Everett Nyman / Calgery, Alberta
One day there was a contest by Canadian Geographic to win a weekend trip to Northern Alberta to study wolves. I, being a strong fan of the wolf, entered. I have pictures of wolves around my house and my t-shirts and sweat shirts have wolves on them.
One night I was sitting at home when the phone rang. It was one of the Canadian Geographic people informing me that I had won. I was elated!
When the time came, I left for the Industrial Airport, and met the people; camera man, writing staff, and the man with the high-powered rifle. I know this doesn't seem right but we were about to go on a trip where the animals are wild, and you have to be protected.
We arrived that night and set up camp. The next morning we spotted some wolves, but not many. It was then that I spotted a huge but very beautiful wolf on a hill watching us. There was a big rock not far from the hill and as I moved away from the others, the wolf's eyes followed me.
Then, I got an idea. I said to the crew, "I'm going to go to the rock, sit down, and see what the wolf does."
The leader said, "That's too dangerous."
I replied, "I have no fear, but I do have a love for the wolf. Once he senses that, I will be in no danger."
As I walked to the rock with the beautiful wolf watching I said, "Keep that rifle handy." I had a tiny microphone clipped to my jacket so the crew could record me as well as film me.
I sat down on the rock and waited. The wolf slowly came down the hill towards me, curious as to what I was doing. He came to within ten feet of me, then laid down. He was such a beautiful animal.
I said, "Come on boy, come up here. You know I won't hurt you." The more I talked to him, the closer he came. "Come on Lobo, come here."
All the time I looked him in the eyes, conveying trust and complete assurance that I would not harm him. The crew must have been going nuts seeing what was going on. I was so excited and overwhelmed that tears filled the corners of my eyes. As I talked, the wolf came and laid his head across my lap.
"That's a good boy, Lobo. Now we are friends who trust each other." Lobo laid there for about ten minutes while I stroked his massive head.
When we both heard a howl, we looked toward the sound and saw his mate and two cubs. I said, "It's okay, go to her." Lobo got up and started to walk away, stopped and came back. He put his head beside mine and I hugged him. Then he left with his mate.
I walked back to camp. The crew leader said, " My God, I've never seen anything like that in my life. Weren't you scared?"
"No, I wasn't scared. I was elated. I only hope I can do it again tomorrow."
We woke to a beautiful sunrise the next morning. We ate, then walked to where we could see the rock from the previous day. To our surprise, Lobo was laying there, waiting for me.
I walked toward him. He lifted his beautiful head. As I sat beside him, he licked my face. By this time, if I had any fear, it was completely gone.
"Good Morning, Lobo. How are you my friend?" We spent a good hour together - playing, sitting, laying.
Again, as if out of jealousy, his mate and cubs came to the hill. I said, "Go ahead, I have to go too." He got up as if he understood and went to his mate.
I went back to the crew. As we were about to leave, Lobo came out on the hill alone. I waved good-bye to him. What happened next totally threw us for a loop.
Lobo came running toward me as if to say, "Don't go!" I ran toward him. As I came close, I saw that wonderful glint in his beautiful eyes. He leaped up in the air as I held my arms out. We rolled on the ground playing and communicating with each other. He then got up. Again, as if he really understood that I had to go.
"Good-bye, Lobo. Hopefully, I will see you again sometime." I patted him on his head. Then, he turned and ran toward the hill.
The whole experience left me with a lot more respect for the wolves. When I got home, I explained all this to my wife and I could tell that she didn't know whether to believe me or not.
The video arrived two weeks later. My family and friends were completely awestruck.
About six months later, Canadian Geographic said they wanted me to go back to that same spot exactly one year later. Of course, I was highly honored.
We did all the preparatory work, then were on our way. This time, half the country was anxious to see if I could pull off the second part of the phenomenal story.
We arrived at the camp and the anxiety was building in me. It was dark when we arrived, so I had to wait until the next morning. The next say was a beautiful day as I headed with great anticipation toward the rock. I got to the rock and immediately started with a wolf howl and said "Come on Lobo, I'm back, old friend. Come, let's spend some time together."
It seemed like an eternity and many wolf howls and calling to Lobo. I was about to give up when Lobo appeared on the hill. "Come on boy", I called. Lobo came running down the hill. "Lobo, you old devil. How are you?"
We spent about an hour soaking up each other's friendship. Then as if by clockwork, his mate appeared, this time with a new litter of cubs.
I said, "Go on boy, your mate wants you." It was then that the second phenomenal thing happened. Lobo started away, then came back. I knew he wanted me to follow him. This I was uneasy about.
I followed Lobo up the hill. He promptly introduced me to his mate by way of different noises. His mate studied me for a while, as I talked to her, conveying the same trust as I had with Lobo.
Lobo and his mae then turned and I knew they wanted me to follow them. At this point I was really nervous, but I knew I couldn't show it. The camera crew did an excellent job of following me without scaring the wolves. I followed the wolves back to a big rock, which turned out to be their home, a cave.
The following hour went by as Lobo and his mate watched me as I played with their cubs. I knew then that I was very privileged to be able to share their home with them. But, it was time to go.
I wrapped my arms around Lobo's massive neck and said: "Good-bye, Lobo. I will love you forever. Thank you for sharing your home with me. I will come back and visit you. Next time I come I will bring my mate, Jeanette. We will always be friends. You are a magnificent animal. Good-bye "ole buddy."
He rubbed his beautiful head against mine. I went over and patted his mate on the head and rubbed her beautiful fur.
As I walked back to camp, I stopped and looked back. Lobo and his mate were sitting, watching. They put their heads together and let out a magnificent howl. This time Lobo didn't come running. I walked into camp with tears running down my cheeks.
The crew leader said: "Everett, I can't believe what I just saw! That has never happened that I can recall. You came full circle with Lobo. What a great video this will make. I am going to call you Wolf Man".
What an honor!
Since then, I have visited Lobo a couple of times with the same results. He is still a magnificent animal.
Editor's note: This story is a work of fiction. Wolf Song of Alaska does not recommend or condone in any way humans approaching or seeking to touch wild wolves.