Man looks up at moon and flying Yorkshire terrier
A historically accurate depiction of Jack London and a so-called wolf. Art by Tim Bower.

Is it true that Jack London never even saw a wolf in the wild?

Yes. The closest Jack London came to seeing a wolf in the wild was when a Dawson dancehall queen’s Yorkshire Terrier turned feral and took off down the Yukon River. London’s encounter with the Yorkie beneath the winter moon was so haunting and moving that the wandering writer decided to devote himself to writing about all things lapdog. However, after multiple publishers rejected his manuscript “The Yip of the Toy Dog,” he convinced himself that, on a spiritual level and for marketing purposes, the Yorkie had been a wolf.

What’s the best writing retreat in Alaska?

Sanctuary of the Wolf, an all-inclusive wilderness retreat, is by far the best. Blossoming writers are separated into packs of prose writers and poets. Rather than words, attendees are taught to use wind, blood, and other bodily functions to convey their thoughts and feelings. Sanctuary of the Wolf is very hierarchical, so I recommend attacking someone weak on your first day to make sure you get your choice of moose organs. On the last day, the two packs meet to engage in readings, territorial warfare, and mating.

Why are Alaskans so much tougher than everyone else?

Spandex. It’s no secret that the hardy men, women, and children of the north are obsessed with all things spandex. I have a singlet for every occasion—from fundraising dinners with politicians to hunting the wiliest of wild animals in the wilderness. Spandex allows me to move like a wolf, harness the strength of a grizzly and the endurance of a wolverine, and look fashionably sensitive yet too cool to care. Plus, it’s great for Greco-Roman wrestling, which, without a doubt, is the favorite sport of the north.

Is it true that Netflix is making a series called Wolf King, modeled off Tiger King?

Yes! It’ll be a beautiful portrayal of Alaskan culture, though the animal rights nuts are up in arms, which is just silly. The wolves’ cages may be tiny, but their steady diet of cats and dogs from the pound makes up for their lost freedom. The show will use the cast from Alaskan Bush People, with the addition of Sarah Palin and Ted Nugent, to make Wolf King a timeless family classic.


Bjorn Dihle is Alaska magazine's gear editor and a lifelong resident of southeast Alaska. You can follow him at instagram.com/bjorndihle or facebook.com/BjornDihleauthor.

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