In architecture, a gargoyle is a carved stone grotesque with a spout designed to convey water from a roof and away from the side of a building. Preventing rainwater from running down masonry walls is important because running water erodes the mortar between the stone blocks.
Although the wolf was a feared creature in medieval times, it was also respected. Wolves have the ability to live and cooperate as a pack which gave rise to the metaphor that a wolf could be a leader of a pack and protect the members. This was linked to priests who would fight off the evil of the Devil for the common folk. The wolf was also linked to the deadly sin of greed.
A lion gargoyle on the Cathedrale de Meaux. Gargoyles were used to do many things in the Gothic or early to middle ages. Architechics used them to run water off the complex roof lines when it rained. Church officials used them as a tool to intimadate the commoners "to ward off evil spirits"
Paris - Île de la Cité: Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris - Gargoyle by wallyg, via Flickr
Large eagle as gargoyle on the Saint Rumbolds Cathedral in Mechelen, Belgium A powerful bird who was said to be able to slay dragons. Eagles were respected for their ability to see far away objects, and were also said to renew themselves by looking into the sun (accounting for the glint always seen in the eagleÕs eye in paintings).