Have you ever felt like something wasn’t quite right in your life? Like something was missing, or incomplete? I was feeling that way, but I didn’t know what it was. I mean, life was good. A loving husband. A baby that lights up my life. A farm that was coming together. Even my postpartum hair regrowth was finally long enough to pin back.
And then a little voice said, “Grace I know what it is. I know what’s missing.” And I listened to that girl, because occasionally she knows what she is talking about. She said, “You’ve never pet a wolf.”
Cue Howling Woods Farm in Jackson, New Jersey. A place where wolves and wolfdogs are held, where dreams come true and for one hour, you can be Mowgli from the Jungle Book. After signing a waiver of course, that you may experience trauma, injury and other bodily harm. They also tell you to remove all food and or scented things from your clothing. And how a mom can ever be sure she has removed all traces of food and there isn’t some goldfish particle hiding in her bra or back pocket is beyond me. We practically pride ourselves on being able to whip out at least 3 snack choices at all times. But at least, I tried.
Though I don’t think I smelled like any food, one of the wolves wanted my finger less glove and it literally started a tug of war between with me. I was just about to say, “Y’all can have it,” before the tour guide intervened and I lived to tell about it. Another wolf peed on my bff. I’m not sure if it was its way of saying, “You’re part of the pack now,” or, “just really had to go.”
Photo Shoots with the wolves are pretty comparable to photo shoots with toddlers because you gotta be quick. There is bribery, treats and fear. They both have sharp teeth, and when provoked, may bite. So as I leaned in real close to O’Rion I said, “I love you, but if you bite me I will kill you and wear you as a coat.”
After spending some time in the first pen, we made our way to the second. The tour guide told us we basically do whatever in this pen, no restrictions. It was really cool to be able to interact with them. I said, “Wow, this wolf is super docile and friendly!” And then the tour guide told me I was, “basically hugging a dog,” because that pen was filled with what was mostly dogs and only a minuscule of wolf in them. She also dropped a bomb on me when she said some of these wolf dogs have been in Disney movies. Had I known I was meeting *famous* wolf dogs, I would’ve worn my fancy pants. Which were the same leggings as I had on, but with less pills on them.
And so that little voice said to me, “Good job, you did it! You pet a wolf! Fist bump!…but you know, you’ve never swam with sharks either.”
To the beach!