As always, thanks for joining us for our collective Monthly Howl! The hot season of summer is hard for both the humans and the wolves, in our Zuni Mountain community. Wolves are built for the winter and seem to prefer the cold weather in just about every circumstance. They naturally run hot with body temperatures that range between 103-104 degrees Fahrenheit; they have a natural snow shoe infused into their paw (long finger-like toes with webbing in between), and two thick layers of fur. Needless to say, we, and the rescues are thrilled that summer is almost over!
This month has not been as eventful as usual, but we are going to share with you what has been noteworthy. In August, we said goodbye to longtime low-content wolfdog rescue, Lakota; we had two animals visit the veterinarian and we did some filming for a short TV focus piece.
The passing of our longtime resident, Lakota, was sad for many of us, but we are happy that we provided him with a lifetime of great care and sanctuary. When Lakota was about a year old, a woman had discovered him at a broken down animal shelter. He was in a deplorable state: he only weighed 40 pounds and was covered in his urine and feces. The woman took him in and slowly nursed him back to health. After 6 months of care for Lakota, she realized that he was better off living as a member of a sanctuary suited for caring for wolfdogs. She found WSWS, brought him to us and we took care of him for 13 years.
Lakota only ever had one companion that really touched his heart and opened him up to the joys of being a canine. After she passed away, he was never able to reconnect with another wolf or wolfdog due to his fragility, so he lived alone for the last year of his life in our geriatric habitat that is located near our common areas, so that staff and volunteers could always keep a close eye on him and his state. Although shy of people, he was one of the gentlest animals we ever encountered. Despite the toll that age took on him, he always seemed to be full of life, and his eyes always displayed the tremendous spirit and strength that he had. His strength manifested itself in his strong will to continue to live. In the end, his journey to cross the Rainbow Bridge was eased by our Assistant Director. We take solace in knowing that although Lakota started his life in a dark place, he left this world surrounded by love and light.
In August, we transported two rescues, Beric Dondarrion and Dakota, into town to visit our Vet partners at TLC Pet Hospital. Both were taken in for very similar reasons: checking tumor like growths. The vet confirmed that Dakota’s growths were only benign fatty tumors, which are common for aging canines. Besides being somewhat arthritic, Dakota was given a clean bill of health and is in great shape for a wolf his age!
Beric Dondarrion’s growths were found to be mild and non-life threatening as well. Beric’s growths are sebaceous cysts, or rather, severely clogged skin pores. While he was at the vet, we drew blood, took x-rays and shaved off some matted fur that hadn’t shed properly during the spring shedding season. All things considering, Beric is doing well for a 10+ year old wolfdog! Although our vet partners help us where they can with our vet costs, we are always appreciative of any donations toward accrued vet bills! If you’d like to donate to either of their vet care, please visit this link. Thank you for generosity!
Last, but not least, our friends from Cliff Dwellers Digital visited us with a small camera crew to record a short TV focus piece called “Who Rocks New Mexico”. The intent of the piece is to showcase locals in ‘The Land of Enchantment’ (New Mexico) doing work that help and assist those in need. We are extremely grateful for the honor of being showcased in this segment for the work that we do! As always, we love working with Cliff Dwellers as they are professional, caring and have a passion for helping our rescues with their expertise! Check out their work with us in August! Remember, if you’re in New Mexico, stop by and visit the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary!