Hi guys! Again welcome to another release of our Monthly Howl, this time featuring the wonderful and weary events of September 2017. Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary is, for all of our first timers, a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit organization and although we are regulated with the U.S.D.A, everything you will see on a tour is most likely a donation. As a Non-Profit we are not funded by the government and rely solely on our donors and guests to keep our facility open to the public and our animals properly cared for, and this month those donations were greatly needed and appreciated. While in one moment we were receiving voluntary help from our returning Navajo Tech students, in the next, we were fretting over our much-loved arctic wolf, Flurry, as he was rushed into emergency surgery. Our readers, just like you, keep this place going and our sponsors help our animals in emergency situations like Flurry’s. Everyday we are so grateful and look forward to giving back in the form of this newsletter aimed at giving you the details on each month’s ups and downs!
It’s no secret that our volunteers spend most of their days caring for, and worrying about, our animals. They focus their attention on reading body language and interpreting behaviors that may be an animal’s cry of ‘something is wrong with me’. In the event that something comes to someone’s attention we turn to our much loved (and very used) radios to call out these signs and signals so that the proper person is immediately notified. It takes years of knowledge, practice, and talent to be able to read these animals as our experienced staff members do, but there are always the occasional haphazard situations that arise when even the most experienced person is reminded how quickly the cards can turn against an animal. This happened during a routine outreach event at the Woodland Wildlife Festival in Pinetop, AZ.
It wasn’t long into the event that Assistant Director, Crystal’s attention was peaked by subtle signals that Flurry was expressing; he was drinking a lot of water, his stomach seemed to be a little bit bigger than normal, and his back was arching in ways that suggested discomfort and he continually paced. Using her experience and gut instinct, Crystal knew immediately that Flurry needed to be seen by a veterinarian, and luckily for him there was a Vet Hospital less than 10 minutes away. The kind staff of Blue Ridge Pet Clinic kept their doors open and escorted Flurry into emergency surgery when his situation was quickly identified as Gastric Torsion (otherwise known as ‘Bloat’) even though they were only a few clock turns away from closing for the day. Crystals fast acting knowledge and Blue Ridge Pet Clinic’s dedicated staff worked quickly and efficiently to get him into surgery and un-flip his stomach, relieve the pressure being caused by trapped gas, and tacking his stomach to the lining of his abdominal wall in an effort to try and prevent this from happening in the future. Flurry was brought home that night, rolling onto property at around 10pm, and was watched closely as his stitches healed for the next long, worry filled week. We are forever grateful to the hardworking staff of Blue Ridge Pet Clinic whom is directly responsible for Flurry’s successful surgery, and for his entire list of sponsor’s out there that alleviated a bit of the stress that comes along with a vet bill. Please know that everybody who donated towards Flurry’s sponsorships had a direct impact on his recovery. Surgery can cost anywhere from $2,000-$6,000 for a case of bloat, and our duty to these animals is to come through on our promise of lifelong sanctuary which can sometimes mean extensive vet bills.
On a more positive note, one that involves the Volunteer work of a wonderful group of people from Navajo Tech, we made a lot of incredible progress towards getting our rescues Honey and Flicker into their permanent habitats! This past month a group of 6 students and their instructor came out to help us weld brackets that could support extra tall top-wire fencing and they’ve committed to coming out later this month to finish the project. This wonderful group of people have shown incredible dedication, arriving as early as 8am and staying out in the middle of nowhere with us until sundown, and our appreciation for them is unwavering! These guys worked hard all day and our Building and Maintenance team sends them special thanks and a job well done! We look forward to them coming out and helping us mount these brackets because their voluntary work will give two of our rescues an impressive homing upgrade for them to frolic and play around in as two young, female wolf-dogs. Our girls, Flicker and Honey, are very lucky to have such a wonderful group of people helping them into their own forever sanctuaries.
Many of you on our mailing list may have received invites to a fundraiser that we held in Santa Fe, New Mexico this month, and we are thrilled to report that after the 65 tickets sold out within two weeks it raised almost $6,000.00! Our successful Santa Fe fundraiser was beautifully pieced together by Natalie Agraz with the help of Cathy and Gerard Vachez (whom donated several beautiful pieces of artwork) and their donated time and efforts helped spread our name and our mission. We hope to have another fundraiser soon so that those who called inquiring about tickets and being put on a waiting list can all have a chance to attend. We owe so many great people a lot of thanks for making this fundraiser such a success, and we hope to thank many more in the future. Stay tuned into our Facebook page, our monthly howl, and get yourselves on our email list so you can be one of the first to receive the word of when our next fundraising event will take place!
Flurry wasn’t the only rescue to have a month unlike the rest; in fact, four others underwent significant changes that make September a month to remember. Remember in our last couple editions and how we spoke of our unnamed, male, high-content wolf dog from Colorado? Well, this month, he was finally given his own unique and fitting name — everybody, meet Draco! Although the Harry Potter fan base here is quite impressive, we really did feel that the name fit him in a way that just seemed right.
On a more somber note we did lose another member of our pack to the Great Pack in the Sky, Silva. Our wonderful girl, who led a peaceful life in with Nakota, had suffered from a few hard spells of her previously diagnosed Vestibular Disease and in her old age it really took a toll on her. Watching her surge forward through this long, hard summer was a testimony for her stubborn, headstrong nature, but that tough girl had had enough hard winters. Rae McCue (our Animal Care Supervisor) helped Silva along on her next journey with the assistance of our Assistant Director, Crystal, and we honor Silva’s memory each day.
Not every day is a happy one at Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary. Some are riddled with laborious meat separation, weed pulling, and enclosure maintenance while others can be bright with sunshine and rich with rain, but each one is precious. If there’s anything to be learned at Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary it’s to appreciate the little moments in life that are often overlooked, and to treat each life with the respect and admiration it deserves. Losing a rescue but naming another is a perfect example of the balance always naturally kept in place, and our staff and volunteers are all honored to bear witnesses to each aspect of life in Candy Kitchen, New Mexico. Thanks for tuning in and being an audience we can share these day-to-day events with, and as always, your time and care means the world to our rescues!