Cover image for Three among the wolves : a couple and their dog live a year with wolves in the wild
Three among the wolves : a couple and their dog live a year with wolves in the wild
Thayer, Helen.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Seattle, WA : Sasquatch Books, [2004]

Physical Description:
xvii, 238 pages : illustrations, map ; 23 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QL737.C22 T46 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Three Among the Wolves is a highly readable true-life adventure tale combined with a fascinating natural history of the wolf. Helen and Bill Thayer, accompanied by their part-wolf, mostly Husky dog, Charlie, set out on foot to live among wild wolf packs -- first in the Canadian Yukon and then in the Arctic. They eventually set up camp within 100 feet of a wolf den, and are greeted with apprehension at first. They establish trust over time, because the wolves accept Charlie as the alpha male of the newly arrived "pack."

The Thayers discover the complexities of wolf family structure, including how pups are reared and how the injured are tenderly cared for. They view the intricacies of the hunt firsthand -- how ravens direct wolves to prey in exchange for carrion -- as well as the wolves' finely honed survival skills and engaging playfulness. Readers observe the ways Helen and Bill model pack behavior and how they address an unforeseen event: the Arctic wolves attempt to lure Charlie to join them.

Author Notes

Helen Thayer, born and raised in New Zealand, became the first woman to walk and ski to the magnetic North Pole -- a feat accomplished at age 50 and recounted in the book Polar Dream. Helen has received numerous awards and accolades for her adventures, including being named by the National Geographic Society/National Public Radio as one of the great explorers of the 20th century. She and her husband Bill live in the foothills of Washington's North Cascades

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Explorer and adventurer Thayer (who has trekked the North Pole, the Sahara Desert, and Antarctica), along with her husband and husky-wolf dog, Charlie, decided to live close to wild wolves in Canada. They would study the wolves' food-sharing habits with grizzly bears and ravens during the summer and with polar bears and foxes during the winter. As the couple approached a spring wolf den, camping closer each day, they found that Charlie was their key to acceptance by the wolves. By following his lead and observing his reactions to the obvious interest of the resident pack, they convinced the wolves that they were harmless. What followed was an intimate six months with the pack. Charlie marked a territory around their tent that the wolves respected, but the pups crossed this boundary to get the dog to play with them. This unusual combination of adventure travel and the study of animal behavior is a diverting read and will find a wide audience. --Nancy Bent Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this breezy volume, Thayer, whose previous book chronicled her successful solo trek to the North Pole at age 50, recounts the year that she spent in the Yukon and Arctic wilderness following packs of wolves with her husband, Bill, and their part-wolf dog, Charlie. Like Farley Mowat and others before her, Thayer (Polar Dream) is motivated by a desire to study the behavior that wolves won?t reveal when they?re kept in captivity, particularly the ?food-sharing habits [they have] with land-bound animals, such as grizzlies and ravens.? The wilderness project relies heavily on the talents of Charlie, who acts as a canine go-between that both guides and protects his owners as they cautiously make their way closer and closer to a wolf pack. Thayer and her husband copy Charlie?s behavior to transform themselves from threatening humans to submissive, wolf-like strangers. They eat a vegetarian diet and try to minimize their presence as they follow the wolves on hunting expeditions in a cold, forbidding world. Suspenseful encounters with bitter storms and fearsome grizzlies are tempered by calmer moments with romping pups and breathtaking scenery. While the subject matter is not new, Thayer?s smooth prose style moves the story along, and the inclusion of Charlie as a main focus adds a new twist to the first-person nature narrative. (May) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. VII
Approachp. 2
Trustp. 18
Campp. 29
Ravensp. 47
Abovep. 57
Huntp. 66
Invasionp. 78
Escapep. 88
Pupsp. 95
Neighborsp. 107
Attackp. 123
Partingp. 141
Arcticp. 154
Bearsp. 171
Icep. 184
Campp. 200
Strangerp. 217
Affectionp. 222
Passagesp. 232