Review: A Wolf Called Romeo

A Wolf Called Romeo

After reading that Patricia McConnell — my dog lady hero — loved this book, I knew I had to add it to my reading docket. I was pleased to discover that my local library had a copy, and I tore through this book as quickly as McConnell promised I would.

Nick Jans tells a riveting story of a friendship that developed between a community of dog-lovers and a lone wolf. In the early 2000s, the community of Juneau, Alaska, started to notice this gorgeous male black wolf stalking around near their neighborhoods. Was he a threat? Was he dangerous? Where was his pack? The wolf’s background remained largely a mystery, but his purposes soon became clear: this wolf just loved dogs.

Yes. This enormous wild wolf was crazy about dogs, and all he wanted to do was play with them. He started to sit outside Jans’s house, waiting for him to come out with his dogs — including his true love, Dakotah the lab, who is pictured in that unbelievable cover photo above — earning him the moniker “Romeo.”

What follows is a riveting, well-told account of a three-way inter-species friendship between a wolf, dogs, and humans. Naturally, complications arise when the humans get more involved in Romeo’s story, and so you’ll have to read the book yourself to learn more. (Full disclosure: This book made me cry three times, and I am not one for sappy animal stories, as much as I love animals in the flesh. Jans doesn’t unfairly toy with one’s emotions. This is just a real, heart-rending story.)

My sole complaint of the book is that I wish that the photos had been reproduced in color; they are really beautiful, even in grayscale. I was able to find this color reproduction of Romeo, presumably taken by Jans, which appears in the book:

Romeo. (c) Nick Jans.
Romeo. (c) John Hyde.

He really sounded like a remarkable wolf, and he provided Jans with a remarkable story to tell. A highly recommended book to anyone who loves animals, especially wolves, and the mysteries of inter-species relationships.

Disclosure: I was NOT provided with a review copy or asked to write this review. I checked it out myself from the library.

 

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8 thoughts on “Review: A Wolf Called Romeo

  1. Looks terrific. I’ve also added it to my reading list.

    For the opposite approach, you might enjoy Helen Thayer’s Three Among The Wolves: A Couple and Their Dog Live A Year With Wolves in the Wild.

    I reviewed it and just loved it. The Thayers hiked into Alaska to live near a wolf pack hoping their wolf dog Charlie, would help the wolves accept them. It’s a wonderful book and I think you’d enjoy it very much.

  2. Thanks for the review. I just checked Amazon and its available for my Kindle so I’ll give it a read. I noticed there is another book about the wolf written much earlier(2010) called “Romeo: The Story of an Alaskan Wolf by John Hyde.” Perhaps that one is worth a read, too?

  3. Thanks for the review. I just checked Amazon and its available for my Kindle so I’ll give it a read. I noticed there is another book about the wolf written much earlier(2010) called “Romeo: The Story of an Alaskan Wolf by John Hyde.” Perhaps that one is worth a read, too

  4. The photographer who took the picture of Romeo above is John Hyde not Nick Jans. The book by John Hyde mentioned above by another poster is primarily his pictures of Romeo in color so definitely worth a look as well. A Wolf Called Romeo is a fantastic book and one that will stick with me for a long time to come. I was glad I had a box of Kleenex readily at hand!

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