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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.
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
The refugee crisis has put immigration and border issues on the front burner, in Europe and at home. In Oregon, attitudes toward illegal immigration haven’t changed dramatically since 2006.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER
In 2010 Vanessa Keitges and several investors purchased Portland-based Columbia Green Technologies, a green-roof company. The 13-person firm has a 200% annual growth rate, exports 30% of its product to Canada and received its first infusion of venture capital in 2014 from Yaletown Venture Partners. CEO Keitges, 40, a Southern Oregon native who serves on President Obama’s Export Council, talks about market innovation, scaling small business and why Oregon is falling behind in green-roof construction.
Monday, September 28, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT
Corporate headquarters are no longer a marker of economic prowess.
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
BY JASON NORRIS | CFA
On September 17, the much anticipated Fed decision was delivered and the equity markets haven't liked it.
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER
The 2016 presidential election is shaping up to be the year of the outsider, with Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump capturing leads in the polls and the headlines. In Portland, Wheeler vs. Hales is bucking the outlier trend.
Thursday, September 24, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
Oregon's population is booming, and so are rental costs.
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER
A new co-working model disrupts office sharing, child care and work-life balance as we know it.
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