450 is optimistically the number of free-ranging African wild dogs left in South Africa. If ever a charismatic, African species could be considered an underdog in the face of human development, the wild dog, Lycaon pictus is it. Available habitat is in short supply. An abundance of fences and roads cut the landscape. They are loved. They are despised. The immediate future of this dynamic, endangered, large carnivore is in the hands of a thinly spread, intensely committed network of conservationists, donors, state reserves and progressive landowners. When an opportunity to study wild dogs through the Endangered Wildlife Trust presented itself to Brendan Whittington-Jones in 2007, he arrived in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park naive to the challenges of real wildlife conservation. The next seven years were a flood of lessons in the complexity and fascination of wild dog management, anger management, Microsoft Office, diplomacy, optimism and how to play wild dog travel agent. The camaraderie of the unconventional crew of devoted field staff and researchers who dedicate so much to keep the species running was a revelation. This book lifts the gloss and illusion off a wedge of carnivore conservation, and reveals a snapshot of characters (human and canid) and organisations which tread the murky waters of trying to ensure the species' persistence in South Africa. There is only hope through action; and remembering a cold beer at sunset and good bloody laugh can restore a little sanity.