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The Time Between the Dog and the Wolf

The French have a saying, "L'heure entre chien et loup.” It means the moment at dusk when you can’t tell a dog from a wolf or friend from foe. I have a family story about a wolf that this photograph reminded me of though the picture is from an earlier time.

Girl with wolf

A year before my Grandfather passed away in 1989, I asked him to tell me stories about his life. He didn’t know where to start so I wrote a list of questions that lead to wonderful rambling stories my mother and I turned into a book.

One of those stories was about a wolf he—Maurie Doerr—took with him to the University of Missouri.

When Maurie was a young man, he decided to go to college. According to him, you just showed up at school and started taking classes. That was the admissions process in the 1920s at least if you were a boy. As legend has it, Maurie’s $5 pet wolf went with him.

“The wolf was very popular whenever one of the sorority houses wanted to get some space in the Kansas City or St. Louis newspapers. They’d call me to come over with the wolf and they’d have a photographer taking pictures of the girls with him.” (Maurie Doerr)

He had to give up the wolf because it was a wolf and Maurie eventually left college before graduating because of the great depression. Later in life, he stuck with le chien after experiences with loups of the human variety, but that's another story.

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