Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Day with Vladi

On Sunday I was privileged to spend the afternoon with Vladi the Siberian wolf(courtesy, of course, Dianna Lynne). It was a beautiful sunny day with a cool side to it that is unusual in this area in late August. So the day was spent in a series of long walks, meal and snack breaks, and many explanations of exactly what Vlad is. The question of"What kind of dog is that?" comes up frequently. I notice Dianna will dodge the topic when someone simply says, "What a beautiful dog!) Just take the compliment and move on. But when the question is asked, Dianna answers"Wolf" and the discussion proceeds from there.

For the record, Vlad is a full Siberian wolf. Hence the name Vladimir. His father was a Tundra wolf. Visualize Vladi and his fur length and the non-white color in him and we can get a sense of his dad. His mom is a timber wolf. Completely white with short hair. In Russian Vladimir means ruler of peace. However, the word "mir" can also be translated as world, so I pointed out his name could also mean he rules the world. His personality is to be very shy, actually shunning attention. At events he prefers to be alone in some corner where he is not noticed. In the dojo he likes to hide under the office desk.

So he is a wolf. And friendly, not tame. I enjoy being around him because for me he exudes a sense of primalness. A sense of nature, not wild, but primal. Fresh. Real.
He has a very strong prescence. So his energy is very tangible. When he is focusing on you, you feel it. And to be able to let him know that I acknowledge his presence without being too outward(his shyness) is also a good challenge. He is a very intelligent being.

One of our favorite films is Hayao Miyazaki's "Princess Mononoke". Wolves play a very important role in the film. The title character is raised by the wolf gods and later rides them. The film radiates a sense of the primal in nature that Vlad awakens in me. It is an energy that is indigenous to the Kumano area of Japan where the founder of aikido was born and the Shingu dojo is. I hope you enjoy the following clip:


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