My name is Scottie Westfall, and I already have an established blog, The Retriever, Dog, & Wildlife Blog, which I have been writing since July 2008.
I initially wrote it to promote some of my writings on another site, but I later found that the blog itself was of greater interest to most readers.
And I found that I loved exploring my many ideas about animals and natural history. It was a nice respite from my studies in political science.
Through my own blog, I have been able to develop my own writing style and make many good friends that I wouldn't otherwise meet. The pup in the above photo is "Pavel," a West Siberian laika that I helped a friend import into Canada this past September. Pavel was born in Eastern Kentucky to a Russian imported father, and I helped send him to a friend in Alberta. Right now, Pavel is running around the forests of Finland, chasing hazel grouse and Swedish vallhunds.
I grew up in the Allegheny Foothills in West Virginia on the same farm my grandparents owned. West Virginia is a remarkable place. Most of the land is no longer intensively farmed, and vast tracts of forest have sprung up where once there were cultivated fields and pastures.
I had the luck of growing up next to my grandparents, who were both children of the Great Depression. My grandfather's family relied upon the forest for much of their sustenance during that period, and he became quite knowledgeable about the ways of wild animals in this area.
From him, I received two gifts:
He taught me so much about the natural world that I know that many things I know now come solely from his tutelage.
And he taught me how to tell a good story.
Although my professional training is in the political economy, my love is always going to be nature and its creatures.
My own areas of focus are domestic dogs and the process through which they became domesticated from wolves, and I am, of course, very interested in wild canids.
I have written extensively about both wild and domestic canids, and I shall provide links for samples below:
- The creature formerly known as the "red wolf
- No unique "Eastern wolf" species
- Why we should recognize two species of raccoon dog
- Canis is a paraphyletic genus
- The discovery of wolves in Senegal and a new species complex in the genus Canis
- The Canis lupus/Canis latrans species complex
- Melanistic golden jackal discovered in Turkey
- The deer hunter's wolf
- Hunting wolves with wolf hybrid hounds in Brittany
- Hunts with Retrieving Wolf
- Lambert De Boilieu on the "Labrador dog"
- More St. John's water dogs with long hair
- The first golden retriever in Russia ("The Glasnost Golden")
- The dubious red wolf
- The aquatic dog theory
I think this list gives you an idea of what sort of posts I write.
A few weeks ago Jon Downes invited me to contribute to this blog, and I was more than happy to join.
I thank Jon very much for this opportunity, and I look forward to posting new blog posts on here in the future.
Until then, feel free to have a look at my blog and the posts I've linked to here.