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Three Among the Wolves: A Couple and Their Dog Live a Year with Wolves in the Wild

4.14  ·  Rating Details ·  225 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
Helen and Bill Thayer, accompanied by their part-wolf, mostly Husky dog, Charlie, set out to live among wild wolf packs — first in the Canadian Yukon and then in the Arctic. When they set up camp within 100 feet of a wolf den, they were greeted with apprehension. But they establish trust over time because the wolves accept Charlie as the alpha male of the newly arrived "pa ...more
Kindle Edition, 258 pages
Published (first published June 1st 2003)
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The authors spend a summer observing a pack of wolves in the Yukon. Their interactions are guided by the reactions of their dog, a husky with wolf ancestry. They observe some interesting behavior. They then spend a few months near Tuk looking for and then observing wolves on the pack ice and later near Inuvik. The descriptions of wolf society are captivating.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, even though I do not particularly like Helen Thayer or her writing. When I realized the book (recommended
Heather Mishefske
May 29, 2017 Heather Mishefske rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An adventure mingled with keen observations of wolf behavior, wilderness exploration and great ecological insight. All told by a bad ass woman explorer.
Carl R.
3 Among the Wolves argues (though not explicitly or intentionally) that you’re nev
er too old for anything. Picture this: A 58-year-old woman and her 69-year-old husband decide that it would be a good idea to take their wolf-dog, Charley, hike a week into the wilderness of the Northwest Territories, and spy on a wolfpack from April to October. Basically snow to snow. So they do.

That accomplished, still hungering for adventure, they outfit themselves for an expedition to the arctic to study the r
Nov 20, 2008 Stephen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some nature books are great reads, some are great adventures. This one is the latter. It details the year-long trek the author, her husband Bill and their dog Charlie made into in the Yukon above the Arctic Circle to study various families of wolves.

Spoiler: in the winter there is a lot of cold and ice and very little sun. And, in this case, the ice takes on a life of its own as Thayer writes:

“The distant rumbling, now much louder, closed in on us. I stared at sections of falling ice as though
Gail Marie
I heard Helen Thayer speak at REI in Durham a couple weeks ago. At 70-something she's quite energetic and fit. However, if you ran into her at, say, Target, you wouldn't expect her to be the first woman to have trekked solo to the Magnetic North Pole without dog sled or snowmobile. She was also the first woman to circumnavigate the Magnetic North Pole, and she (at 68) and her husband (at 74) were the first husband-and-wife team to walk the length of the Mongolian Gobi Desert. That's 1,500 miles, ...more
Mar 24, 2008 Cayr rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dogs
Endearing story about a middle aged couple and their wolf-dog who set out to study and live beside wild wolves in Alaska and the Arctic Circle for one year. They encounter three families of wolves on their journey, which they are able to observe, photograph and document with painstaking detail.

Fascinating insights about wolves in the wild, their attachments, their patterns, their social structure.

Thayer is a world renowned explorer, and was the first woman to solo walk and ski to the magnetic N
Feb 09, 2013 Landis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was magical to me. The observations of the author and her husband regarding the interactions of the wolves and, more interesting to me, the wolves and their dog Charlie were far more than I expected. Looking at the society of the pack, the way that the wolves related to each other and adapted to strangers in their midst certainly challenges the general reputation of these animals. They observed them cooperating with other species (crows, bears, foxes) in the hunt for food,caring for th ...more
Carol Wakefield
Jun 30, 2013 Carol Wakefield rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Helen thayer is simply an extremely remarkable woman. Remarkbe also are her husband and her late dog. I read her story of hiking solo to the north polea--well dog charlie was there too and and of the hike across the gobi with huband bill. This rather unassuming group can out hike, camp and adventure most people half their ages and they do it to study a question they are interested in at the time. In this case how wolves live in two locales. A forested setting and a polar setting. Now we know. He ...more
Mar 14, 2012 August rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm in research mode for my novel, and wolf behavior was one of the key components of the story that I needed to brush up on. This eyewitness account of several packs' behaviors over a significant amount of time and by thoughtful, unobtrusive observers seemed as close as I was going to get to firsthand research from my seat. While not the most thrilling read in general, this was certainly a handbook of wolf behaviors. There are a lot of highlights in my Kindle copy. Suffice to say, an excellent ...more
Mar 26, 2013 Talissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not only the author of Three Among the Wolves, Helen Thayer is the person who spent a year with wolves in the wild. I believe her purpose is to teach readers that wolves aren't anywhere close to what most people think of them as. She also want us to realize that they desperately need to be protected along with the rest of the wilderness. Helen Thayer was the first woman in the world to trek solo to the north pole. On that trip, she found her dog, which was the link that got the wild wolves to tr ...more
J Pass
Oct 24, 2007 J Pass rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Helen Thayer, her husband Bill and their Inuit husky/wolf mix Charlie spent a year studying natural habitats of wolves. While Hele and Bill always maintained a safe and respectable distance from the dens they observed, Charlie bridged the gap between canine and man. The wolves accepted the humans as part of the natural terrain and went about their normal existence, which in turn allowed the couple to document what had not been captured well before; den and pack behavior, hunting and survival ins ...more
Feb 23, 2011 Driftless rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nature, adventure
Over the years, for better or worse, people have attempted to advance knowledge of the animal world by integrating themselves into an often dangerous wild environment, trying to become assimilated into animal culture. Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey and Timothy Treadwell come to mind. In Three Among the Wolves adventurer Helen Thayer braves the Canadian Arctic to learn about the much maligned Canis lupus.

You can read the rest of my review at Wolves.
May 09, 2009 Patty rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
3 among the wolves was ok, but does not compare to her "Polar Dream" book which was an page-turning adventure. I have mixed feelings about humans socializing wild animals as is the case in this book. I also think Helen attributes too many human-like motivations to these wolves. But, like "Polar Dream", the star of this book is Helen's amazing dog Charlie which in the end makes it a book worth reading
Jim Kratzok
Mar 22, 2015 Jim Kratzok rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I read this book several years ago. It was a fascinating read about the author, her husband, and wolf-dog Charlie and their experience living in close proximity to a wolf pack. Charlie became their ambassador, acting as the alpha-male of his little pack of humans. In time, a level of tolerance and respect was built up between the wolf pack and the dog/human pack.

I especially enjoyed the description of how the wolves passed on things they had learned to their offspring.

Oct 11, 2016 M added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to M by: Charley E.
A fascinating record of Helen Thayer's intrepid travels to the Canadian Arctic to study wolves, accompanied by her adventurous husband, Bill Thayer, and their part-wolf dog, Charlie. For me, it recalls my life on the edge of the northern wilderness of Alaska and Canada.

Their close observation of the wolves at their family dens, enabled by Charlie's rapport with the wolves, affirms the nobility of these endangered creatures.
Aug 25, 2012 Liz rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting depiction of wolf behaviour in multiple environments. However, some information provided in the book (such as that only the alpha wolves reproduce) has since been discovered to be inaccurate. I would recommend this title if you are interested in wolves, but would also suggest supplementing it with some hard science titles and/or journal articles to get the most up-to-date information.
John Fredrickson
This was an easy to read, very interesting book. It tells the story of a couple's living in the wild with several packs of wolves, enabled by the presence of their half-wolf dog. The adventures that they have, with the wolves and other wild creatures, along with their portrayals of the social structures and behaviors of wolves in a pack, makes for fascinating reading.
Aug 13, 2014 Gary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read a lot of books regarding wolves and this one is one of the best. Their adventure into Canada with their devoted dog, living among two wolf packs was insightful and inspiring. I tend to enjoy books that are less scientific and more real life adventures and this book was one of those that was hard to put down.
Raven Sky
Nov 19, 2012 Raven Sky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For those of you who are Wolf advocates and wildlife lover's, this book details an journey in the lives of a couple and their amazing dog who live among the Wolves for a year. At times harrowing, yet a methodical and heartfelt account that will leave with more compassion that you thought you ever had. A must read for any animal lover and adventurer.
Bry Osmonson
it's been sitting on my night stand half read for about a year...i'll get around to it eventually. that's just how nonfiction is, there's no important events or plot conflict that needs to be remembered so the reading tends to be slow.
Jessica Kelley
Mar 15, 2015 Jessica Kelley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finished this book just in time to hear Helen Thayer talk tonight! Great adventure story full of interesting wolf facts. Maybe not the finest literature, but kept me engaged from start to finish. Looking forward to reading Polar Dream.
Sep 17, 2008 Libby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this aloud to my nine year old son and we couldn't put it down. A tremendously well-written, engaging adventure story and insights into the lives of wolves and our own social world. For me it generated questions about the line between biology and culture, instinct and learning.
Oct 23, 2012 Patti rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Impressive account of the Thayers' experiences living among, and being accepted by, the wolves. I found this book to be very interesting, although I'm not a big non-fiction reader. I believe it would be enjoyed by anyone that loves animals and adventure.
Oct 24, 2013 Nancy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first book that I read by Helen Thayer was "Polar Dreams" and I was enthralled and also incredulous. This book was also fascinating, but did not grab me as much as the first. All I can say is that I am in awe of those who can stand such rugged and dangerous situations. Truly amazing stuff.
Feb 01, 2015 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
May the human heart always crave the curiosity of unknown lands far and near. Let the human spirit guide in the adventure of exploration.
David Kessler
Mar 26, 2010 David Kessler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My fav of her three books; she and her husband lived continuously with Alaskan wolf pack for 12 months. Imagine camping up there during the winter and watching their hunting habits. Great read.
Aug 13, 2013 Jean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting glimpse into daily lives of wolves (3 packs - 2 in winter/1 spring/summer). Journalistic type writing - detailed - could only read in small bites.
Aug 06, 2015 Heidi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading about the wolves and the experiences observing them. Makes me want to head out and live in a tent for months observing nature.
Oct 18, 2012 Liz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating and moving account of time living closely with two packs of wolves. A few parts drag, I just skipped over them. RIP Charlie -- what a great dog.
Mar 13, 2010 Deepa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent and exciting read. Helen Thayer is an excellent writer and speaker. Loved this book.
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In 1988 New Zealand born Helen Thayer became the first woman to walk and ski to any of the world's poles when she trekked solo to the Magnetic North Pole without dog sled or snowmobile. She was the first woman and first American to circumnavigate the Magnetic North Pole. Her best-selling book Polar Dream tells the story of her historic adventure with her beloved companion Charlie, her protector fr ...more
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