While it’s not a disturbing trend, some wolf advocates and supporters aren’t just really secular but also atheistic in the sense of openly doubting God’s existence. I too have my problems with organised religion but regardless if it’s Catholicism or Sunni Islam, people will still flock to churches and temples for whatever reason and sentiment.
Take Sweden for instance, it’s a very secular country that’s home to a growing Muslim population. Someone pointed out that Sweden isn’t entirely secular and some people reverted to heathen or rather shamanic traditions in the 19th century. In fact s/he said that many Swedes are deist instead of atheist.
Sweden isn’t that wolf friendly but like its German and Dutch speaking counterparts, it’s not above its own problems regarding dog poisoning every now and then. Getting back on topic, there is no doubt that the wolf was villainised but similar things can be said of dogs before.
The three most persistent religions in the world are monotheistic and based in the Middle East. They historically don’t like dogs though often soften up if the dogs are useful. In the Bible, dogs are often depicted in a lowly manner and in some lore, dogs are surprisingly associated with treachery.
But when observing and studying stray dogs, that might have a basis in fact. You’d have dogs that wander and behave independently of humans to the detriment of one’s neighbours. Then you have dogs fraternising with wolves, jackals and stray dogs. This still happens today in many countries.
At some point in Rome’s history, invaders attacked the city but the dogs were asleep so they used geese instead. Then the Romans punished the dogs for not doing their job because they’re not as loyal as geese. There are still places, especially in some parts of Brazil and China where they use geese to patrol and guard premises.
The Bible also associated dogs with the enemies of Israel which shouldn’t come as a surprise when it comes to canine predation on both livestock (especially the sheep where people and ancient Israelis were often compared to) and wildlife. Even if modern Israel has softened up to dogs, there are reports about stray dogs attacking other animals and getting shot and poisoned.
It should be noted that wherever dogs go in mythology and folklore, they’re almost always associated with ominous, suspicious or macabre characters. In some cases, they were associated with underworld deities which easily lent itself to an association with fairies and The Devil during Chrisitianisation.
There is a wealth of ominous dog ghosts, dogs as malicious spirits in disguise and vampire dogs. In Ireland, there was a report about vampire dogs though these could easily be stray dogs but the association of vampires with wolves and dogs makes sense.
Wolves and dogs are more likely to bite people than bats and Dracula himself turned into a wolf. Then you have weird superstitions surrounding black dogs, which only compounds their real life ordeal in shelters. That’s something both dog and wolf experts should take note of.
Dog is God in reverse at least in English but it’s a blasphemous one at that. In other languages, God is God and dog remains a hound. The dog and wolf-hating Biblical religions have either minimised, assimilated or displaced the shamanic heath dog and wolf worshiping religions. The former continues to persist to this day.