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|Tuesday, July 30, 2013|
BY JENNIFER MARGULIS | ASHLAND CORRESPONDENT
We know that an unintended and unfortunate consequence of J. K. Rowling’s fertile imagination has been a robust illegal owl trade in Asia, as young Harry Potter fans long for a Hedwig (Harry’s faithful feathered companion) of their own.
Now a not-so-new book and HBO television series are sparking interest in an unusual dog-breeding project in White City, Oregon.
On another world in an unspecified medieval time in George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy Game of Thrones, hunters from House Stark find a dying dire wolf who’s just given birth to the same number of pups as they have children. Given to the Stark children, the whelps grow into giant loyal creatures with names like Lady, Grey Wind, and Summer. They terrify enemies, kill bad guys, get themselves slaughtered at sword point and even develop psychic bonds with their owners.
Though HBO is using Northern Inuits as their dogs of choice to star as the “dire wolves” on TV, Lois Schwarz, a dog breeder in White City, has another idea.
Working with the American Alsatian Breeders Association, Schwarz is heading up the Dire Wolf Project in a fanciful attempt to bring back the look — if not the temperament — of the dire wolf. American Alsatians are a popular breed. Large, intelligent, shaggy, they’re known for their calm disposition and loyalty.
Since we know very little about the coat and coloring of actual Ice Age dire wolves (that’s right, they’re real), this dire wolf project is not what you’d call a scientific endeavor.
But geologists at the University of Nevada hit the jackpot last year when they unearthed a fossilized foot belonging to a dire wolf that lived between 10,000 and 15,000 years ago.
A larger relative of the gray wolves, the real dire wolves are thought to have existed for about a million years. Competition from gray wolves and food scarcity probably led to their extinction.
Dire wolves bore little resemblance to the behemoths of Martin’s imagination. In keeping them medium-sized, Schwarz is remaining true to what we know from the fossil record. She’s not breeding her newfangled dire dogs to grow too large because, to paraphrase what she told a reporter from Wired UK, no American family wants to scoop that much poop.
Schwarz also told Wired her waiting list is long. Her popular dogs cost $3,000 a piece. We suggest you pick up your next pup at the pound instead, and use the money you save to buy a used copy of The Game of Thrones ($2.00) and pay for gas for a road trip to the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, where the dire wolf foot bone is on display.
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY SAM BLACKMAN
Storyteller-in-chief with the CEO and co-founder of Elemental Technologies.
Monday, June 22, 2015
The Clean Fuels/gas tax trade off will go down in history as another disjointed, on-again off-again approach to city and state lawmaking.
Wednesday, June 03, 2015
As part of our green workplaces story, Oregon Business checked out a community service project undertaken by Portland Youth Builders, a nonprofit alternative high school. In partnership with Whole Foods, PYB built garden boxes for a Home Forward housing site. Home Forward is a government agency that provides housing for low income residents and people with disabilities.
Thursday, June 11, 2015
In 2014, total revenue for camping and day use in Oregon State Parks was a little more than $17 million. That figure may even higher this year "because we've had exceptionally nice weather," Hughes says.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
One year after he was appointed chair of the Portland Development Commission, Tom Kelly talks about PDC's longevity, Neil Kelly's comeback and his new role as Portlandia's landlord.
Thursday, June 18, 2015
Fireworks are a booming industry, even if the pyrotechnics have turned July 4th into a day fire marshals, and many residents, love to hate.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
We asked readers how Obamacare has impacted their business.
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