viewers who were hoping to get another glimpse of direwolves were disappointed Sunday night. The wolf Nymeria did not reconsider her rejection of her former human companion, Arya Stark. Jon Snow's journey to Dragonstone did not feature Ghost as a sidekick. Their absence will no doubt add to fan grumbling that the series has sidelined the computer-generated predators. But take heart, viewers: Dire wolves are closer to a real-life resurrection. Well, sort of. In southern Oregon, there is a breeder who has spent 30 years creating a new sort of dog she calls the American Alsatian. The puppies are astonishingly cute, and they grow up to be tall, broad, golden-eyed and quite wolfy-looking. And, Lois Schwarz hopes, they are on their way to looking just like the actual dire wolves that roamed the Americas during the last Ice Age, hunting bison and other megafauna, before going extinct. Schwarz is the founder of the Dire Wolf Project, an endeavor that predated both the "Game of Thrones" books and series - a show she calls "very, very smart," although she dislikes the sex and darkness. Inspiration struck her decades before, in the late 1980s - an era when wolf-dog hybrids were hot and Schwarz wanted large dog with the character of a lap dog. She had bred and trained dogs for some time, and she said she knew that even if people thought they wanted a wolf, they really didn't. (Wolves and hybrids make infamously terrible pets.) Schwarz figured: Hey, I can make that. "So I thought, everybody wants the wolf look; I'm going to work on the wolf look, but I'm also going to work on the temperament and the character of the dog to fit a companion dog," said Schwarz, who lives near the city of Medford. Her daughter, Jennifer, suggested that the look she was aiming for was a dire wolf's. And so away Schwarz went. And what was that look? The dire wolves of the late Pleistocene weren't nearly as imposing as George R.R. Martin's pony-sized predators, which the author spells as one word, direwolves. But fossils indicate they had some heft. Canis dirus existed from about 125,000 to 10,000 years ago, and it lived from coast to coast, as far north as Canada and as far south as Bolivia. But