Sunday, August 29, 2010

Saying Goodbye....

Hi!
Hope everyone's weekend went well...It was very hot today, the kind of day that a beer and shade are required.
Today was also a day for us at the sanctuary to say Goodbye to our beloved Mariah. We had plenty of shade and even a breeze. The farewell we gave to Mariah included candles, wild flowers, sage, plenty of tears but memories that we will always share. Mariah's journey before the sanctuary was filled with many sad happenings and her final year's with us brought her happiness and lots of love. She was a sweet girl that had a powerful yet innocent side that she only let a few see. Her eyes carried the wild instinct and a voice that we will truly miss, she howled with sorrow and gratefulness.
We were warmed by Brenda's wonderful flute and even some of the Wolves joined in to sing to Mariah. It was a touching, yet bonding moment for all of us. There were moments after the ceremony, like a single leaf moving and the shovels falling over, that made us feel that Mariah was still there with us and making sure we didn't forget it. She was a very special part of the sanctuary and will always hold a special place in our hearts.

Mariah -
May your spirit run in fields that never end
And remember that you are always our special friend
There will always be a warm sun to follow
Never let another moment be filled with sorrow
You gave more to us than you know
It is time, our friend, time for you to go
We promise we will all see you again one day
In a place that we will forever howl and play

Christine


Friday, August 20, 2010

Siberian Huskies

Happy Friday!!
The weekend is finally here...What a week...Wine is good....

I've been planning on writting about my favorite breed. I am a dog lover and appreciate all breeds. But there is only one breed that I have always held close to my heart and that's the Siberian Husky. It might be the reason for the close connection between the Husky and the Wolf or a better reason of growing up with a Husky/Malamute cross named Niki. My Niki will always carry a special place in my heart. He taught me so much...I remember sleeping on the floor next to him when he was sick and learning what it took to be responsible for another life. It was an experience that I carry with me today.
Huskies are a very special breed. They do possess a lot of Wolf character and have a personality that few can appreciate. This breed is not for anyone that wants a couch potatoe. There is a very stubborn, spiteful side and a controlling attitude that has to be understood completely in order to have your house be controlled by you and not your Husky. Being a "pack" animal is the normal routine for this breed and they will not let you forget it... even if it means growling at them, which is what I had to do to Niki to earn his respect. He was young and learned quickly that I was Alpha not him. Any dog has to learn who is Alpha but Huskies need a little more influence. The stubborn side always takes over.
This breed is one of the most affectionate, needy and loving dogs that you could meet. They thrive on attention and want to be part of your pack, it's what they were bred to be. A sled dog is always part of a "team" and wants to be involved in everything that the "pack" is doing. So leaving a Husky at home is not a good idea unless you want everything chewed or shredded. Separation anxiety is high in Huskies, they don't understand why their pack has to go to work...so finding a doggy daycare is a good idea, especially at a young age. Socialization for a Husky, likes Wolves, is on the top of their list.
And, like Wolves, Huskies are excellent escape artists. They can dig, climb, and jump if necessary. They have a high prey drive so any small animal looks like a treat. One big reason why I currently do not own a Husky now...3 cats = 3 treats. It is possible to get a Husky puppy and teach them that the cats are part of the pack, it's been done. As soon as I can work from home again or part-time....there will be a Husky puppy in the plan.  :-)
Being a Husky owner requires a lot of patience, discipline and the ability to be just as stubborn. They will talk to you and sometimes howl but always let you know how they feel. They are a very special breed that will have a place in your heart the minute you let one be part of your life....
Have a great weekend!  Here are some beautiful Huskies....





Sunday, August 15, 2010

Wolf Sitting....

Hi!!
What a great weekend for weather...Couldn't have been any better. Yesterday I was able to be with a lot of great people, a puppy and a very sweet husky. Perfect day!
To end the weekend, I went to the sanctuary to Wolf sit, which is always an honor. I spent some time in the pen with the newest pack members and they are getting stronger. Their health is really improving and it shows. As usual, they were so excited to see us. Greeting us with snappy kisses and jumping. The key is to keep walking and act like an Alpha. A leader in the pack doesn't respond to other pack members immediately, the other pack members must show submission first. The belly and back rubs eventually happened after they calmed down. It's understandable why they get so excited, they've never had the opportunity to have other pack members and get unconditional love, something we all take for granted. It breaks my heart thinking about it. Seeing their faces light up as you get closer to their pen amazes me. Even though I had treats, which I'm sure is new to them too, it was more that they were getting attention. The female has started to show a lot of dominance and they actually "ran" in the pen chasing each other. Tazlina thought this was great and started running herself. It was a true "Wolf" moment that I am truly blessed to have witnessed and be a part of. I laughed and cried at the same time....
So, the day ended with treats, lots of kisses and very happy faces!!!
Hope all of you had a great weekend!







Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Special Book...

Hi....
Hope you are all having a great week. The weather today was perfect. I wish I could of been outside all day...
I just finished a book that really made an impact on me. I bought this book mostly because of the title "The Wolf at Twilight" written by Kent Nerburn. Anything with "Wolf" in the title always catches my eye.
A long time ago before internet, when the land belonged to the creator, the Wolf and Native Americans have always been united in some form or other. It was said that the Native Americans learned to hunt by watching a Wolf pack hunt prey. There are actually a lot of similarities between the Wolf and Native Americans. And this story, unfortunately, has the same struggle for survival that the Wolf is fighting for today.
The story is based on an Native American from the Lakota tribe looking to find where his sister had been after she was taken to a boarding school. He was in his 80's and had not seen his sister since they were both less than 12 years old. A lifetime of wondering and grief. The stories that were told about how the Native Americans were treated twisted my stomach and made me realize how much as "Americans" we don't realize about the horrendous things that happened. I won't go into detail because I won't make it through this posting...
The courage that this man had was something only a few of us will ever experience. I really feel that his strength was stronger due to his Native American heritage and the ability to look beyond the physical world. The entire time that I read this book, I wanted to hug this man and listen to his stories whether it was in English or Lakota. I learned a lot from his stories and it's making me think more about how I live my life and the changes that I should make. Being a whole person is not the amount of possessions that you own but how much you listen, learn and love your family & friends.
The Wolf is going through the same tragic story today that the Native Americans did years ago...It appears to be a parallel world when you compare history to what is taking place today in the year of 2010 - when you would think that man has evolved and wouldn't need to kill for a couple bucks....
So, I do recommend this book. There are some funny moments, the dog and his glove, and there is a lot of visual aspects that really take you into another world that the "White man" easily ignores.
On a happier note, we are getting close to naming the new members of the pack soon...
Have a great remainder of the week...I hope to have more photos this weekend!!

Take care!!!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Timber

Happy Monday!
It was a hot, humid day today....We're back to unusual weather again. I had to use the air conditioner in my car for my poor kitty when I brought her to the vet today...I felt like I was dragging cinder blocks behind me...no power...poor little Subaru.
So, the reason I'm posting tonight is to introduce a Wolf that is in a class of his own. A Wolf that doesn't really think he's a Wolf...his name is Timber.

Many who see Timber for the first time are in complete awe. When we have tours - he's the last Wolf everyone meets - the finale! He weighs close to 165 lbs, stands about 31/2 ft at the shoulders and who knows how many feet he is in length - a lot! His manner is gentle and cautious with strangers and If he feels comfortable enough he might take a treat.
Before he came to the sanctuary, his journey was filled with different living situations and the need to have someone be with him all the time. Wolves can have a very high separation anxiety level so they thrive on socialization and having the other pack members around all the time. The living environment he has at the sanctuary is perfect.

Timber is a sweet, calm soul that just loves to be hugged and have belly rubs. When I mentioned he was in a class by himself...it's so true. He is an Omega Wolf, which is the lowest level in the Wolf pack. He would be the one to submit, even at his size. I've spent a lot of time with him and it's easy to forget that he's a wild animal, which I shouldn't since he can easily drag me down the driveway. So you have to be aware all the time of the surroundings and watch his body language, even Omega Wolves have high prey drives.

He's a precious part of the pack at the sanctuary and we are blessed everyday that we can share moments with him and learn from him...Take time to lay in the cool grass under a warm sun, greet everyone that you know with a smile, and always take a nap.

Have a great week!! - Next posting I will share about a book I just finished...

Here are some pics of Timber and I greeting visitors...






Sunday, August 8, 2010

Celebration

Hi!!
The weather this weekend was perfect...Not too humid, cool breeze, and cool nights....typical Maine weather. Today the board memebers decided it was time to do some celebrating of the new pack members and Thank the two wonderful people that took care of them before they came to the sanctuary. We had a turkey cooking in a barrel...which was really cool and tasted great, salads, and awesome desserts. I probably won't eat much for a couple days....
We spent a lot of time quietly with all the Wolves and there was a lot of belly rubs and kisses. The newest pack members are beginning to act more like their true Wolf nature. We've been noticing this transition and it's good. They are still lovable and social but they are more aware of their surroundings. By this I mean that they tend to be less attentive to you when you are in the pen while other things going on elsewhere in the sanctuary. Before they just wanted to be next to anyone that braved muddy paws, which I was covered with today :-). The independence of their wild nature is maturing because of the natural surroundings and watching Tazlina and Spirits' "Wolf" behaivor. They are becoming more protective of their home and territory. Both of their personalities are really starting to show more too. The male, which we have started calling Lobo, is a goofball. He pushes into you to get as close as he can while you pet him. And always turns back to give kisses and appreciation. The little lady is dainty and so sweet. Hopefully soon we can pick names for them.
It was a relaxing day filled with many wonderful things. We even had some entertainment from the talented sanctuary owner, Brenda.
Hope everyone had a great weekend! Next posting I plan to introduce Timber...
Take care!!






Sunday, August 1, 2010

Perfect Day

Hi All!
Hope you had a great weekend and got to enjoy the spectacular weather....I went to the sanctuary with chicken, treats and anticipation of seeing the Wolves. It doesn't matter how tired I am, I need to see them.
We had some visitors too and that's always a treat. I feel that anyone who loves Wolves is part of the pack...no matter where they are from or how far away they are. Anyone that cares about the Wolves has a connection to something bigger than we can begin to understand...
So, the day was filled with plenty of sun, kisses, back scratches and just pure happiness. A happiness and contentment that I always feel being around these wonderful animals. Being in the pen with any of them takes you to a different level, hard to explain...maybe it's just the simplicity.
The new pack members, names are being thought of, were so happy to have visitors. They seem to smile as soon as they see you. We spent an hour or more, time is irrelevant,  just sitting with them, doing a little cleanup and giving well deserved back scratches. The appreciation was seen as they rested in the dirt and took short naps. It's amazing how relaxed they are...
We ended the day with Timber showing off his amazing personality and beauty. I plan on intoducing him soon....
Enjoy the pics....

Take care!!!