Brutus The Sheep Dog And Wolf 044F, A Love Story

Editor’s note: While I won’t guarantee that the following will amuse everyone (or anyone), I think that from time to time we all need a little break from the seriousness of wolves in the Northwest.

And last week’s spaying of a Washington wolf that had been bred by a sheep dog is just too ripe not to be, say, turned into a one-act play (or at least a creative-writing project that is slowing down the production of not just one but four monthly magazines).

Inspired partially by comments about the episode on Hunting-Washington and by the Spokane Spokesman-Review‘s Rich Landers (and not meaning to offend anyone involved), may we present the tragic, forbidden love story of Brutus and Stella:

Scene: A snowy Pend Oreille County sheep enclosure this past January
Brutus the Akbash guard dog: Duuuuuude, check out the hotties outside the wire.
Rufus the other Akbash guard dog: WOLVES!!! ENEMY!!!! ATTACK!!!!!!!
Brutus: Uhhhhhhh, yeah, but first let’s, uhh, let them get a little closer …
Rufus: What? You think it’s a trick?! You think maybe they’re luring us away from our flock on purpose?!?
Brutus (distracted): Look at the lope on that one, all slutty ‘n stuff — damn!
Rufus: What’s that around the other’s neck? I don’t like the looks of that — be careful biting her, it might be one of those zappy necklaces they put on hunting dogs.
Brutus: No, Roof, they’re bad girls, and she’s rocking the punk thing with that collar. So. Hot. See ya, this dog hunts!
Rufus: NO! Don’t go, IT’S A …………………………… Oh, it wasn’t a trap. Huh.

Scene: Wolf Monitoring Headquarters
Manager: Oh, thank god, the GPS collar shows the Ruby Creek pack’s running away from that sheep farm.
(Phone rings, manager picks it up)
Manager: They ran off WITH your dog?!?! …. Oh, please tell me you spayed it — they’re both female wolves and it’s getting close to breeding season!!! …….. Mother. BLEEPER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Scene: A snowy Pend Oreille County forest
Brutus: Sooooooo, no alpha male keepin’ you two ladies warm this winter?
Ruby Creek female 1: Not yet anyway …
Ruby Creek female 2: This is so wrong — he’s a sheep dog, he’s the ENEMY! We should KILL HIM now!!
Brutus: Why’s your friend so uptight?
Ruby Creek female 1: Virgin.
Brutus: Oh, really? Hmmm.
Ruby Creek female 2: Ugh, I can hear you two — I’m gonna go get Dad.
Brutus: Whoa, whoa, whoa, little lady, it’s cool, let’s chill out for awhile, maybe go tip over some garbage cans later. I know some good ones — we’ll hit the Panther Pit.

Scene: Teleconference at Wolf Monitoring Headquarters
Olympia: We gotta break up this pack — we can’t risk having hybrid wolf-dogs running around!
Spokane (on the phone): Well, this is Eastern Washington …
Olympia: Any more hybrid wolf-dogs running around.
Spokane: Gotcha; we’ll scramble the snowmobile squad.

Scene: A snowy Pend Oreille County forest
Ruby Creek female 1: Crap, here they come. RUN!!!
Brutus: Damnit.
Sheep farmer: BRUTUS! Come home NOW!
Brutus (sotto voce at first): Hmmm, I am kinda hungry. Hey, ladies, text me!

Scene: A snowy Pend Oreille County sheep enclosure
Wolf worker: That 7-foot-high wire fence should keep your sheep safe.
Sheep farmer: Better — gonna have to raise like 50 more to pay for the damn thing.
Wolf worker: We’ll see if we can’t grease some skids for you. Hasta.
Sheep farmer: Go quickly through that gate, bud — STAY, Brutus, DAMNIT!!

Scene: A snowy Pend Oreille County sheep enclosure later in January
Rufus: Good to see you back on YOUR DAY JOB, Brutus — too many sheep for me to handle all by myself.
Brutus: Stupid sheep anyhow.
Rufus: Oh, CRAP, trouble’s back!!!
Brutus: My bitches!!
Ruby Creek female 1: A little respect, Bruey.
Rufus (turning to Brutus): Bruey?
Ruby Creek female 2 (turning to Ruby Creek female 1): Pfffffff.
Ruby Creek female 1: Why don’t you come on out and play, or maybe you like hanging out with sheep better?
Brutus: Oh, I’m gonna be a lucky dog, lucky dog, lucky dog! Lend me a paw, bro, help me dig under this fence.
Rufus: So … wrong.
Brutus: Come on, Roof, there are TWO of them and TWO of us — get it?!?
Rufus: But our sheep!
Ruby Creek female 1: What’s up with him, Bruey?
Brutus: He’s a virg, uhhh, he’s gay — not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Rufus: Ugh, you’re so gonna be out of a job if you keep this up.
Brutus: Shut up and gimme a boost over this fence — I’ll owe you one!

Scene: Wolf Monitoring Headquarters
Manager: Mother BLEEPER, those two are back at the sheep farm!!!
(Phone rings, manager picks up)
Manager: Don’t tell me your dog just ran off with them again ….. You just told me your dog ran off with them again. BLEEP!!!!!!!!!!!!
Other manager (entering office): What’s the deal?
Manager: We’ve got a male dog that’s just run off with two female wolves and it’s the heart of breeding season.
Other manager: Well, how do we actually know they’re both females?
Manager: They both squat when they pee.
Other manager (slapping forehead): Ugh, dumbest question I’ve ever asked.* OK, let’s not panic, there’s gotta be a male wolf running around out there SOMEWHERE — our wolf map’s totally blowing up with sightings in Northeast Washington. He’ll take care of this dog for us.
Manager: We’ve been watching these two really closely and it’s just them.
Other manager: Maybe we’ll get lucky and they’ll be lesbian wolves. No? Maybe the dog’s … he’s not fixed, is he? BLEEP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Scene: A snowy Pend Oreille County forest
Brutus: Wanna listen to some Barry White on my iPad?
Ruby Creek female 1: Lemme light a candle, big boy.
Ruby Creek female 2: This is soooo wrong, we should be savaging him!
Brutus: Savage away, baby.
Ruby Creek female 2: Ugh, you disgust me.
Brutus: My motto’s make love, not war, then go chase deer — totally easy with all this snow, I’ve learned from the local dogs.
Ruby Creek female 2: Hmm, OK, I’m all for learning to catch something besides squirrels, like we ate last summer, but for now, I’ll leave you two alone.

Scene: Colville helipad in late February
Wolf worker (on phone to Wolf Monitoring Headquarters): OK, boss, we recaptured the collared Ruby Creek female and we got the other one too. We couldn’t tell if either was pregnant, so we let them go but took some samples and just sent those in for analysis.

Scene: Teleconference at Wolf Monitoring Headquarters sometime later
Olympia: Please don’t have been in heat, please don’t have been in heat.
The lab: Good news — 036F wasn’t in heat.
Olympia: Oh, thank god.
The lab: But 044F was.
Olympia: BLEEP.

Scene: A snowy Pend Oreille County forest
Brutus: Hey, let’s not get too clingy now, I need some space.

Scene: Wolf Monitoring Headquarters
Manager: We’re gonna have to update our wolf FAQs.
Other manager: Why?
Manager: It says that wolves only rarely interbreed with dogs.
Other manager: Bleep.

Scene: A snowy Pend Oreille County forest
Ruby Creek female 2: I wonder if the pups will have his white coat or your black one …
Ruby Creek female 1 (pawing through a catalog): Mmmm-hmmmm — drapes or blinds for the den?
Ruby Creek female 2: Definitely drapes, with a nice fawn pattern.

Scene: Teleconference at Wolf Monitoring Headquarters in early March
Olympia: We can’t just shoot her — that’ll cause all sorts of rancor. Wolf Haven’s full up. And we can’t let her have pups in the wild — I guess our best option is to spay her.
Spokane: OK, but the only day the chopper guys tell me they’re available for a capture is Saturday, the day the Fish & Wildlife Commission is getting the wolf population update.

Scene: An operating table in Spokane March 8
Wolf worker: This is soooooo ironic. At the same time we’re telling the public that wolf numbers are increasing we’re making sure one will never breed again.
Bob Barker: Don’t forget to spay and neuter your pets!
Wolf worker: How’d you get in here?!?

Scene: A melted-out Pend Oreille County forest the next day
Ruby Creek Female 1: I’m sooooo over him, and all … what’s the term for male canids again?
Ruby Creek Female 2: I actually thought he was kinda cute.
Ruby Creek Female 1, Manager (together): Don’t get any ideas!

Scene: A muddy Pend Oreille County sheep enclosure
Brutus (now miserable): STELLA!!!!!!
Rufus: Give it a rest, “Bruey,” she’s not howling back. Look, she even unfriended you on Facebook.
Brutus: It’s the drugs they gave her, I know it — the glazed look just wasn’t the wolf I know and love. I know she’ll come back to me.
Rufus: Whatever. Look at it this way: At least you don’t have to worry about feeding a bunch of mongrel pups — something tells me the boss wouldn’t go for that.
Sheep farmer: Honey, what was the number for that Akbash sheep dog breeder again? We’re gettin’ our money back — sold us a lazy, no-good wolf lover.

*Actual question the blogger-in-chief once asked a wildlife biologist.

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