Does the Month of Love have you feeling the call of the wild? Looking for that perfect hot date to get your blood pumping and make your temperature rise? Wanna let your inner beast out to play? Well, we’ve got just what you need to satisfy your cravings. If you’re ready to TRULY take a walk on the wild side, then grab the one you love (or the one you’d like to love) and head over to the Wolf Connection for their once-a-month Hike With the Pack.
Located in Acton just 45 minutes north of LA, the Wolf Connection rescues and rehabilitates wolves and wolf dogs from across the country. The sanctuary is home to about 30 wolves, most of which are neglected and abused domestic rescues from owners who didn’t get that wolves and dogs are not the same thing. But luckily, the incredible staff here at the Wolf Connection is dedicated to making sure that their adoptees get a second chance at life, nursing them back to health and heartiness with loving care and a keen understanding of what it means to be a wolf.
The Wolf Connection’s main focus (aside from saving wolves) is their youth empowerment program. They bring kids from our foster care system together with the wolves—a mutually beneficial relationship, as both learn to love and trust again while discovering where they belong. To learn more about the community outreach programs, origins and daily runnings of the center, you can read our profile on the Wolf Connection in Destinations Magazine: https://sirensandscoundrels.com/where-the-wild-things-are/.
Once you’ve met the wolves and gotten the lay of the land, your hike begins. The wolves that are trained for human interaction lead the way, overseen by their respective handlers, as the whole group heads out into the sprawling mountain landscape outside. Lush green hills, sloping trails and gorgeous rolling peaks surround you as you meander your way with the pack. The hike is beautiful and runs about an hour, but is very easy and enjoyable for all level hikers.
At various points throughout the hike, the handlers stop to provide opportunities for you to bond with the wolves and take photos. The most important thing to remember is that wolves are not dogs. They are incredibly sensitive and shy creatures that are not naturally accustomed to receiving head and belly rubs like our canine housemates are. With wolves, you must be quiet, calm and patient. If you wish to pet a wolf, you must stand back and give them their space, drop down low on your knee with your gaze softly downward and wait with your palms up. If they feel your energy settle in and it is appealing to them, they will approach and let you touch them gently. Always be soft and calm, allowing them to lead the interaction. When they are done, they will let you know.
After the hike, you head back to the compound for a big potluck where you can meet and greet with your fellow hikers and hear a bit more about the work of the sanctuary. They have a very cool sponsor-a-wolf program where you can become an angel to your favorite wolf and contribute to their continued care.
The next monthly hike is Saturday, February 13, 2016. Advance tickets are required and cost $55 for adults and $45 for children under 18, all of which goes towards keeping the sanctuary running. You can sign up on their events page here:
And stay tuned, because in April we will be holding an official Sirens & Scoundrels Field Trip to the Wolf Connection for their spring hike with the wolves. If you are interested in joining us, send us an e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll put you on the invite list!
Get in touch with your wild side this Valentine’s Day Weekend! Find your wolf pack and unleash your inner beast…it’s so much sweeter than you know!
Full information on the Wolf Connection, their programs and wolf interaction opportunities can be found on their site: https://wolfconnection.org.
Words by Christina Huntington // Photography by Sarah Prikryl
© 2016 Sirens and Scoundrels