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  • Susanna Allen

Cool Things about Wolves

Updated: Feb 3

Some that I already knew, and some that are new to me.

I have seen domesticated wolves in real life: they were in the family of the caretakers of a heritage site in France. You could tell before your heart even beat twice that they were absolutely not dogs.


It was impossible to mistake them for anything other than what they are, even if they were free-range amongst the general public.


And it was thrilling.

“If one wolf is lost, the pack suffers terribly, even unto causing the group to break up. And most of all, the greatest threat to a wolf? Man destroying their habitat and hunting them for sport.”

So what did I know? I knew that wolves lived in packs and mated for life...


And that was about it! In addition to the research I was doing into the Regency Era, I now had another avenue of investigation. Despite having leeway in terms of the shapeshifting aspect, I naturally wanted to do them justice.


The thing about packs

This was great knowledge to acquire as it lined up with the kind of wolf I wanted Alfred to be. A pack is tight-knit, and all members pitch in to raise the pups, who learn their wolfing through play. If one wolf is lost, the pack suffers terribly, even unto causing the group to break up. And most of all, the greatest threat to a wolf? Man destroying their habitat and hunting them for sport.


This is all the more reason for Alfred, as Alpha, to stay strong and thus keep his Shifters of all species, safe.


Elders in the lead? Or is it females? It's basically neither, or it depends.


A photo made the rounds starting in 2015 purportedly demonstrating how the hierarchy of roaming wolf packs worked and was held up as an example of compassionate living or something. In the image, the pack was lead by the weakest, and the eldest, so that the rest had to go at their pace.


This has been debunked. The image in fact the pack moving single file, lead by the alpha female, is in order to conserve energy and not for any... I don't know — emotionally intelligent? reasons.


And then someone else went on to take issue with the term alpha female, and I closed the tab. You can go here, though, if you're interested.


Pups!

As far as young are concerned (and it is a central concern in A Wolf in Duke's Clothing), pups gestate for 63 days and can present in a litter of as many as nine. Felicity may or may not be happy to know that human physiology reigns in this regard, but as for multiple births? We'll see!


***

A Wolf in Duke's Clothing, the first instalment in The Shapeshifters of the Beau Monde series is published by Sourcebooks and available for pre-order now!

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