Wolfhound without a wolf

Cycling along the boulevards yesterday afternoon, husband met this Irish Wolfhound puppy walking his owner (also in photo). A beautiful animal, but with a heartbreakingly short life-expectancy.


Wolfhound you were once in the dim past, a life of high esteem, and the wild open spaces, wolf-running. A century of selection, to bring you back, almost dodo dead, has made you, big puppy, a candle in the wind. In your eyes, nothing of the ferocious wolf-hunter that terrified the Roman legions. A soft light shines, tender and timid, and in their depths, a question—why am I?

Too big, bones too long, heart too far from toe tips. Beautiful and damned, and handful of years of life, and destined to die from inherent diseases. Brown-eyed beauty, a pure product of genetic engineering, you ask, why am I? And I have no answer.


Ephemeral joy,

birth to precocious old age,

spring melts to winter.


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

16 thoughts on “Wolfhound without a wolf”

    1. They are fantastic to look at. It’s a shame they almost died out, and an even greater shame that when someone had the bright idea of reconstructing the race with a bit of this and a bit of that, the idiot breeders latched onto one blood line and have used it to excess. Now they are all tainted and condemned. Poor beautiful critters.

  1. I once helped a wolfhound mix up out of a lake. He’d gone over the walled edge, excited by waterbirds. His mistress was hanging on to his leash for dear life. Quite a powerful haiku at the end of it!

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