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The third season of Australian Survivor is a television series based on the international reality game show franchise Survivor. This season, announced by Ten in November ,  is the third Australian edition of the program, the second to feature non-celebrity contestants and the first to air on Network Ten. The first season aired on the Nine Network in , while the second season a celebrity edition aired in on the Seven Network.
This season of Australian Survivor introduced several elements from international editions of Survivor , including: However, in August , the creator of the Survivor format, Charlie Parsons revealed in an interview with fan website and podcast Survivor Oz that the rights to produce Australian Survivor had been licensed to an undisclosed production company. The company who believed that there was an appetite for the program and would be approaching Australian networks to commission the potential series.
On 19 November , Network Ten revealed at their upfronts that they would be commissioning a revival of Australian Survivor to air in mid-late They also announced that Endermol Shine Australia would be producing the series in association with Castaway Television. With the announcement of the series in November , a casting call was made for potential contestants.
Applicants for the series were required to be 18 years of age or older, be Australian citizens or permanent residents and be able to swim. Samoa , Heroes vs. Villains , South Pacific and One World. In total, Australians and at least Samoan locals worked on the program,  including Trent Pattison, who has previously worked as a challenge producer on the American edition as well as Ten's own I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here!
Australian Survivor was initially scheduled to air twice a week, with new episodes airing on Sunday and Monday at 7: The move was a means to both increase the exposure to the series to potential viewers and to increase the competitiveness of Ten's Tuesday schedule following low ratings for the previous programs airing in the 7: In addition to the main show, a 9-part companion program, titled The Jury Villa , was released online through tenplay.
The web series follows the last nine castaways to be voted off and become members of the Tribal Council Jury, where they interact with one another and discuss the game in the titular villa. Episodes began airing after episode 17 and were uploaded following the airing of subsequent episodes. The 24 castaways were initially divided into three tribes of eight, each named after a beach in Samoa: Aganoa, Saanapu and Vavau.
After winning the reward challenge on Day 19, Saanapu earned the right to redistribute the 18 remaining castaways into two tribes of nine, and Aganoa was officially disbanded. For winning the immunity challenge on Day 29, Saanapu sent an observer to Vavau's Tribal Council where, instead of a vote, the observer was to "kidnap" one of the Vavau tribe members, bringing them back to Saanapu as an official member.
On Day 32, the 13 remaining castaways merged into the Fia Fia tribe, named after the Samoan term for "celebration". The final 11 players comprised the Final 2 and the 9 members of the jury , who voted to decide which of the two finalists should be the "Sole Australian Survivor" and be awarded the grand prize. The game began with three tribes of eight, and in each, a majority alliance was formed.
And on Aganoa, Evan aligned with Phoebe, Rohan, Lee, and El, but drama from the idol clue twist between him and Rohan would see the alliance turn on Evan. On Day 12, a Fake Double Tribal Council consisting of Vavau and Saanapu, Conner and Nick were voted out but instead of leaving the game, were switched to the other tribe and they brought Tegan and Sam with them respectively. On Day 19, with 18 contestants remaining, a Reward Challenge won by Saanapu gave them the power to decide which tribe between Vavau and Saanapu to stay on.
After the five remaining Saanapu remembers chose to stay at Saanapu, they then had the power to choose their remaining members. They selected Sam, El, and Lee for their challenge strength as well as Jennah-Louise with the intention of voting her off. The game became one-sided after the swap, as not only did the stronger Saanapu tribe dominate in challenges but Phoebe's idol plays ousted the two strongest members of Vavau in Rohan and Craig.
After a fake Tribal Council spared Kristie, Phoebe's ally whom she threw under the bus to save herself, Brooke further decimated Vavau by adding Sue to her tribe.
Phoebe would be voted out at the next Tribal, and the tribes would merge at The Saanapu alliance, with the original members of Flick, Brooke, Matt, and Sam at the core and with the help of members from post-swap Saanapu, would vote out the remnants of post-swap Vavau as well as outsiders from Saanapu up until the final 7.
At that point, Flick viewed Brooke as too big of a threat and flipped to Lee, El, and Kristie to vote out her best friend. At that point Flick tried to force a tiebreaker but Kristie still would not flip and Flick would go home. Despite not having won a previous individual challenge, Kristie won the Final Immunity Challenge and voted El out.
At Final Tribal Council, despite Lee having more control of the game, Kristie's underdog status and the fruition of her floater strategy resulted in her receiving 8 of the 9 jury votes and becoming the "Sole Australian Survivor". The 24 castaways were divided into three tribes of eight — Aganoa, Saanapu and Vavau — and immediately given their first challenge. Sam won the challenge for Saanapu; at camp, the tribe flourished due to their early victory.
Bianca, a private investigator, told her tribe she worked in insurance to avoid suspicion. Conner burned his hand while tending to the fire but was helped by firefighter Kylie, and he later aligned with Flick. At Vavau, Nick took an early leadership role, and was able to encourage good morale despite early struggles; the tribe ended the day with a shelter.
At Aganoa, Kat took the lead in building the shelter while Des slacked off, and the two argued. Though Des had had survival training from his time in the army, he refused to share it with his tribe-mates. The tribe was unable to build a fire or shelter before nightfall; they tried sleeping on the sand near the ocean for warmth but were woken up due to the high tide, which washed away their entire camp.
Saanapu and Vavau won the challenge, earning an additional reward of fire in the form of flint, while Aganoa lost after Des and Kat struggled on the puzzle. Back at camp, Des scrambled to survive the vote and targeted Kat, while Kat rallied the women against Des. To save himself, Des used his army training to help his tribe build the shelter, and alerted the other men to the possibility of a women's alliance.
Evan and Kristie considered teaming up, as both were wary about teaming up along gender lines and unsure about who to eliminate. However, at Tribal Council, the entire tribe came together and voted Des out; the Aganoa tribe received flint before heading back to camp.
After the Aganoa tribe had returned from Tribal Council, Kristie was unable to find her bag and accused her tribe of hiding it on purpose. Kristie's paranoia set the rest of the tribe against her, but El later comforted her. Evan tried forming an alliance with El, Lee, Phoebe, and Rohan, but Lee and Phoebe didn't fully trust him due to his constant strategizing.
At Saanapu, Bianca plotted with Kylie to break up Brooke and Flick, who had quickly formed a close bond. Peter, the tribe's oldest member, struggled with the conditions. Following many struggles, the Vavau tribe succeeded in making a fire under Nick's leadership. Saanapu blew their lead, and Vavau and Aganoa won the challenge.
Back at the Saanapu camp, Peter considered quitting the game for being a liability to his tribe; while Kylie decided to grant his wish, Bianca tried to recruit Conner to vote out Flick. At Tribal Council, the alliance of five voted out Bianca. After Saanapu had returned from Tribal Council, Peter was upset with his tribemates for not voting him out due to his poor health, while outsider Kylie lamented the loss of her closest ally, Bianca.
The next day, the tribes were instructed to pick their wisest member, who would then select a partner to join them to make a private decision. The pairs were privately offered a choice between a big bag of beans for their tribe or a smaller bag of beans and a clue to a hidden immunity idol.
Saanapu chose Peter who picked Kylie, and they elected to take the clue. The majority alliance later realised that they had just given the tribe's only outsiders access to private information. Aganoa picked Phoebe and Rohan; they picked the clue, and Rohan agreed to give the idol to Phoebe if they found it.
Back at camp, they lied to their tribemates about the choices they were given, but Evan didn't believe them; he later found the clue, which had fallen out of Rohan's waistband. Rohan and Evan later argued about the clue. Vavau chose Nick who brought Tegan, and they also chose the clue. They decided to tell their tribemates about the clue but lied about its contents, though no one believed them.
Nick told Craig and Sue that he had lied, but his tribemates still distrusted him. Vavau placed first, and Saanapu placed second. The disappointed Aganoa tribemates blamed Kat for their loss, and a worried Evan hunted for the hidden immunity idol. Aganoa lost yet another challenge after Evan and Kat struggled on the puzzle.
The alliance of El, Lee, Phoebe and Rohan debated between voting out Evan or Kat; Lee pushed to vote Kat out for her repeatedly poor challenge performances, but Phoebe and El plotted against Evan for being untrustworthy and as to not go against their women's alliance with Kristie and Kat. After voting Evan out, Phoebe celebrated her good position in the Aganoa tribe due to her two alliances: Rohan found the hidden immunity idol with Phoebe, and they decided not to tell anyone else; Rohan decided to hold onto the idol, reneging on the earlier deal he made with Phoebe, which roused her ire.
At Saanapu, Peter's health continued to worsen; he helped Kylie look for the idol, though they were unsuccessful. At Vavau, Nick continued trying to regain his tribemates' trust after lying to them about the idol clue. He tried forming an alliance with Craig, Jennah-Louise and Sue, but they still plotted to vote him out. Vavau later struggled after breaking their flint and losing their fire. Saanapu placed first and Vavau placed second. Vavau asked host Jonathan for a new flint; he agreed in exchange for all of their rewards, to be exchanged at the next reward challenge.
Stuck in the middle of both alliances, El and Phoebe weighed their options between eliminating Kat — a poor challenge performer — or Rohan, who was perceived as untrustworthy. Phoebe told Lee that Rohan had found the idol and was withholding it from him, and the two decided to tell Rohan about voting for Kat, though Kat overheard them. At Tribal Council, El, Lee and Phoebe alluded that they were voting against Kat to prevent Rohan from playing his idol but, right before the vote, the tribe was informed that Peter had quit the game, and the vote was cancelled.
After Aganoa's Tribal Council vote was cancelled, Kat — the intended target — felt isolated from her tribe. The next day, the women's alliance apologised to Kat, but Phoebe still considered targeting her for being a liability.
At Vavau, Nick was unable to find the hidden immunity idol. At Saanapu, Kylie again lamented losing her closest ally in Peter but was able to find the tribe's hidden immunity idol.
Flick suspected that Kylie had found the idol, and talked to Matt about voting Conner out instead; Matt told Sam about Flick's plan, of which the two disapproved, while Brooke and Flick later discussed betraying Matt for being untrustworthy. Before the reward challenge, Vavau gave all of their reward items up in exchange for flint. Saanapu placed first, with Aganoa in second. Though Vavau had lost all of their winnings, they quickly made a new fire with their new flint and feasted for the first time in days.
Aganoa came from behind to win immunity. At Vavau, Barry said that he would vote based on a hat draw. Craig told Nick that Tegan was their alliance's target but Nick tried to push the vote against Barry for being unpredictable, which prompted Craig and Jennah-Louise to target Nick instead. However, Conner, Matt and Sam met up and discussed Flick's lack of loyalty; Conner later confronted Flick about her multiple, conflicting deals, and told her that the men had discussed voting her out.
The behaviors of dogs and wolves are generally identical, simply shifted in emphasis. This is a topic that just fries me. I worked in animal control in Alaska for four years and we often dealt with hybrids. Alaska has the strictest laws on the books about wolf hybrids, but enforcement is a nightmare. Hybrids are about ego, plain and simple. Hybrids are bad for people, bad for dogs, and bad for wolf populations.
There is absolutely no excusable reason for owning a hybrid. I was in a rowboat and we passed in a narrow channel — a close -up. Head down he looked through the railings straight into my eyes — as you say — as an equal.
I hate this attitude. Just because we can do something, does not mean we should do it. Sigh… sometimes, we as a whole are such idiots. I hope, your situation improves so that Willi-boy can get back to doing what he loves best. A fiend called and said they had a sick husky that was about to be euthanized at the animal shelter, she stood outside holding him for a hour. When we got there here was a emaciated wolfdog , he had lost 15 lbs and wouldnt eat , his head all cut up and knotted fur around his neck.
Since then he has gained weight but is completely untrustworthy with men walking towards us. We moved to a house with a 8 foot fence and he has a freind , but Im afraid he will get out. We love him but I worry he will get out and hurt someone someday. Jennifer — your post has moved me to tears.
Is there no one you can consult who perhaps has some experience with these dogs? They are not dogs, they are not wolves, they need more dedication, guidance and hard work then most children. Maybe even comparable to a special needs child. A wolf dog cant be treated like a normal domestic animal, they will become a destructive force endangering them selves and those around them by no fault of their own. These animals need to be free to run hard for hours everyday, and they are not for the faint of heart either, they will bring animals home to you, like pieces of rabbit, skunk, racoon, or the worst one is when they out run and bring down the little baby fawn that was in the picture!
Their owner was obviously concerned too as he had them on very short leads choke chains. Grrr and pinned between himself and a wall, body blocking as best he could… I was concerned for children walking past. Young children, unsupervised their parents assume that these animals are safe… otherwise why would they be in a public place without a muzzle…?
A lot of damage can be done before anyone can react — canines are much, much faster than us humans. Why were they there? They were stressed, he was stressed and it was a dangerous situation.
I believe the human ego plays a big part here… as usual: When they get to adolescence they are often doomed to either euthanasia or a life of fear; unable to adjust to life as a pet. The tragedies far outweigh the success stories. I personally have had two Wolf Hybrids. Long story short they were the best pets i have had yet. One of the lucky ones I suppose.
Hey Trisha, It has been a long time. Sorry to hear about Willie…sending calming thoughts his way and hoping for a complete recovery. Wolf Hybrids…the epitome of hubris when done intentionally! All those centuries to establish enough breeds, with mixed breeds left for good measure, to satisfy any need for a companion canine a person could have.
But wait…we must have it too good and owning a domestic dog is just too passe. A few week ago, I stepped out of the local Safeway and saw a young man walking his hybrid in the parking lot…strolling up to a car of other young adults and bragging to them about his wolfdog.
It did look my way once and the expression I saw left an ache in the pit of my stomach. Such beauty and sadness….. I work at an independent pet store and we have a customer with two wolf pups. The first time I saw them I did a double take. The man denies that they have any wolf in them… but I can see it. Not to mention that their behavior is SO different. They spend their time climbing on everything in the store, yipping, peeing and being wolf puppies. If you get a hybred, get two as they are wolves and are a very social animal.
They do not do well singly. They need the company of others. If you have the correct wolf hybrid mix. And proper environment and socialization you will have without a doubt the most intelligent, obedient, majestic and soulful companion you could possibly imagine. My wolf dog lives INSIDE with a pomeranian and a morkie, gets an incredible raw diet, and as much exercise as he can handle with friends. If you got what it takes, a wolf dog is heads and tails above and beyond any other dog breed. Most herding breeds for example can have that herding drive re-directed into other tasks or play.
But for the primitive breeds, and for the wolf-dogs, socialization can only take it so far. There are a couple breeds of dogs yes DOGS who have been breed to look as much like wolves as possible.
Look up the Tamasikin for example. Even experienced wolf-dog people frequently have to stop and look twice before recognizing the dog. I have what I was told is part wolf, part malemute. I took her because the couple who had her could not manage her.
I fully appreciate the work involved in keeping one of these dogs. Even if she was just a dog, she is large and high strung. Having taken in wolf dogs before, I am fully aware of what is needed to keep her a reasonable member of my family, including hours of running time at a farm that belongs to a friend of mine. The only set back I have had is that she did kill an outside cat that got into her encloser recently. This does not mean I endorse just anyone having one of these dogs.
They are predators for the most part, and they are not really family dogs. They are not designed to be petted, then ignored. Too muck pack mentality, not enough dog mentality.
One was a mid-content mix and the other was a high content mix. I had great experiences with both animals. I currently have a Jack Russell terrier and he is far more aggressive and possessive than either of my hybrids were. The only drawback to the hybrids as far as I am concerned was the excessive shedding. I also think that many people who claim to know how to care for these animals do not know what they are talking about.
These are highly sociable animals, they are canids after all, and need to be able to be with you. I adopted a husky that was misrepresented as a wolfdog. I wanted to know what I had on my hands and what I was getting into if he was indeed a woofer. Unfortunately, very few people are honest, and even fewer do their research. Misrepresentation is a huge problem.
Why do we see so many huskies, pit bulls, German Shepards, border collies, etc. The higher the wolf content, the more research you need to do. Otherwise, neither you nor the animal will be happy. A very good friend has three woofers, all of whom are trained to be ambassador animals. They also get their enrichment — every day is a car ride to a store, park, or other public place where they meet and greet strangers.
But these animals are in the hands of an experienced owner. If my living arrangements allowed for it, yes, I would have one. We have had wolf dogs for about 15 years. I agree they should not be bred and sold and passed around and isolated, etc. We currently have three rescued wolf dogs. All were never socialized properly and all were abused. Two are extremely food aggressive, dog aggressive and mostly anti social. We have never lied to ourselves about these animals.
They are what they are and will spend the rest of their lives with us. We protect them from people and animals because unfortunately, everybody wants to touch them. Our boys did not ask to be born, passed around or mistreated so we understand that they are what they are.
He was about four months old, seriously underweight and covered with ticks. He has been an extreme challenge and will never be safe around cats or small animals. One thing I have learned is that these animals should not be bred, but unfortunately they are.
We need more people who are willing to learn about them and help. If you cannot fathom keeping one then please donate to the wonderful rescues and sanctuaries that take these beautiful creatures in. Such a cool dog to have, or so we thought. But realizing we rescued her from going to an apartment in Chicago I was happy.
It is a challenge, she has taught us so much about her needs. But she has 6 acres, a pond, she is friends with our horses, our old dog and tabby cat. She heards up the chickens at night. Gentle, kind words and firm words and eye contact when naughty.
It will be a long road but she will always be ours. I read this and as interesting as I find this to be I sadly disagree. I found out about Wolfdogs from a man who indeed had one and his Smokey instantly got me interested in them. I did research for two years before I even considered getting one.
And I decided that she, Lupa, would be well taken care of. I took her for long walks to the park to socialize her starting at 6 weeks old. She was nervous at first but by 10 weeks she was happily running alongside other pups and the kids. She did have a horrible chewing habit so I found other things that engrossed her curious mind and teeth. She is so smart and talks to me in her own way. Her body language and her noises let me know if she hears something, wants out or wants something to eat.
Lupa was a year old and still one of the sweetest, kindest creatures I have ever seen. I felt bad that she had no one to play with that could keep up with her, so I decided to look into getting a second.
And I did, a male, Koga. He was a big pup for 6 weeks and the day I brought him home Lupa was so excited to see what I had been carrying in my arms. When I set him down in front of her and she at first just looked at him.
He was scared of her and tried to hide behind me as she slowly approached him. She licked him and that was it, they have been inseparable since that day. Lupa now being a year and 6 months, Koga is 6 months. They both potty trained and know how to sit, shake and lay down. But I hardly ever make they preform any task besides sit so that I can get their leashes on them for their walks. They are both gentle, kind and sweet creatures that I love very much.
But the way they are raised DOES have an impact on how they turn out. They require tons of attention, exercise and an understanding owner. I have had the pleasure of two of these animals and they have been better companions than most people I have had to deal with. I have to say that I hate it when people who know very little about wolf dogs assume that they know one on sight, when in fact most of the traits they say are wolf are actually dog traits. Dogs that are in stressful situations can get skidish, as well as turn aggressive for what may appear to be random reasons.
There has to be an alpha. Even people who own multiple dogs will admit that a pack mentality works best with the way they handle their dogs. Both were absolutely beautiful and very docile. They were so smart. The first time I visited them Niki the pure wolf jumped up in my lap and stayed there the entire time I was in their house.
Ben, the laid at my feet. I was never afraid of either. I do have experience with wolfdogs and will be the first to say no they are not for everyone! If trained PROPERLY they make excellent companions but you cannot take an animal that has not been taught anything and expect them to behave that goes for all dogs!
I hate it when people try to make wolfdogs out to be vicious beats BC they are far from it. And to be honest most of the people who think they have met wolfdogs have not most are misrepped mutts! So if anyone truly wants to take the time to meet wolfdogs and actually see what they are truly like volunteer at a sanctuary then you will understand why we get so upset over people bashing wolfdogs! Cant tell you how many amazing wolf-dogs ive met.
This article made me pissed, then sad, then i laughed. People have no idea what thyere doing with hybrids, but un-proper training will turn ANY animal into a rescue situation. Wolf-dogs are amazing companions, nurture out beats nature ten fold with them I love my wolf and all the other ones ive met, they are common where i live.
We love our wild animals. Growing up I was always fasinated with wolves. Not just the look of them but with their nature ,lifestyle, and pack mentality. As an adult I decided should the chance come I would have one. As a puppy he was always full of fun and affection and was loved by everyone he met and ten years later that has not changed.
Sure they are destructive to your property and the consumate escape artists but so were my children. But never once did he offer any aggression to anyone he ever met or to any dog either. I now have three wolf dogs and live in a local subdivision and never worry about them getting out and roaming the neighborhood lusting for blood and attacking everyone they encounter.
Just quite the opposite the local kids sometimes brought them home. I have owned other large breeds and with each if them I was always leery of their interaction with strangers.
Not so with my wolves, they have been to schools to educate children about wolves and they loved every minute of it. The children loved being able to touch an actual wolf dog and it respond with affection to them. So in closing I just wanted to let the world know not all wolf dogs are problems. My three are a joy for me and everyone who meets them. I love love love my wolf dog and he seems really protective of me, nobody is allowed to close unless I show they are a friend by shaking hands etc.
It would really hurt and affect me if I lost him which brings me to the question I wish help with. I dearly want to let him off the harness so he can have a nice big run but I have been told not to let him off because there is a major chance after feeling the freedom he will just keep on running and not come back, I take him in the sea which he likes quite a lot, I just want to give him as much freedom as possible without losing him.
Can you advise please. I own a wolfdog, Czechoslovakian from the Czech Republic. She chews on you, she jumps on you, she runs round the house like a hurricane all day long. Lunar is my guardian, they are not good guard dogs but she guards me, I had heard if you are sick a wolfdog might decide to kill you.
I was awoken after having a haemorrhage in my sleep by her gently nudging me to let me know I was covered in blood there was no attempt to kill me or eat etc. Funnily kids know she is part wolf well before adults work it out and I hope she leaves the impression that wolves are worth our support in their pure and wild form. But it is our fault that they are condemned to continue their unhappy and unsatisfying existence. And all the while they are photographed or people speak of their beauty.
This creates demand and desire. The vein of hopeful optimism we share as humans throws out a false lifeline. I will get it right. The rescue people help perpetuate the belief that the potential owner just needs to be better educated and to care more. It seems unkind and hardhearted to suggest that it would simply be better to euthanase unsuccessful domestic hybrids. Few people would claim that predators in zoos, including wolves any big cats, are enjoying life.
The unhappiness of the individual hybrid is in no way countered by any need to preserve their genes. If you take responsibility for the human creation of an animal. Then you must, as that human, take responsibility to end its suffering AND prevent other humans repeating the same mistake. My family recently had to put down our 10 year old wolf dog. He was a gentle giant who loved his pack. Multiple cats, one brother dog, and humans. From the beginning we showed him who was Alfa, taught him to be gentle and kind.
I could plant his lb rear end to the ground and hold him by the neck if he was acting a fool because I ranked higher. He loved kittens and children. The best most loving smart dog we ever had. Pets are not for show and anyone who gets a wolf dog or any other kind of dog to be cool is a problem.
However, some dogs are so scared of her that they whine and are clearly agitated. I realise that the truth is that domesticated dogs are the problem because they are stupid and so inbred as to be brain damaged. I also have a horse no one else could ride and off lead my wolf dog runs ahead of the horse.
She, the wolf dog, gets off the road when cars come past whilst grinning at them and sometimes I see the drivers looking in disbelief at her road sense. I know all animals communicate mentally and perhaps that is why I get on with even wolfs and Tigers in Zoos. A tiger I winked at winked back at me and when I mentioned it to the Keeper he said, tigers cant wink.
I did not bother to tell him he was wrong and that my granddaughter witnessed it. I have heard of animal communicators but, I can tell you all its not the wolf dogs, its the people who are the problem not communicating properly with their canine friends treating them as inferior when in reality they are superior and humans are the mad apes polluting the planet, our minds and our bodies.
When the selfish ape is destroyed by its own global warming pollution the animals will survive and those of us who love them but, the dogs of dogma, the mad apes, will not survive.
I considered not posting your comment but thought it good for people to see all perspectives. He does not bark, ever.
He has the most amazing howl and the cutest yip when he is upset. He has huge webbed feet and beautiful almond shaped Amber eyes. Like mentioned by others, he is in constant motion and drives me insane! I love him more than words can say. He is a rescue. His previous owner kept him tied to a tree the first year of his life. He loves the outdoors but lives to try to sit in my lap. It hurts my heart that so many wolf hybrids find less than wonderful homes.
I have worked with dogs my entire life. I have rescued,groomed,trained them. Having worked with military dogs,I decided to adopt a rescue Malinois,knowing how challenging they can be.
I wanted to be a chance of rescue for that type of breed. I have and after 12 months training he is as perfect as they come. Now to wolfdogs, my mali needed a buddy. Being obsessed with wolves from a young age,my heart skipped a beat! There had been 9 pups. We chose a small female,figuring she was runt and would have better chance with us.
They all had parvo,and all but her died. She also has Leishmaniasis. These life threatening diseases have stunted her,but boy, is she a handful! Howling to communicate is virtually constant,she took 12 months to house train,she shows aggression to the mali when he returns from walks,she has killed two cats and has taught my mali to hunt,but she hasnt hunted alone,only when they are together.
Now they are not allowed off leash together. She can and does open any door and my husband swears she is disturbed! However,on the up,she is incredibly loving to all the family,including my teen children ,shows promise with agility and is so adorable you cannot help but love her.
I realise her stunted growth has made it easier to cope with her antics, and I would NEVER recommend anyone buying from a breeder. Having said this, I believe every animal deserve the chance of life. I love my wolfdog and will do all it takes to make her happy, and so will her adopted family. I am a wolfdog owner, and I have contradictory opinions on breeding them.
The one I raised is a bubbly, silly, friendly girl who will run and jump in my truck and be happy to ride around all day and was best friends with a kitten…until her sister killed it. A lot of the comments here criticise wolfdog owners as egomaniacs, and some may be, but the same could be said for the owner of any particular dog breed purchased for a certain reason.
True- many end up on a chain, or in a crate, where they should bever be. But I say the same thing about ANY dog. Maybe the egomaniacs the commenters have encountered have aided in the misconception of wolfdogs. No different that the mass-persecution of pitbulls,of which I have never encountered a mean one. If a thread was started to gather begative opinions on any given dog breed, it would also be flooded with stories about bites and attacks, etc.
To show off, or draw attention, which they do.. Mine will greet strangers on the street with a lick to the face. I understand the general consensus here is about the wellbeing of the animals, but what about the other nearly all, or all dogs in a shelter with its life on the line? What are their reasons for being there? Some of the points made here are irrelavant or fabricated, directing attention to wolf hybrid owners, when it should be directed to dog owners in general, as the problems I have read about on this thread pertain to all dogs, not just hybrids.
But, to reiterate, I never recommend people getting hybrids, although I own them myself. A friend bought a hybrid pup that ended up with me.
The pup bonded with me and my Queensland who was a week older. However, he hybrid showed signs of aggression early and I had him neutered.
My daughter moved out taking her dog. I separated them by grabbing his back legs. My grown daughters are concerned even though he has been quite loving.
I have three cats that hang out on the back patio with both dogs. We are concerned since I remarried and my husband has two young children who will be joining us soon. I would never allow the children to play alone in the back yard with the dogs. But I admit I share my daughters concern. I feel a responsibility to my hybrid and would never allow just anyone to have him or buy him. I am so torn. I want to do what is right for everyone involved. Any advice or suggestions? They are not dogs but at the same time not wolves i have had three hybrids im my life and im 26 one low content and two extreme high content all of which were rescues.
It is my expressed opinion that anyone breeding dogs and wolves are doing a diservice to dogs and wolves. There is no such thing as a wolf dog hybrid, or dog coyote hybrid or coyote wolf hybrid. They are all subspecies of canis lupus. A hybrid is a breeding between ex: These breedings are not legal. Men has done great harm to nature be doing all kinds of breedings. These wolves and dogs cross breeding is wrong. It happens in nature with dogs and wolves breeding by chance meeting.
Most times wolves will kill any dog or coyote they meet. In order to presrve the pact and hunting territory. Lone wolves can and will breed on a chance meeting with a lone dog or coyote. That is very rare. Any wolves with black fur is a cross breed. It is not a true natural color in pure wolves. The dominant genes in wolves will erradicate this color over a couple of generations.
Unethical bredings by men is wrong and should be reported to the authorities. My hunting and trapping club eradicate all wild dogs we come across. We also hunt coyotes in farm country where people keep sheep. They just go for the kill and do kill more then they would eat. We never kill grey wolves and they seem to know this when I have met a large pack.
I just leaned against a tree and watch them from a distance. A large bold wolf came up to me no more them 30 feet. He sat down and look me over. I tailk softly to it and after a few minutes it returned to the pack. Anyway, please dont buy wolf — dog cross breeds or any other animals you are not sure of.
Report these breeders to the authorities. Let them prove they are real breeders and that they dont mess up in this type of cross breeding. Hope some of you have the good sense to heed my words.
Wolves and coyotes belong in nature and not in someones backyard. There are enough dog breeds to satisfy all. Leave these unscupulous breeders where the should belong. Joe Briar hunter and trapper. Lover of nature and wolves. Who the heck is Willy? No need to respond, as a writer and copyeditor I just wanted to alert you that the page flow is confusing. Different story when it comes to dogs; cannot stand any other dog! BUT many dogs cannot stand other dogs either.
I love my dog; he is a big baby, and I mean BIG. I have a wolfdog. His name is Jacob. He has to turn back to help Bella. We love him dearly and he us. We now have ruined linoleum flooring in both bathrooms and kitchen. I was always going to install tile in baths and kitchens. And there are hardwoods where carpets use to be. I have neutered Jacob. His life has great value. He makes us better humans. I recieved Jacob from a young couple in Madison Wi.
I was driving and pulled up next to them at a stoplight. I said what a beautiful dog he was. Jacob was bred with a pure red husky and a wolf husky was his father. You can see it in his face ,legs,paws,tail,and coat. Exercise is a problem I run him everynight still not enough. And if you want a yard forget about that. I just move him to another section and start repairing whete he was still we have patches everywhere in different stages of repair.
Anyone trying to take this on better know how to be the alpha he likes to challenge me daily and his energy is limitless. When i come home and he comes out of his latest giant hole.
I just smile and go love hin. After supper i get my gear tennis balls tools to launch them some notted rope for tug of war and his water bowl and we go to the park for a hour or so. He was allready on planet earth I just share my home with him. He can be very aggressive and I need to be close to give him verbal commands when he starts with other dogs and we do not let him freely interact with strangers.
I have three children and he can get rough with my to young daughters no bites but has k ocked my six year old over a number of times. And tried same with ny eight year old she stands her ground and gets him to submit.
Anyway we love him. He sleeps in my bed, he goes to dog parks and not only shows no aggression, but actually submits to other dogs, even smaller ones. Although, in hindsight I should have known the second I saw his pacing mom when I picked him up. The only suspected hybrids I ever knew of in my area were coydogs—but these were wild through and through.
The dog parent not sure if the dog was male or female was a Great Pyrenees that—after the sheep it looked after were sold—wandered off and took to roaming the countryside. The story goes it and a coyote took a shine to each other, and some mighty big coyotes were the result. I will say however that you should never adopt a high content mix unless you are opening a sanctuary. He was the most amazing animal I have ever had the privilege to know unfortunately he died of bone cancer at It took 4 years of training and socialising before he could be considered a well behaved family member.
I however was able and willing to put in the time, money and most importantly patience to make that happen. I think all breeders of all animals designed to be a pet should be illegal but that would be like putting the jack back in the box! Instead we should work on a solution.
The solutions are there the question is what are we going to do about it? The fact is there should be real laws preventing unscrupulous characters from making huge profits on the idea of designing and creating a life — then be willing to accept the pain and suffering of that life — in order to make a quick buck.
To all the people that want, think its cool and amazing, or any other reason to have a wolfdog, your extremely ignorent in my opinion.
They should not be legal to own, should never have been bred in the first place. Its cruel and not very respectful to take something that belongs in the wild and ask it to conform to human living. Having Studied wolves in the wild, not in a sanctuary, not desensitized to being around people. Wolves belong in the wild. People should not be doing this and playing god. Respect them enough to leave them were they should be. Yes they are known to be loyal and protective. I agree with a sanctuary for the ones that are already living its not there fault they were bred.
But personally and professionaly its not nor ever will be a good idea. I am NOT a long time rescuer for any particular animal.
Except canines, where I have spent most my time with over a thousand canines. All before I turn All my experience was from a nice couple who rescued all types of farm animals, and wild animals.
And personally I have rescued probably over a hundred different types of animals. Including a wolf, and friends partnered with Wolves. I seen people dump off dogs.
Then, because they have been fed by humans in the past. I watch them attack the ankles of cattle, and not eat the cattle. But kill cattle, and torture for it for pleasure. Weather is the dog, or wolf no matter what.
There needs to be an alpha, and that is usually the head of the household. They do better with an older dog. So they can learn how to deal with being around humans.
They need plenty of activities. Not once a week, but every single day. And then until they get to be 5 plus years. And then trained for at least over a year. Because we lived out in the country. For wolves, and partial wolf. A farm is the ideal place for them to Rome around. I am NOT saying half breed wolves cannot be trained. But with Wolves you have to give special attention. Whether to fish, a bird ,or wolf. When you spend enough time with them all of them can become a fantastic pet.
That previously bit ,or damage children other smaller animals. To be a fantastic pet. All you need to do is spend time with them. Me the constant animal lover.
I love them all. I would like to direct you to a breed called the Czechoslovakian wolf dog, This is a recognized domestic breed that was bred back to the Carpathian wolf in s.
One possessed the best qualities possible, and the other the worst. The negatives of a wolf are anxious tendencies. The dog I consider the ideal of the two some people may have deemed violent and abandoned. I realized there was a great deal of order to his outburst and taught him to use more appropriate logic. He would attack any man who approached me while I was seated dicey situation the first time a cop pulled me over with him in the car.
If someone jokingly thumped me or slapped my leg he would go from seemingly asleep across the room to airborne over a table intent on their face and neck. With the help of some brave friends we repeated these situations many times and I caught him restrained him and explained his overreaction until he learned to assess potential dangers as logically as a human would.
He actually broke up a fight between two people without resorting to biting them. They learn to predict and adapt to people and situations in a human like manner.
If so their is no danger of some hidden instinct taking over. They are not werewolves. On a side note he only growled at women or children in situations where he initially attacked men. We adopted a Malamute about six months ago. Neither of us had ever really wanted a wolfdog, but we met Thor and fell in love. We were told he was two years old, he was incredibly friendly, he was healthy, and so many other things.
Everything they said turned out to be lies. About three weeks in, he started to become aggressive. We took him to the vet. He had a staph infection, an ear infection, a bladder infection. That would all make me be pretty mean, too. We got all of that taken care of. We got him fixed.
The vet said that would resolve the aggression. He likes to get into the sink to lick off any dirty dishes. We have tried everything that we can find online to help. If anyone has some advice, anything you know would be greatly appreciated. The last time he bit me, he got me several times. My entire forearm is one single bruise, mixed in with cuts from his teeth. If you have any ideas at all about how we should proceed, please let me know. Wolf dogs are cool and yes the should not be intentionally bred for all the obvious reasons.
I am only commenting as they are not hybrids not technically. Wolves canis lupus and dogs canis lupus familiaris are closely related so closely in fact that with the turn of the new millennium when DNA testing was done to verify some of the typing we have done solely on phenotype over the years it was discovered that wolves share too much in common with wolves and are not a separate species they are a sub-specie which is why they share the canis lupus part there cannot be a wolf dog hybrid as dogs are wolves.
I lived on a farm as a kid and one day two pups were found by my brother and I. We each took one and while my brothers was extremely aggressive he died shortly after we adopted them, he was bit by a rattlesnake.
My pup, Dodger, Dod for short, on the other hand was a definite handful. He was always a bundle of energy and even thought was 14 at the time Dod was my best friend. He was protective of me and my best friend who spent more time at our house than his own. Dod was so protective in fact that even when I went out riding horses he would follow me, even tracking us if we left his sight. There was one time when in high school my best friend came over. So when my best friend simply walked in, having a key to the house, Dod started growling and stalking towards him.
I was able to stop him from attacking by standing between them but that was the first time I really saw the wolf side come out.
A few months ago a man approached my son at the dog park while I was playing with Dod. Dod immediately went after the man barking and growling. My point is, every wolf dog is different. Dod has seemed to fallen into making a heir archy in our house. He listens to me when he wants to, knowing he could easily over take me if he wanted.
Followed then by my husband and son. But Dod is a special case and even then there is a VERY thin line I have to walk between making sure I have control over him without overstepping and having him decide to knock me down a peg. Living with these beautiful animals is both a privilege and a danger. He views me and my family as his pack, but we always have to be extremely careful of anyone new who comes over. Wolf dogs need very certain habitats and people who know how to interact with them to lives good life.
I have a 4 year old wolfdog, and she has been the most amazing, intelligent, and loving animal I have raised. She is very different from a dog, and wolfdogs are not for most people or home situations. We work at home so we are usually with her, and she gets lots of socialization with our clients. Evenso, we have learned that she must be closely monitored with new adults she is wonderful with all children , but that nobody should enter her yard or house without us controlling the situation.
But if I fail to introduce her before inviting them in, she can be ultra protective and challenging to the person. If they come at a different time, she will bark to alert me that they are there. Additionally I have to be careful about what I am doing around her, because her curiosity leads her to trouble.
For instance when I had been replacing a sprinkler head, and she had been observing, the next day, she dug the sprinkler back up I think trying to help … She howls along to the accordion and harmonica, and tries to match her intensity of howling to the intensity of the music… She trusts us, and even can be examined by the vet without a muzzle as long as I am with her. If she were to be separated from us though she could become dangerous for them.
Wolfdogs have a much harder time trusting than domestic dogs, need a large space to habitat, secure fencing, and most of all lots of attention and love, and when they are raised with proper training, love and have a permanent pack that they belong to, then for the right experienced owner, they are wonderful, and true members of the pack family!
I appreciate the article, and LOVE my wolfgirl. I wish I would have come across there articles sooner. I live in eastern Nebraska. And viewing the litter. Both parents were on site. We chose one… A female. Actually 2nd smallest in litter. Even up to being a companion to my son.
We had our hybrid 1 year before my son was born. This dog was super with any children. My vet did comment on this dog. He could apparently tell she was a hybrid. We also kept a female puppie from this litter. The most beautiful black silver puppie you would ever see. The puppie did outgrow mom. By at least a head and shoulder. My son now in his terrible 3s.
You would not believe it.. We all loved these dogs. They were great companions. Protected us and house. Thru an accident, we lost our 2nd puppie. And many years later lost the mother of old age… I so miss both of these dogs.
And know I could never find replacement s.. My only experience with a wolf dog was at a local dog park, The animal was old but HUGE, He was calm but completely disinterested in all the dogs there and the dogs all wanted nothing to do with him.
There was a couple men there that had the animal , kind of lowlife drifter types I thought, and believe it or not their only purpose for bringing him there was for a place to leave him while they went to do something where they could not bring him along…I was new to the dog park and these guys claimed they had done this many times before. When they left the wolf dog was completely unconcerned, it had the look of resignation. He trottted over to a shady stand of trees way away from the activity in the dog park.
It was pathetic I thought. I approached little by little very slowly and did not stare at his eyes or anything. But when my hand got within about a foot of him , he suddenly peeled back his lips and bared his massive teeth simultaneously emitting this bone chilling growl that put fear into me unlike any dog ever has!
I felt ashamed for insulting him actually. I can only imagine the frustration an animal like that endures being kept as a pet. I feel sorry enough for my own rescued german shepherd pack, One of the males often whines for no apparent reason,,,just an unfilled life with the only thing to look forward to besides rest and food is a walk and an hour in the park most days.
They have to be so frustrated and confused! How can living with humans just kept as a pet ever do for these guys?? WHAT does the animal get in the bargain? There are so many animals in true desperate need for HELP. I hit a puppy with my car last October guessing her to be about 4 weeks old. No one would claim her and the one house I thought she came from never had anyone home. I brought her home and she was so good through thanksgiving and Christmas. Did well with all our company.
Now it is July and we have to put her in a room away from everyone if anyone comes to our house. Bit out grandson on the hand when before she would lay on her pillow with him and watch tv. She is so loving to me and my husband and dad. Likes my youngest son and wants to eat the oldest son. We finally met with the lady we thought she belonged to and she informed us that the dad was a wolf that some couple brought from another state and that more than likely her aggressive behavior will probably get worse.
Now I am at a loss on what to do. You can strongly feel her love and that is so odd to me. Never felt that from an animal before. We are trying to find a place for her that will love her and not kill her. Could use help and advice please. Piper is 4 months old now and we cannot control her she wants to b outside all the time , and now the biting and showing her teeth , is getting really bad , she growls at the grandkids if they touch her while she is sleeping.
We have had a lot of dogs and this not normal at 4 months , this dog cannot sit still , she will run in circles for 20 min. Is there a way to tell if she has wolf in her , if there was some way to send u a pic!! I believe the biggest problem people have with wolf dogs, is they try pulling that Iam the alpha male crap, To a wolf a animal that kill you in a instant, That is like saying the cockroach who thinks it is going to be the alpha male of you and tell you what you may and may not do, Now that may sound insane, But what you need to understand is Wolfs are a predatory animal, and have been around a lot longer then the human race, I once own a hybrid many years ago and not once did I have any problems with her, Why cause I did not play that alpha shit with her, I treated her with absolute respect, I have never tried that crap with any of my dogs, I once had a Irish Setter who loved to sit in the recliner, I was perfectly happy to sit on the floor,.
Many people will not do that kind of stuff, Cause they consider they are the alpha and they are not lowering their self to sitting on the floor while a dog gets the chair, What many people fail to realize it is that very attitude which causes them all the problems they have with Wolf Hybrids. Im 6 months pregnant, have a loving husband, two little girls, two domesticated dogs, and one wolfdog pup, who is 25 percent wolf and the rest is some kind of husky. He drives me crazy.
It was right around the time he got home from deployment, and I became pregnant. Little Bear is 7 months old Dec. I was fifteen and looked about eleven years old. It cut through all the red tape such as medical tests and parental consent, which was a boon because I had told none of my family or friends about this - not even John and Edna who were more important than anyone - in case they raised obstructions. The night before departure I came home from work and said, 'Mum, I'm leaving tomorrow to join a cadet ship.
On a damp November morning I found myself at Lime Street Station with a small brown cardboard suitcase, waiting for the train to Bristol and the cadet ship S. My only personal memento - rosary beads. The course was very intense - six weeks long. I never could do them. I did bows instead. The first three weeks were spent in nissen huts. There were about two dozen of us. We were issued with blue serge trousers and a boiler jacket, thick woolly socks, square-bashing boots and a beret to be worn at a jaunty angle.
There were no fittings. Everything simply came at you out of a big cupboard. All mine were far too large. I looked like a vaudeville act. Up before dawn, ablutions, tidy the bed and locker, polish buttons and boots, clean the washroom, marching, breakfast, formal classes, lunch, potato-peeling and floor-scrubbing, physical jerks, dinner, lights out at 9p. There was no time for conversation.
The second three weeks were more romantic. We moved on to the S. Vindicatrix herself, a three-masted hulk slurping up and down alongside the River Severn, where one was taught the practical skills of seamanship. I dashed up the rigging, out along the yard, and shouted 'Land ahoy! We're putting you in charge of the yacht. The Captain shouted 'Nor' Nor' East!
Every order on the Bridge had to be repeated to ensure there were no errors of communication. At night we fell asleep exhausted, soothed by the creaking of the ship and the sound of water. I loved it all, especially this new experience 'companionship', even when the others bragged about girls and I went peculiar inside.
My only reservation was in having to occupy a bunk when most of the class were swinging glamorously in hammocks. Shore leave came at Christmas but those unable to afford the fare home were allowed to stay on board. It promised to be glum until an extravagant food parcel arrived from John and Edna.
Included was a huge fruit cake. I cut myself a slice and passed the rest on. In return, back came a hunk of haggis which I tasted for the first time and found not unpalatable. We shared everything, cracked jokes, and in the evening ambled over to the Mission House where the tea ladies in flimsy paper hats made a sense of occasion out of lemonade and buns.
On Boxing Day three of us slipped away to the Bristol pubs and got tiddly: It was the most delightful Christmas I've ever had. By and large I loathe Christmas, bolt the doors, and watch television until it goes away.
My final report was creditable, apart from knots, which were disastrous. We signed each other's group photograph, pledged eternal friendship, vowed to meet up in Cairo or Rio or Tokyo, and all went home. If you want it. It slowed up for a moment when on a cold February night in I found myself with Colin at the entrance to the vast blackness of Manchester docks. In fact my heart almost stopped.
It was so dreadfully silent - apart from the squeaking of rats and the ominous ripple of unseen water. Black lines of cranes and sheds fell away into pools of ink.
It started to sleet again, softening the smell of resin and old fibre. A policeman checked our papers from his little sentry-box and let us pass. I screwed up my eyes, stuck my head forward, and stumbled after him into the murk, trying to avoid coils of rope and long cables mooring dead ships to the wharfside. Suddenly the black hull of the Pacific Fortune hung over us. Except for half-a-dozen hurricane lamps the ship was in darkness.
The sailors were ashore. I followed Colin up the gangplank. At the top a man stepped out from the shadows. He was about fifty and cube-shaped. Swinging me into the lamplight he looked me up and down, then said over his shoulder in a thick Glaswegian accent, 'Och, Colin, I thought we was gettin' a laddie! This was Mr Macdonald, my boss, the Bo's'n. We crossed the deck, went down the gangway, flicked on a light, along passages, down again, along more passages, down, down, to the aft of the ship where the sea crew had their quarters.
An iron door was opened and I was shown into a small cabin. Danny will be back soon - he'll explain everything. Sign the list tomorrow at 9a. There were three bunks in the cabin. The two lower ones had already been taken. I clambered up into mine and sat there nervously swinging my legs. An hour later the door opened and Danny came in. He was about nineteen or twenty, skinny with an unexpectedly studious air.
Danny had a crisp tongue which I later discovered enabled him to hold his own among the bigger, rougher sailors. Robby, a junior like myself but a couple of years older, followed. Robby was amiable enough but overweight and afflicted with boils and indelicate odours. I was the youngest crew member, the only one who had never before been to sea.
Danny showed me where to hang up my toothbrush, all that sort of thing, and said, 'I'm bollocked so it's lights out. Suddenly there was a rumpus outside the door. Drunken sailors crashing back from the bars, a sound which was to panic me often in the future. The door sprang open and a light went on. Three young mariners were hooting round the cabin. They weaved across to my bunk and started to tug at the bedclothes. The ringleader, a heavy leathery crewman about twenty- five years old, was bellowing in a Scots slum voice, 'C'mon, let's have a look!
Ooh, 'e's wearing pyjamas! Danny was shouting, Fuck off, Jock! We want our sleep if you want your breakfast! Robby was giggling uneasily and playing with a boil on his neck. The alarm shook me rigid. Robby was already pulling on his trousers and saying, 'Get a move on, we've got to get the mess going before the sailors turn up, I'll show you the routine.
We were the first up. Robby led the way along brilliant red decks and into the sailors' mess, which was spotless and had to be kept that way by us. He showed me how to make the tea, set the table for the crew, trot along - everything was done at a trot - to the Petty Officers' Mess and set it up for the Bo's'n, Colin and the Ship's Electrician known as 'Sparks' , then along more corridors to meet Chief Ship's Cook Heywood who resembled a barrel of lard. His face opened in a grin and he said, 'Well I'll be blowed, whatever next!
They lived amidships with their own mess and waited on the officers and passengers. There was a sharp distinction between the sea crew, who actually moved the vessel, and the stewards, who provided service for the elect.
The sailors dismissed them as a 'bunch of fairies'. Most of the stewards were English and all the sailors seemed to be Scotsmen called Jock, coarse-grained types yet good at heart.
The passengers were even further away, somewhere in heaven - the Pacific Fortune was a 9, ton freighter carrying general cargo but with room for a dozen or so banana-boat travellers. One never saw them unless 'scruberising' their decks or painting the scuppers where the water ran off. Captain Perry one saw only when he chose to make the ship's round like Matron in a hospital. Having been introduced to the hot, steaming galley it was time to trot back to the sailors' mess to clear up the tea and ashtrays.
The crew would work until about 8a. Afterwards Robby and I had to dash away to serve the Petty Officers. Colin said I had a choice - to call the Bo's'n 'Sir' or 'Bo's'n'. I chose the latter because it sounded so nautical. When all this had been set in motion one was permitted to eat too, for about five minutes, before the clearing up had to be done.
My duties were divided into one week in the mess, one week on deck, plus serving tea and breakfast daily. Mess duty was no joy. Waiting on the sailors, cleaning out their quarters, scrubbing floors, polishing brass, waxing teak, lunch, tea - after which many of the sailors would finish for the day - dinner, collapse. Our part of the ship was usually silent by 9p. Scrubbing in the fresh air is more entertaining than scrubbing in the bowels so I preferred deck work, especially when entering or leaving a port.
My overseer on deck was a taciturn Scot. I can't remember his name but presume it was Jock. Since he had no regard for words I learnt as I went along. The first voyage began. The stevedores came on duty and cast us off at dawn. Winding the steel hawsers on to the bollards made my palms bleed. Jock said, 'Put these on', and my hands disappeared up to the elbows in deck gloves. But I lost some of my excruciating shyness and began asking questions which Jock ignored with a friendly smile.
At Liverpool the ship floated past the green bronze birds on top of the Liver Building. Father said that if one saw them flapping it was a premonition of tragedy at sea. First week out of port: In the mornings I ran up to the fo'c's'lehead to retrieve the flying fish which had inadvertently suicided there.
First come, first served, delicious for breakfast. And at the end of the day, while the crew were gambling or unwinding in their bunks, I climbed to a secret place on the poop deck and sat on a pile of ropes in my oilskin. Out in the Atlantic after dark the world is eerily bright. I wondered many things - and especially: The sailors began to take off their clothes, which was very disconcerting.
I clung on to my jumper and black trousers. We worked without shoes or socks unless the steel decks became too hot. We put up a canvas swimming-pool for the passengers. About two weeks out: I was running along the deck in the early morning when a remarkable smell hit me. The relentlessness of salt had abated, and a heavy scent was in the air. Even the old hands were growing frolicsome on it. Eight hours later - land! On the horizon a low green island wobbled between the blue water and the sky.
My first palm trees. I had never been anywhere in my entire life and now - whack! I kept rushing the sides of the ship and shouting, 'Can't we get off now? The ship rode at anchor all day in the Bay of Kingston, waiting for a berth.
I asked if we might swim ashore like the sailors do in films with a Polynesian setting. Cook Heywood said, 'Ever seen sharks, laddie? An old salt had become very agitated. Apparently the saying goes: Ours disappeared on the second night and the old salt lived to sleep again. Cook Heywood picked up a bucket of bones and offal and tipped it over the side. At once, and I mean at once, the water convulsed in paroxysms of pink foam and teeth.
It was absolutely mesmerising. The ship was overrun by hawkers in jazzy clothes with whom the crew bartered furiously. Last to arrive was a black woman of enormous size. She wore a peppermint-green blouse which couldn't have been cut lower, a blue skirt daubed with flowers, and a flamingo scarf tied round her head.
She flapped on board in sandals. When she moved everything moved because she wore no undergarments. This was Cynthia, the washerwoman, who had come to take the sailors' laundry ashore.
Obviously she was very popular and knew all the men by name. They were phenomenal, and running down them was an unstoppable exudation of sweat. I emerged damp and red with the promise that 'One night, darlin, I's gonna show you der reeeel Kingston. They looked incongruous, seedy even, in that tropical landscape. Officially the party was in honour of a Royal Navy battleship moored in the bay. A group of young matelots moved towards me and I overheard 'Look at that skin!
Only minutes before, I had discovered Coca-Cola, an invention of genius. So Coca-Colas started to arrive. For the first but not the last time I was horribly sozzled. They had fixed the Cokes with rum. The next morning I made another discovery. Double agony, because our cabin was at the bottom of the ship, just over the screws, where the heat is at its most aggressive. True, there was a porthole. But this could not be opened in harbour because of rats. In fact it couldn't be opened at sea either because we should have been drowned.
But when Cynthia, smoking a cigar, turned up to take me along the Kingston Waterfront, I knew exactly what to order. In and out of the little wooden bars we went, where three-piece tin-can bands make the sound of thirty, and smiles leer at you out of clouds of marijuana smoke - eventually I ordered so many rum and Cokes that I went quite off them. Cristobal, where South America begins. We went ashore across a solid red carpet of cockroaches the size of sparrows. Here the issue of salt tablets was added to my chores.
I hardly needed them myself, being a salt addict. Salt over everything, even over anchovies, even today when I'm supposed to be on a sodium-restricted diet. Sliding out of the Canal into the boundless blue clarity of the Pacific Ocean, we almost bumped into a whale. The idea was to avoid ramming it. The whale rose out of the sea like a cathedral, waved and gracefully disappeared.
This went on for twelve hours because the animal had adopted our ship as a playmate. If you ram them you drive right into a mass of blubber and it sticks, forcing the ship to put into port to have the corpse removed.
Usually I wouldn't press myself on Danny and Robby when ashore. In public they were embarrassed by my effeminacy, I think. But the older sailors didn't give a damn. They were amused by the sight of a young thing groping pathetically into the mysteries of alcohol and adult life.
But in San Francisco all the sailors had their special banging parlours to visit, so I went into the city alone. From the docks I caught the bus uptown past the gingerbread houses to Union Square where you have to press your face against the bus windows to see the tops of the skyscrapers.
I gravitated towards Chinatown. We had one in Liverpool but San Francisco's exploded all over me in a dazzle of Chinese neon. Too young to enter the bars, I walked agog for hours and hours and formed a lifelong friendship with the American hamburger. After the lights, the most noticeable feature of the district was the number of drunks vomiting in doorways. Then it went very quiet. It must have been the early hours of the morning. I had to return to ship and grew apprehensive between Fisherman's Wharf and dockland.
No bright lights here. Out of the gloom, wailing and flashing, a cop car flew at me. Two uniformed immensities jumped out, an entire hardware store hanging from their belts. I hadn't known there could be so many different instruments of persuasion.
Hands up, against the wall, frisk; I knew the routine from James Cagney. They clanked around for a few minutes, checking my papers, expressing surprise at my being at sea 'aweady', and told me to hop in. I was treated to a motor tour of the city before being dropped back at the ship. Their surprise returned when I shook hands and said thank you.
Americans, I've since realised, are always impressed by civility. They don't quite know how to cope with it. If ever you find yourself the victim of aggression in the U. As we sailed out under the Golden Gate Bridge I very much hoped Seattle would be as stimulating - one was so inexperienced. But we did see a body float by with a bullet through its head, so even Seattle must have its moments. Our northernmost call was Woodfibre, an isolated lumberjack settlement with one coffee bar, where, surprise, we took on timber.
It was in Canada that I gave my first interview. Colin had something to do with it because the radio people were allowed to come on board. They introduced me to the listeners as 'the youngest person to go to sea since child labour was abolished'. Now the voyage reversed itself. Haiti was on the horizon for a while.
My seventeenth birthday came and went like a piece of flotsam. Then only the sea. Whenever I could I retreated to my secret place on the poop deck. While we were in and out of port, everybody had plenty to occupy his attention but now, back in the small claustrophobic world of a ship in mid-Atlantic, my anxieties proliferated. At meal times the sailors flaunted their sexual conquests, while I sat in silence and became increasingly choked.
With all the toil I should have been developing male muscles but I remained puppyish. Most of the men showered in the evening after work. Always secretive about bathing, I was now so ashamed of my body that I crept out to shower in the middle of the night so that no one would see me unclothed.
My behaviour of course only made them more curious. It was always a huge relief when the weather changed to wind and rain, so that everyone was covered in oilskins and there was no pressure for me to take off my top. I was phobic about anyone seeing my chest. Instead of the hard pectoral muscles which all the other sailors loved to display as one of the bonuses of physical labour, there was a pulpiness around my nipples which I took to be rudimentary breasts.
The ragging of that first night was repeated, usually at the instigation of the same young bullying Jock who now frightened me very much. There was always a great commotion. Objectively nothing catastrophic happened - a few bruises in the scuffles - and the older men prevented matters getting out of hand.
But it made me wretched. Sometimes they blew kisses and said 'Hullo, ducks' or 'girlie'. They would wink, slap my bottom, slip an arm round my waist. What was one supposed to do back? All my wires were tangled up inside because, you see, I was excited by it as well as afraid. Had I been among the stewards, possibly it would have been easier. But I was at the Men's End of the ship, in the throes of a profound identity crisis brought on by puberty but not explained by it I never completed the proper physical cycle of male adolescence.
Why did I have this curvaceous body? After three months of voyaging, the ship was in a filthy condition. If one wasn't asked to join up again all the fears about not being good enough were confirmed. I had made the grade as far as they were concerned. I couldn't wait to return to the ship.
When I did, it was a comfort to see that the seamen were by and large the same as on the first voyage. At least I knew where I stood with them. And one - tall, too handsome, blond, a friend of the young bully - thrilled me strangely.
This could not be openly admitted, especially not to myself, but nor could it be disregarded because I went groggy every time we met. Half-way along the Ship Canal my overseer knocked me to the deck with one clout. A whirring noise passed overhead, terminated by a violent whipcrack. One of the hawsers securing the ship in the lock had snapped and would have gone through me like a wire through butter. It wasn't a good start. Passing out into the Mersey I scrutinised the Liver Birds. A light flashed from them but did they move?
Or was my mind wandering? Life on board settled down to its jittery routine. One of the stewards I met in the galley presented himself as a suitor but I didn't respond, having adopted the condescension of the sailors with regard to these lesser mortals.
Besides, the rejection of all advances had become automatic. Touching people is a very healthy activity. The absence of it made me morbidly sensitive. Nor could I accept my feeling for the Blond Sailor who caused such an upheaval in my prudish breast. I stared at him working on deck.
He would look up, wink, and I'd turn away hot and confused. I was convinced a monstrous mistake had been made and only my being a woman would correct it. There were no fantasies about dressing in such and such a way. I merely wanted to be whole. One night the Blond Sailor opened my cabin door, unbuttoned his shirt and started to kiss me.
Two of his friends burst in to see how far he'd got. The Blond Sailor laughed and went off with them. But I was engulfed by shame and driven closer still to paranoia. In Kingston Cynthia said, 'Why, honey, you sure is gettin' prettier every time I sees yooo.
Cynthia, all Earth Mother and soothing powers. Yet really she could do no more than she already did. Which was my washing, free of charge. Colin took me up into the Blue Mountains for a drink. We sat on a terrace overlooking a misty valley. The alcohol churned and threw up the conviction that not only should I never be normal but that instead of getting better it was going to get worse which it did.
I experienced an acute attack of panic which suddenly began to break me up from within, the eruption of intolerable pressures, and a compulsion to jump. Reason played no part in it.
The compulsion emanated directly from the body. As we sailed for the Panama Canal on a calm sea I began to vomit from nerves and tried to pass it off as seasickness. The Blond Sailor knew he had broken down my reserve. He appeared to swagger with extra self-assurance. The battle raged on inside me. In the Pacific the Bo's'n began to realise I was in a pretty bad way. He gave me work which was either alone or with older men but he couldn't isolate me.
Knots, always my torture, now I had them in chest, stomach and head and they were getting tighter and tighter. The sailors must have thought me a very odd kettle of fish. I was over-polite with them through fear of involvement.
Physically I had deteriorated, eating little, working feverishly in an attempt to block my thoughts - so much so that the Bo's'n took me aside and told me to take it easy. But I was under excessive emotional strain. The upshot was that, walking down the street in San Pedro, I saw a sign saying 'Doctor' and went in. After an initial reticence I burst, ending up with 'I want to be a woman! I mean, you'll grow out of it. He gave me two sorts of pills, anti-depressant amphetamines and barbiturate sleepers, and told me to visit a psychiatrist as soon as I arrived back in England.
He added that he would waive his fee. Well, I hadn't a clue what a psychiatrist was. It was a new word. The amphetamines shrivelled up what remained of my appetite and shredded what remained of my nerves. The sleeping pills made me dizzier than I already was. By the time we reached Los Angeles I was totally screwed up. After clearing away the dinner I stayed on board and when my two cabin mates returned I pretended to be asleep.
At about 3 a. They were laughing and stank of drink. I fought like a tiger. As usual the old men broke it up and I was left on the floor with a nosebleed.
Later I relaxed sufficiently to weep. But I'd had enough. My mind went cool and I decided to kill myself. On this resolve I fell sound asleep for the first time in weeks. Next day I worked dispassionately through the schedule and after the last job, which was to clear up when Colin, Sparks and the Bo's'n had dined, I shut myself in the Petty Officers' Mess.
No one would return there until the following day. Picture me looking androgynous under a mop of black hair, with a tall glass of water on my right and on a tabletop to my left two piles of pills, one pink, one yellow.
It was common knowledge that the way to kill oneself was to swallow an overdose of pills. To hedge my bets I decided to swallow both, first a pink, then a yellow, then a pink, then a yellow, until they had all gone. I'd got half-way through when I began to shake, tingle and sweat. My vision flashed on and off.
It went into black and white. My final thought was 'This is wrong but so is everything else I do - hope Mum forgives me. Strange to say, I didn't blame the sailors. They didn't mean to be unkind and were only being their raunchy selves.
Certainly if they'd realised what was really happening they would have done anything to make life easier. But there was no way of getting it across. How could they be expected to understand what I couldn't understand myself? Actually their attempts to make contact with me, however rough and ready, were in fact an example not of their meanness but of their generosity of spirit. Sea people are wonderfully generous. They have simplicity and depth because dealing with the elements is their business.
And because of this simplicity they are also touched by romance. I have always admired and loved them. Later on, when I became well-known, I received many letters from sailors and from whole messes. Dear Miss Ashley - When you first appeared in the papers we have been collecting your photos and pinning them on our locker doors. Not long ago we decided to form a fan club and all the Mess wholeheartedly agreed. We thought that if you could send us a few autographed pictures Excellent , Monday Tot Time.
Dear Miss Ashley - It is with hearts full of hope that we write this our first letter to you, an ex-mariner and now a beautiful woman.
In our mess deck we have forty-one pin-ups of various young, good-looking women but nowhere among these can be found one such as you. We would willingly tear these down if we could replace them with portraits of yourself We write this letter in the belief that you will treat it as a sincere one, and it is you know.
Dear Miss Ashley - I wish to thank you on behalf of all the lads for the photographs you very kindly sent. They now occupy a place of honour in the mess, where no matter where we look we can see them, not that we would want it any other way Take good care of yourself and the very best of luck and happiness in all you do. Sirens rang in my head. I came to and passed out, over and over again.
On the third day I came to and managed to focus on the cheerful face of a middle-aged American nurse in a pale-blue and white uniform. And I was furious! The nurse was saying, 'Oh darling, you've got your whole life in front of you, how can you be so silly, it's a wonderful, wonderful world! She gave me something outlandish to eat called an avocado pear. The Pear was followed by a priest, blue-eyed American-Irish with a spine-chilling smile. He prefaced all his remarks with 'my child', which drove me up the wall.
Eventually I had to say, 'Will you please leave me alone! A faintly embarrassed representative of Furness Withy said that the Pacific Fortune had left and I should not be allowed to rejoin it.
I must say, Furness Withy's conduct was exemplary through all this. But paradoxically the news saddened me. Despite everything the ship was my only home and contained my only friends. He added that I was being transferred to the Seamen's Mission, San Pedro, to convalesce and should be issued with meal vouchers to the value of three dollars per day. These could be cashed in unofficially so there was pocket money for bus rides out to the beach. The local Samaritans from the Norwegian Seamen's Church introduced me to teenage American voluntary workers who took me to Hollywood, to ball games, to the desert, to the Biggest Big Dipper in the World.
With their help my toehold on life returned amazingly quickly. One is so pliable when young. After months of playing around, I was told without warning to pack my bags for a midnight flight to New York City. I'd never been up before and was treated like God. The New York mission was grim and in a sinister part of town. Again I managed to cash in my vouchers, lived on hamburgers, hot dogs and french fries, and went into the head of the Statue of Liberty the arm was closed.
The representative told me to pack again. I was on stand-by for the S. America , which held the Blue Riband for the fastest Atlantic crossing. It was a case of having to take whatever berth was going. This turned out to be a luxury stateroom on U deck with yards and yards of panoramic windows. The menu was an astonishment. Here began my love affair with caviar but I baulked at using the First Class dining-room because my trousers were ragged and my thin freezing Californian shirts frayed to death.
However this get-up was perfect for the fancy-dress ball on the last night at sea. I went as Robinson Crusoe. Squaring my shoulders, opened the front door of Teynham Crescent. They were sitting round the wireless drinking tea. Stop all this shit about wanting to be a woman. You'll grow out of it. You've got it up here, that's what counts. If God had intended the genitals to be as important as the brain He'd have put a skull round them. The second thing was to fix up work with John and Edna.
And the third was to try and learn to live with the word 'freak', an embarrassment now to my family as well as myself. In this, a positive element had entered my life which was crucial: Slightly built, with a strikingly red face and a pot of green eyeshadow on each eye, he had come to work on one of the stalls in the Market.
His forehead was very high with a mass of ginger hair piled precariously above it in oily quiffs. When he was excited they dislodged themselves and wound down over his face, in the centre of which was the foulest mouth I'd ever encountered. From this nervously jerking orifice, night and day, issued a flow of abuse and wisecracks. For Roxy it was a condition of existence, like breathing or the circulation of the blood.
And his hands - when they weren't involved in the reconstitution of his coiffure , his hands jumped about in unpredictable staccato, perhaps coming together for a second under the chin like a stunned madonna before shooting off in independent directions, one to the hip, the other to interfere with an earlobe, explore an itchiness in the lumbar-region, or simply gouge the air, then they would meet up again behind his neck in a desperate attempt to knot an imaginary turban.
I never saw him, one might say, in repose. The animated effect was enhanced by the comparative sobriety of his dress. Roxy was a new type for me. And in case you imagine him to be of a simpering disposition, I should emphasise that he was as tough as boots.
Liverpool can be a mean town for those who stick out like thumbs. But under threat Roxy was at his wildest. At first he frightened me too. But the discovery of Roxy's throwaway attitude towards all that was considered reprehensible, well, I simply talked and talked, it was like a bowel movement in my soul.
He invited me to meet his friends in the gay bars. Whenever the doors opened everyone inside would stop talking, turn round to check out who was coming in, and then return to the business of letting off steam among themselves. There were two main haunts: Many of the customers wore cosmetics and semi-drag. The more exaggerated ones had left home and gave parties. I went to one at the flat of two men who lived as women by night.
Full of pink satin, white lace, gold tassels, doilies all over the place, it looked as though Mae West had thrown up in there. The atmosphere made me uncomfortable, for my own presentation went much further than Roxy's in formality - a dark boxjacket with padded shoulders to make me shapeless, black trousers, hair long on top but cut into a Tony Curtis Boston at the back, and a white untouched face.
There was nothing to do in Liverpool in the early s. The only nightlife was people being beaten up and murdered. After closing time we hung around the Pierhead which was the focus for youthful frustration. Liverpool has tremendous nervous energy.
We youngsters brought it to the Pierhead where a dangerous static would build. Reggie Endicott took me to a boozing party at the house of a friend of his. It was a smart modern one, distinguished by an indoor lavatory.
I stood behind a sofa feeling worse and worse and finally went off to this lavatory and locked myself in. For want of anything more constructive to do I took down a bottle of aspirin and swallowed the entire contents. This second suicide attempt was much feebler than the first.
In fact it failed to connect at all. I crawled home with Reggie, slept for eighteen hours, and awoke with a monumental headache. It was assumed I had drunk too much, a permissible excess denoting manliness. We were at the Pierhead. Roxy was bitching with another Liverpudlian queen called Little Gloria as opposed to Big Gloria who came from Leeds over a piece of rough trade they both had their teeth into.
As usual I was outside it. We had been to the pub behind the Market and had had a few. I loved to drink. My manners had become even more reserved than before. Putting a psychological distance between myself and others was my method of self-protection. Only drink relaxed me, gave me a holiday from myself. But it took quite a lot, half-a-dozen gins before the lights started switching on. Out there in the keyed-up atmosphere of the Pierhead I overheard two young men discussing marriage plans.
I couldn't live that life. On the other side the row between Roxy and Little Gloria grew intolerable. I knew I couldn't live their life either.
Despair swept through me like a dry wind. Roxy, Little Gloria, me, everything was so sordid. As I fell through the air I registered the shocked silence of those I'd left behind.
My fall was broken by an icy smack. I plunged in and the water carried me off at top speed. On my way down-river I passed beneath a line of pontoons. As I sped out the other side there was a frightful pull on my hair. For a moment I assumed I had crashed into a post until I found myself rising out of the water.
One of the young men contemplating marriage had seen me vanish under the pontoon, calculated the point at which I should emerge, ran about three hundred yards, jumped down to it, and was now hauling me out of one of the most dangerous rivers in the world.
I writhed and fought. Chunks of hair came out. But he was so strong, and I ended up at the Ormskirk Mental Hospital. Though sedated I woke up with a start in a soft white gown with no metal fittings on it. In the bed opposite, with jug ears and clawlike hands covered in black hair, a man was tied down and screaming. Some were giggling, or sobbing, or releasing horrible howls from their throats; others shuffled up and down the ward with faces cancelled by drugs. In the bed to my left was a young man with the loveliest pale features.
We would chat in the normal way until a fixed stare came into his eyes. He would start to shiver and to mutter. I like them black, I like them big, they've got to be big and black, I've got to have them big and black. His obsession was the breasts of black women, he'd gone over the edge in that respect, and it had disfigured his whole outlook on life.
It occurred to me that his best chance of a cure lay not in a madmen's ward but in a ticket on the first boat to Jamaica and Cynthia. Wanting to go to the lavatory I was distressed to find myself escorted there by two giants in white coats and not allowed to shut the door.
The inmates were not permitted to shave themselves either. No knives or forks with the food. One ate with a spoon like a babe in rompers. The screamer opposite had to be fed by one of the giants who wiped the slobbering mouth and chin after every spoonful.
This filthy performance effectively put me off food. The ward lacked all adornment and was painted a bleak white. The windows were barred and could open only an inch or two. The doors were bolted shut. I had been imprisoned in a ward for violent maniacs. When this appalling fact dawned on me I asked to see a doctor, and was told to wait.
At last he came and I said, 'Why am I in a place like this? It was to prevent psychological contamination, to remind themselves they were part of the sane community.
This is a place for raving loonies, this is not for me. I only tried to kill myself because I'm so unhappy.
The two giants took me for a bath, which completed my humiliation. In the ward the lights stayed on all night. On the fourth day Mother arrived.
Bernie was with her in his customary, not-with-it way. She said, 'I wouldn't have come if Bernie hadn't come with me. To this day Mother thinks I've let the family down. It was agreed that I could leave, conditional on signing papers committing me to a year's psychiatric treatment as an out-patient at Walton Hospital near by, which had one of the largest psychiatric units in the British Isles.
When I got home my brother Freddie said, 'You silly git', and ruffled my hair. It was the nearest the family came to discussing it. Dr Vaillant was the head of the unit. His dark eyes couldn't rest, least of all on anyone else's, and darted about in terror of everything. Small and twitchy, he reminded me of a rat in distress.
After an interview with him I was passed on to a much younger doctor who began the cure by putting a mask over my face and dropping ether on to it. The idea was to release one's hidden depths by getting one high.
Claustrophobia began to flow up my nose and oppress my chest. Through the stone walls I could hear someone crying. There were four or five sessions with the ether mask and I grew to like it. This is fatal for therapeutic probes because it means one has regained one's composure. The doctor asked me about homosexual activity.
The dose was massive and might have encouraged a little growth in height but failed to make me shaggy and broad-shouldered.
Next on the list was sodium pentothal, the truth drug. It is jabbed into your arm and injected slowly while they ask you questions, questions, always the same ones, always the same answers, over and over again. Eventually they decided to go straight for the Main Nerve. For this I was put in a public ward. Observing those who came out was no encouragement. These blitzed souls returned from the convulsion chamber like zombies, their eyes blinking and heavily bloodshot, with an attendant supporting them on each side.
A few hours later they awoke in their beds with murderous headaches in comparison to which an aspirin overdose is like a day at the seaside. When it comes to medical matters I'm usually very brave but on these occasions was not. You are wheeled into the chamber. Wires are attached to your wrists and ankles.
A crown of wires is placed on your head. Heavy canvas straps bind you to a table. Once they press that button it's zonk! What theory lies behind E. It was followed by more talk. After six months of these mind-bending exercises, the doctor told me there was nothing more they could do without wrecking me physically. The report noted, ' One was really supposed to live on sickness benefit like an invalid, but the work kept me sane. At the same time I had my first clumsy affair with a man.
He was called Vic and I'd met him at the Stork Hotel. The barman came across to me and said, 'Someone wants to buy you a drink', which wasn't unusual. Already I was the prettiest and most mysterious of the bunch, but going out of my way to look as straight as possible although the one thing they always said was, "You've got a 'woman's eyes'".
Occasionally Vic would crash out on Mother's sofa. She quite liked him. But his insane fits of jealousy killed it before it had a chance to reach anything romantic. I had also met one of the directors of a local brewery, who offered to put me on a catering course. But when I started to attract an extrovert clientele I got cold feet and asked for a transfer.
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