Hi! I'm a taxidermist.
To me, Nature is God. Without it, we simply would not exist. Conserving the world’s natural spaces and the creatures that live there is paramount to the survival of humans as a species, and I have therefore dedicated my life to studying environmentalism in order to help people co-exist more successfully and sustainably with the natural world.
All natural materials I use in my creations are either sourced from roadkill, Fish and Game, secondhand sources such as fellow artists and estate sales, or are antique. In this way, I'm ensuring that no animals were needlessly killed for the sake of the artwork I produce. I fully believe that no part of any creature should go to waste if a purpose can be found for it, but I do NOT support trophy hunters or overseas fur farms by buying 'byproducts' like bones, skulls, or claws directly from them. The only exception I make for this rule is for parts from animals legally culled for population control programs approved by Fish and Wildlife.
As a photographer and wildlife enthusiast, I've been involved with many fantastic organizations such as Images4Life and Wild Tiger, as well as the Sierra Club and many smaller, local groups.
I've been published, interviewed, and even featured on Rainn Wilson (Dwight from “The Office”)'s personal networking website, SoulPancake.com.
I’ve also been blessed with the opportunity to visit many of the world’s most amazing wild places, like Komodo Island, Bali, Lombok, Malaysia, and the Cayman Islands, and have even documented entirely new species previously unknown to science.
Other interests include: Wilderness survival, primitive skills, backpacking, fishing, kayaking, boffing, airsoft, snowboarding, meandering around town, and caving.
Highdea! Yes! Brilliant!
My dream home is either a tree house cabin or an A-frame cabin on a large wooded property far outside of city limits where I can have a bunch of animals like chickens and goats and pheasants and deer; a large enclosure for Jude and Cabal; and maybe something like a creek or a river so I can set up a hydroelectric power system for myself.
Also, a bunch of other enclosures so I can foster more wolfdogs and wolf look-a-likes and maybe start my own rescue, because that would be all-the-more awesome.
Definitely! Demisexuality doesn’t mean you’re monogamous, or that your romantic attraction occurs in any certain way. It just defines how you experience sexual attraction.
The rat that Blackjack caught in the shop was not doing well. He started rasping pretty loudly and his eyes were unfocused, so I put him out of his misery.
When I went outside the do it, I decided to check on the white chick with the funky conformation that I rescued from Wilco and discovered that she was not moving - largely because her feet seem to have undergone a drastic growth spurt and she appears unable to support herself on them. So I’m reading up on making some foam leg braces for her and separating her from the rest of the flock for a while in the hopes that it will give her some time to grow stronger.
On paper, Jude is “35% wolf”, but a more correct means of describing his wolfiness is in terms of content. There are different tiers of content for wolfdogs, and they go as follows:
Low/no: These are animals which *may* have some wolf ancestry, but which display so few wolf traits that they aren’t exactly considered wolfdogs. Here’s a perfect example of a low/no-content wolfdog for you:
The animal above has some traits that are shared with wolves (such as the fully-furred tail and blended coat coloration), but these traits are also common in certain breeds of domestic dog, and do not automatically mean that the pup in question must be “part wolf”. Low/no animals are essentially “dogs with a few overlapping traits that may or may not be resulted from wolf heritage” and it’s typically best to describe such animals as non-wolfdogs.
Low content: Low content wolfdogs share a few wolfy characteristics with their wild ancestors, but still look “mostly dog”. They may have a few biological traits of a wolf, and will often show certain behavioral aspects of a wild canine, too - things like high prey drive, severe separation anxiety, skittishness when encountering new people and new places, resource guarding, etc. The average dog-owner is likely not prepared to deal with a low-content animal, but experienced individuals can provide happy homes for wolfdogs of this content with proper education.
Here is a prime example of a beautiful low-content wolfdog:
Note that this pup has a very pointed muzzle, an arrow-shaped skull, pronounced cheek ruffs, narrow chest, lanky limbs, and a fully-furred tail. These are traits that can easily be attributed to wolf genetics, but the pup nevertheless has many dog traits, too: Tall pointed ears, large rounded eyes, slightly drooping jowls, etc. This animal has a wolfy look to it, but is still more dog than wolf.
Mid content: The mid-content range is broken down into three sub-categories - low mid, solid mid, and upper mid. Low mids will have fewer wolf traits than a solid mid (who will typically have equal wolf/dog traits), which will in turn have fewer wolf traits than an upper mid. Here are some animals that fit into these categories:
Ironically (if memory serves me correctly), all four of the wolfdogs from low to upper-mid content are actually related. Slate, the upper mid-content wolfdog, is the mother of the low and low-mid pups, as well as a distant relative of the solid mid. She also my low-content wolfdog’s aunt.
If you look closely, you will note that all of the animals from low mid to upper mid look increasingly more and more ‘wolf-like’ in their physical appearance. Biologically and behaviorally, they are more wolf-like, too. It’s probably most apparent in the form of their skulls: The low-mid has a much boxier-looking muzzle than either of the other two higher-content pups; while the solid-mid has a more pronounced stop than the upper-mid (he also has a more robust body structure).
Finally, there are the coveted high-content wolfdogs. These animals are more wolf than dog, and will absolutely look the part. In many cases, it’s nearly impossible to tell a high-content wolfdog from a pure wild wolf.
High content wolfdog:
I personally call Jude a low-content, but others have said he is a low-mid. His siblings also phenotype as lows and low mids.
For more information on content vs. percentage, please view THIS POST here.
I have a tawny owl head rotting in the back yard, hoping insects and nature will go ahead and clean most of it out for me, but it isn’t really making any progress? v.v I want that damn skull done and ready to clean already, ugh. Does anybody have any advice for me?
My advice would be to leave it lie, and not risk a fine of up to $15,000.
Owls have some beautiful skulls—I have the privilege of cleaning a barred owl skeleton for the state park I volunteer at—but private possession of their parts is illegal in the US, which is where you are. The only exceptions are made for enrolled Native Americans, and even then, there’s rules about how they are allowed to possess them.
Now, I see you already lashed out at one person who tried to tell you this, and as much as I hate conflict, I’m still going to stand my ground. The reason why we all press each other to “know your country/state/province laws” is because we want our community to look respectable. People already look down on us for our interests. If we just went around ignoring the laws because we wanted all the pretty bones and pelts, they would be able to say “Not only are those people creepy, they have no regard for the law!” and that does us no favors.
Blackjack is an indoor-only cat. But that doesn’t mean he won’t catch critters that wander into his domain. Most recently, I’ve been dealing with a rat problem, and was averse to setting out traps and things of that ilk in the probable event that I caught a nosy Blackjack instead. I figured my cat would do his job and we’d all end up happy (with the exception of the rat, of course!).
Today, my mighty hunter certainly earned his keep.
As I was working on redecorating my bedroom (something I always seem to do after a break-up, as a way to reclaim the space as solely ‘mine’), I heard a high-pitched shriek and a crash from the depths of the shop. At first I thought it was just Blackjack being clumsy again, so I shouted down to him, “Way to go, cat!” but there was no usual response of “Brrow?”
Alert, I poked my head out of my lofty bedroom door and spotted Blackjack down below on the dusty floor, sitting calmly beside a gigantic brown rat. The animal wasn’t dead - Blackjack wasn’t done playing with it yet - so I picked it up by the scruff of the neck and currently have it sitting in a plastic fish tank, waiting to see if it survives the night.
He’s got some blood coming out of his nose, is limping on his right front leg, and isn’t moving around much, but it’s hard to read pain in such small animals. I will be checking in on him every-so-often to see if his condition worsens or improves to judge whether I should put him out of his misery now, or wait and keep him until I find a time to release him outside of city limits.
All kinds of stuff. Crafts, jewelry-making, dog chews, bone meal for the garden, etc.