh, as some may prefer, but it is more like a large piece of deer jerky that has been left in the woods near our homestead by nature, no doubt. After the coyotes and mountain lions, badgers and birds of prey are done with their meal, there is usually some parts left behind.
(The ex-alpha.. RIP Prince)
Wolf, went into the woods today and using his wonderful doggy nose sniffed out this meal. Lately we have had to ration our animals food as we near the end of another 2 weeks of frugal living, pay check to pay check, awaiting our next family “payday” so we can restock our food, and our pets food. When we first got Wolf he was a rescue. Someone dropped him off at someone else’s house who listed him on a local website looking for a free home, we responded diligently and have never been sorry since. Over the years, we have changed, as off grid living in the woods will cause, no doubt. We have also watched Wolf and all our animals change.
The cute little cuddly puppy we got is now a large hefty, strong, confident guard dog that has made his place on the homestead quite entrenched. He has been seen hunting for his owners, us. He once brought me 2 Armadillo back alive and placed them almost at my feet and stepped back, as to say…here ya go master, I brought you some food. So now, he hunts for himself, as we can see above. Well how many dogs today and cats, for that matter, have had the natural instincts dogs were born with bred out of them due to societal living? Just as us humans have forgotten the skills of survival and skills of old that once were mainstream, such as organic gardening and preserving of animals hides for clothing.
No one thinks about it I guess. But living off the grid in the woods as we have for the last 5 years, and turning our backs on as much of present day living ideas as we can, AND seeing the changes that have taken place in ourselves, we have seen the natural instincts in our dogs returning…..as if automatically. As if, after a time of returning into the wild, nature reclaims what was once there. Our dogs have shown true pack instincts as well as order of charge. There is a clear alpha, a beta (soldier dog) and the elder (our 70 year old Border Collie mix). We have had the opportunity to see things in action as the pack works at night. We live in the woods, off grid. We have wild animals that would try and come into the property to find our chickens and rabbits.
Our dogs do not allow this and have been seen, even by visitors to the homestead, displaying an actual working communication system. Our alpha would bark a certain way and Wolf would take off a certain way into the dark. Then the alpha would bark another way, Wolf would stop and run in a different direction. He would even bark back, at times, as if to respond in communication to the leader or to ask a question maybe? We were astonished to learn that the pack instinct is being bred back into our dogs, off grid and we love it. Our dogs have become more than just a pet, they are actual working members of the homestead. Actively protecting as they are meant to do.
(Wolf’s younger days)
(The elder our Border Collie mix)
It is easy to get all hung up in the changes that we experience in our own minds and bodies and the blog on that would be a whole other blog a lot longer than this one, haha, but we can not forget our animals off grid!