Bruce McElmurray – Leadership Qualities I Learned from an Alpha Wolf

My wife and I live in the mountains of southern Colorado with our four German Shepherd Dogs. We have numerous wild animals visit almost on a daily basis and occasionally a wolf will be seen or the tracks from one. These animals are allusive and not often seen but we happen to love wolves and are delighted when we have an occasional visit.

We have a wolf refuge about an hours drive from us where wolves are kept in natural habitat and they are the purpose of this post. We have visited the wolf refuge many times over the 20 years we have lived here in our mountain hideaway. On one visit we made the decision to sponsor a wolf named Lucas.

Wolves Teach Us Lessons

This post is about Lucas and what he taught us. How do I start describing Lucas? I’m sure if the curator of the refuge reads this, he could amplify anything I write, but Lucas was a wild-looking black wolf who taught us a valuable lesson. Lucas had a pack within the refuge and he was the undisputed, unanimous alpha male. Some wolf packs will have young challengers who try to depose the alpha male and will fight for the position of alpha, especially when the alpha gets older and may be weaker or more vulnerable than the young upstart.

Maintaining Alpha Position

Lucas was the alpha of his pack until the day he died from old age. Lucas was unique in that he was so respected and esteemed by the pack that no one even considered challenging him. He was their choice, because he had a unique ability to love each member of the pack so deeply that none of the others could love as thoroughly as Lucas.

He was not the alpha because he was the biggest and strongest (although he was both) but due to his unfathomable love for the pack. When we would visit the refuge, we would go see Lucas and it was obvious he held an esteemed place within the pack.

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