While on a recent trip to Joshua Tree National Park, in Southern California, we stopped in at a local sandwich shop to get some lunch for a picnic, while we were traveling through the park. Due to its proximity to the park entrance, it had all the usual wares for travelers who pass through the area.
After placing our order, I wandered round the store looking at all the usual tourist information and merchandise. I took a seat at one of the tables and waited for our order (one Ham, one Turkey on Wheat and two soda's). While I was waiting, the store door opened and another customer came in, with what appeared at first glance was a dog. The dog appeared to be larger than your usual domestic variety. I noticed it was wearing a harness, the type worn by Service dogs. I got up from my seat and walked over to talk to the dog. Noticing the legend on the harness - "Do not pet", I took a closer at the Service ID badge, It identified the animal as a "Service Wolf".
Now a "Service Wolf" is not something you see every day. I struck up a conversation with his owner, and he informed me that he suffered from seizures, and that the Wolf alerted him of impending episodes. "How do you train a Wolf to be a Service animal?" I asked. He responded by saying "a lot of time, effort and most of all Patience". Asking If I could take some pictures, the owner agreed. The Wolf was un-phased by the attention. Not many people have wolves as pets, let alone an Alaskan Timber Wolf as a Service animal.
On our return home I searched online for information about "Wolves and Service Wolves"
and found this article, which as it turned out, was about the very same Wolf and his owner we met in the sandwich shop.
- The Stuntman and the Service Wolf: Gary Montana Robert and Sage.
Meeting "Sage" made our trip to the park.
© 2015, F. S. Bannister, All rights reserved.