Photo by Sandy Banks, The LA Times
This article in yesterday's Los Angeles Times documents a writer's first time visit to the Shadowland Foundation Ranch, a retreat intended by the owners to be "an educational and spiritual healing center for humans and animals." The owners, The Rev. Colette Duvall Pondella and her husband maintain their ranch, along with its pack of nine wolves and wolf hybrids, to help families learn how to commune with nature and in the process, heal their spirits.
The Reverend holds weekly services where the wolves mingle with the worshipers as they listen to the sermon, which according to the Reverend, often features a wolf and "the lesson it's taught me." But these services also support the mission of the ranch: To educate "...the public about the dwindling number of wolves in the wild and the contribution they make to our ecosystem."
We have to admit that although we love the idea of this article, and glad that it called attention to the Shadowland Ranch and it's worthy cause, we were disappointed that it didn't give us a deeper sense of the Reverend and her husband's concern for the wolves, and how and why they connected the mingling and discussion of the wolves and their plight with the spiritual healing that was supposed to be taking place. With all due respect to the writer, we felt the article lacked heft. And you know, we've never said that on our blog before. We'd love to know what you think!