They call Joe LaFlamme the "Man of the Wolves." Joe is a bearded French-Canadian, a trapper, a prospector for gold. He comes from Gogama, Ontario.
LaFlamme is the only man who has harnessed and trained a complete team of wolves. They draw his heavy sled wherever he goes.
The Man of the Wolves weighs 243 pounds. The Wolves of the Man weigh 110 pounds each. That might explain his mastery, except for the fact the wolves outnumber him eight to one.
Joe began building his first team in 1923. An epidemic of distemper killed many of his dogs. Joe harnessed a wolf he had just trapped. The wolf behaved as a good sleddog should. Joe trapped seven more wolves. Now he has put together a second team. His eight new wolves came to New York for the national sportsmen's show.
The wolves are handsome, wellcared for and about twice as strong as sled dogs. Their strength and their lasting qualities under harsh weather conditions makes them especially valuable to LaFlamme.... He operates in the great Canadian open spaces 1,000 miles west and north of Toronto.
On a previous visit to New York, LaFlamme mushed his team into Times Square and caused a huge traffic snarl. On another occasion he disrupted the Westminster Kennel Club dog show. "The wolves stopped the show,"Joe says. "All the people that watched the dogs was judges. The people was all in my corner."
At the sportsmen's exhibit, the wolves, being indoors, were enervated. They confined their activities to baring their teeth and "snarling" at reporters and eating ice cream cones bought by spectators.