Toll Free



Spring Update on Nira-2012


Nira seems to be doing well for an older wolf, being 15, he does move a little slower. Of the two, he seems to have more limps, lumps and laziness than Keeley. Nira is still a lot of fun to be around although the gradual decline in his ability to hear, see and smell has made working with him a little exhaustive at times. When we throw over treats to them, he usually misses out on getting his fair share unless you hit him in the head with the treat. We strive to make sure that he gets his share though. Nira is getting a more bluish color to his coat. His mental and emotional well being seem to have been put a little to ease since Ingo's unfortunate passing. Both he and Keeley exhibit a more relaxed attitude and at times, can be observed playing a little together. Nothing like years ago when he would run around the enclosure, chasing her and then all of a sudden veer off the "chasing-the-Keeley-path" and jump right into the back of an unsuspecting volunteer (remember Jenn?). A few weeks ago, I was providing them cool treats in the form of foot long hot dogs. A favorite spot to throw over these treats WAS the drive through gate that is not that visible from the bleachers. Did you notice the word "WAS"? Well, this gate has two sections that swing open and outward. In the closed position, the gates are held together by a 3 foot sliding metal rod that connects one side to the other by passing the rod through a circle attached to one gate. The space between the gate and the sliding rod narrows as it progresses downward. As has happened for 15 years, Nira would jump up on the fence in an attempt to get the most treats he could. This particular day was no exception. Everything was going fine until I heard this awful noise coming from somewhere - it took a few seconds for me to realize that this noise was being emitted from Nira's mouth. As I looked down, his paw had slid down the between the gate and the metal rod and was lodged there, like in a vise. Keeley was right there, antagonizing him too boot! Now what do I do???????? I grabbed a hold of his paw and checked for Nira's reaction - none - as he was actively yelling at Keeley (in the human sense) that he couldn't do the dishes as he was caught in the dishwasher!! Seriously, after receiving no reaction from Nira that my hand was now around his paw, I gently lifted upward and pulled slight traction on his paw. This worked and he was now free and that awful noise was silenced. My heart and stomach seemed to meet at some point during this event and when it was over, after watching him to make sure there was no obvious injury, I sat down to reflect. He made no effort at all, as my hand encircled his paw, to bite at me or pull away - he made no growls directed towards me - he, in a human sense, completely trusted me more than a human would trust another human. This was the first time this has occurred in 15 years and from now on, we no longer give treats at this location. Nira has suffered no long term negative effects of this heart and gut wrenching situation. For me, and all of those that love these wolves, there will never be another Ingo, Nira or Keeley. All wolves are individuals with their own set of "individualities" just like us humans.








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