About the Author

Jess Shillaw

Guest contributor

Jess was born in Kwazulu/Natal but grew up in Cape Town. Having an innate love for all things wild but getting to spend little time in the bush while growing up, she headed straight for the Lowveld after school. She completed a guiding ...

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on A Poem About My Love For Painted Dogs

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I love your poem, Jess. Wild Dogs are one of my favourite animals. I have seen them in Madikwe, Pilanesberg and, of course, the KNP.

Gorgeous, Jess! I loved seeing the Wild Dogs with you and seeing the joy that they bring to you. Beautiful. x

Senior Digital Ranger

Nice, Jess. Very nice.

Senior Digital Ranger

That was very lovely. I loved seeing them when I was in Krueger. So majestic they are. Each coat painted a different pattern. Beautiful!

Thank you for that beautiful poem. I too love the wild dogs and get so excited when I can see them. I have a painting I would like to share. Do you have an email addr?

A truly wonderful poem, Jess.
I also love wild dogs. They are such special creatures fighting together, bringing their pups up together .
it’s always special treat to see some on a safari and especially like the last time at Londolozi with so many pups.
They are incredible animals. I saw a very small group of three last year at Tswalu, two of them even a bit handicapped. Nobody there had believed that they would ever have pups. But to everybody’s surprise they had twelve pups this year and have been raising them successfully so far. They are about a month older than the pups at Londolozi.

A fabulously descriptive poem Jess – Wild Dogs also a favourite which always evaded us whilst at Londolozi some years ago! One day……..

Your poem is absolutely beautiful and it describes the wild dogs perfectly. I can recall you being with James Tyrrell driving around looking for the puppies of the wilddogs. When you saw the puppies you started crying. Such beautiful dogs and each one has their own markings. I loved your poem Jess and keep on writing.

Through using your words Jess, you’ve painted an image of these incredible wild dogs that brings me joy, but also longing to see them once again. I feel blessed that I’ve not only viewed them resting and playing, but also following them through the bush, the rover jumping over small tree branches as they raced ahead in pursuit of a meal. I’m not sure whose adrenaline was stronger – the dogs or mine! I love these painted dogs and they are always on my list to see, maybe just under my favorite leopards. Outstanding poem!!

Hi Jess, are they really so little known? I knew of wild dogs since I was a child. I found them funny with their mickey-mouse like ears and spotted coat. Very different from my domestic dogs really! The painting is very beautiful. I prefer wild dogs to painted wolves for a taxonomic reason. They are genetically and evolutionarily more related to Asiatic dholes than to wolves. I live close to wolves, i can assure you that they are completely different from any point of view! I think that the words wild dogs make them more acceptable to people. Under “wolves” there’s always an innate fear, as for wild cats, as I can see in people. It’s difficult to make wolves acceptable, especially as they are apex predators. Not like wild dogs that come after lions and hyenas. There’s a huge problem with wolves right now… and I am so happy to see them thriving

I really love the wild dogs, and your poem Jess only adds to my affection for them!

Great poem Jess. I liked the painted picture as well.

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