Dances With Wolves

The 1990 “western epic” film starring Kevin Costner, “Dances With Wolves” is about a Union Lieutenant who is injured during the civil war and instead of having his leg amputated he decides on a “suicide by opposing forces” attempt (by charging on his horse towards confederate troops). His suicide attempt fails but the Union Army wins. He is later awarded a citation for bravery and is given the horse he rode on and his choice of any post he wants. He chooses to head out to the western frontier so he can see it before it is claimed and developed. There he meets up with local Native Americans as well as an unlikely companion – a wolf he named Two Socks since it looks like he is wearing socks on his paws.

Two Socks was a real wolf played by two trained wolves, Teddy and Buck. Teddy and Buck were supplied by Steve Martin’s Working Woldlife (not to be confused with the comedic actor, Steve Martin). Gayle Phelps (who also worked with True Blood’s werewolves and Evan Almighty) and Paul “Sled” Reynolds (who also worked in the Transformers, The Hapening, and Beowulf) were both credited for being the on set “wolf trainers”. (Note: most of the time wolf trainers are designated as animal or canine trainers – this is a rare title in Hollywood, I’m assuming it is because of the number of trained animals used in the film). Alune Dubray and Fred Bubray were both credited as being “additional wolf trainers”. There were many other animal trainers and wranglers but these 4 are the only ones specifically credited for working with the wolves.

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