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Today, me and my family went to a wildlife centre. It was really nice - we're broke most of the time and don't have a car, so outings like that are a rare occurrence for us. The centre we went to was pretty small, but had a lot more animals than I thought it did. I checked the website beforehand to see what they had there, but it turns out there was a lot of animals there that weren't on the site; I suppose it hadn't been updated in a while. And because of that, I had no idea there were wolves there until I was practically face-to-face with them. I'd love to be able to say something clicked, and there was an instant recognition and kinship there... but I'd be lying. They weren't interested in me at all. They weren't interested in any of us. They seemed very happy for captive wolves - they had plenty of space, and there was obviously a very strong bond between the wolves there. I assume they were related. But it was busy and there was a lot of noisy children, and the wolves went over to the private part of their enclosure before I could even get a proper look at them. They were smaller than my subspecies and darker, but still familiar enough to make me feel homesick. I wanted to howl to them. I wanted to go sniff their butts and greet them like a wolf should. I wanted them to see me as one of them. But, of course, they didn't. To them, I'm just another human being waddling about in a weird, hairless ape body. They can't see my phantom ears or snout. Of course they can't. I stuck around for a while feeling a kind of awkward longing, as well as that anticlimatic disappointment you get when something doesn't end up anywhere near as poignant as you were expecting. Then... well, I walked off. Looked at the other animals, took some pictures - you know how it goes. It really was a great day. My family went off to the toilets so I got some time to myself. I wandered back over to the wolves' enclosure, since it was quieter and I was hoping they might be more active if there wasn't a bunch of screaming children everywhere. They weren't really, but there was one who was lying out in the open. I looked at them for a bit. I think they were looking back at me, but who can say? Could easily be wishful thinking. I'm not disappointed I saw them at all. That's not what I'm saying... I've always wanted to see a wolf. That was the first time I've seen one since I awakened. It was just... bittersweet. I liked being able to see them, but at the same time it reminded me of how far removed I am from them. I'm never going to have a pack again, never going to hunt or run through the forests or sniff butts or chew bones or pounce around like a great big fool. Odds are, I'm never going to really know another wolf. I could theoretically, one day, if I can get my ass through college and then get lucky enough to get a job working at a wildlife centre or zoo like that. Maybe. But I'm not going to pin any hopes on it. But I have my dogs. And I have my human family. And I have the memory of my old pack. That's enough for me most of the time, and I'm sure it will continue to be so. I'm sure. ... ... ...Bittersweet indeed.