Fifteen Minutes of Terror


Imagine for a moment walking up your driveway toward your house and being confronted by four wolves. That’s exactly what happened to 52-year-old Karen Calisterio of northern Idaho last week. Calistero and her husband, Ed, had just returned from an outing at about 4:30 p.m which, at their latitude, translates to dusk.

Snow had piled up during the day, so Ed decided to go to a friend’s home some 3 1/2 miles away to borrow a snow blower. Karen decided to hoof it up the driveway and get into the house. She was about a quarter of the way up the driveway when she saw two large dogs. Initially she thought it was her dogs, though they seemed awfully large, possibly because she was looking up at them, and it was getting dark. She thought it odd that the dogs were not barking with their usual greeting. Karen even called to them, but the dogs didn’t bark. Rather they began to slowly walk toward Karen. Suddenly another pair appeared, walking toward her.

Karen instantly realized that it was wolves—not her dogs—that were coming toward her. She retrieved her cell phone and called Ed, frantically pleaded with him to return home. As the call ended, she turned and started back down the driveway. She knew that running would be a bad idea, but other than that she didn’t know what to do. Turning back and facing the wolves, she walked backward as fast as she dared in the snow. The wolves were gaining on her. Darkness was settling in when her husband called and said he had slid into a ditch and was stuck. At this point the wolves eased off the driveway and into the bushes.

Ed called Karen again to check on her. She was terrified that the wolves were preparing to surround her in the brush. She prayed and cried. Karen thought she was about to be eaten alive. At 4:43 p.m. Karen was able to call a neighbor who could come to her rescue. The neighbor had a four-wheel-drive and was able to take Karen to her front door. Her dogs were cowering under the house and took a lot of coaxing to come out.

It was 15 minutes of terror for the Calisteros. Karen thought she might be torn to pieces at any moment, and Ed was beside himself with helplessness, stuck in the ditch. They were very, very lucky.

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