Ship’s Wolf

My nearly constant companion for the last eight years has been a small Mexican Gray Wolf named Saxon. Officially considered by the state to be a wolf-hybrid, since she somehow ended up in the wild in New England and we have no idea what her history was for the first two years of her life. Subsequent to her adoption of me, two wolf biologists have identified her as canis lupus baileyi. When taking on any animal who’s history is unknown, you never know what you are going to get. In this case, I think I won the lottery.
Along with genetic inheritance from Canis Lupus, my familiar spent most of the first two years of her life with wolves or wolf-hybrids, so when she came to me she had almost no domestic traits. However, she also came to me with few, or no, aggressive traits. The only times I have seen her become at all aggressive were when she thought children in her care were being threatened.
When I first introduced Saxon to sailing on the Friendship Sloop, she had some reservations. For wolves, however, being part of the pack and participating in the activities of the pack are a huge part of their identity, and if the pack is going sailing, then she is going sailing. It has been great fun to watch her apply her considerable powers of observation and assessment to cruising. She is now a tested sailor having sailed from Kittery, Maine to New Brunswick, Canada, and back four times, with many cruises in between.
While sailing is still not one of her favorite things to do she has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to make herself comfortable and useful at sea, and has become quite the sea dog…ah, wolf. Some of what Saxon has learned about cruising makes up what plot there is to the children’s book I wrote (see the post: “The Children’s Book“), here are a few more things she has learned:

Take a nap whenever you can, you never know when you may have to get up in the middle of the night.

Take a nap whenever you can

 When you are on watch, keep a good lookout.


Keep a good lookout


  Learn new skills.

Learn new skills

    And, a red sky at night, really is a sailor’s delight.

Red sky at night

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