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will be known forever by the tracks we leave." - Dakota Sioux
Big Timber (2013):
Ateria was one of the senior, long-time members of the Wolfwood family and was 16 years old. She came to Wolfwood in March of 2002 from a shelter in N.M. when employees called us instead of putting her down. She was shy and would not come up to people but would watch warily from a distance. She loved to dig dens and lived with Saber and then Johnny and was dominate with both. We will miss her sweet face.
Atlas came to us with Phaedra, in 2004 from Gunnison, Co. They were starving when they were caught by animal control and brought to Wolfwood. They got their names because the Greek Olympics were going on at the time. Atlas was very friendly and loved everyone. He was an active and strong animal but loud noises scared him and he hid under his doghouse if scared. His penmate, Phaedra, guarded him if she thought there was danger. He was 12 this year and developed inoperable cancer. When he lost all his hair and was very uncomfortable we decided he had been strong enough. Phaedra misses his happy personality and she will get a new friend in a few weeks.
Bruno was a gentle giant and a favorite here at the refuge. He was a big, strong affectionate animal who loved everybody and looked forward to children coming to visit him even at the end when he was hurting. Bruno was 13 and already had one operation to help his cancer. He had lived with many different animals since he came to the refuge in March of 2002 and most recently Trucker. His smile and heart will be missed.
Domino was the last of our original 9 pack that came to the refuge in 1997 and was 16 years old. He lived with Trinity at the end of his life and was stressed to be separated from her because of her hip surgery. He was submissive to his pack members but would always defend Trinity. He would bark at strangers and did not like to be petted unless you gained his trust and he knew you well. We mourn his loss and the loss of the last animal of the beginning of it all.
Heidi was born at the Refuge when we were in Pagosa. Her mother came in pregnant at a very old age and died before Heidi was a year old. Two of her siblings have already died from complications of dwarfism. She and her brother Casey lived together their whole lives and never really liked to be touched by people. Heidi died on a winter evening. Her brother, Casey, now lives with Kia.
Isis was our oldest animal at almost 17 and came to the refuge with two other animals in the summer of 2005. Her owners were getting divorced and didn't want the three animals anymore. She was the last of her original pack to be still with us. Isis was extremely shy and one of the more elusive members of the Wolfwood family. She lived happily with Smokey, Topaz and Chica but was still the boss even at her advanced age. She died in her sleep one night. Her family will miss her.
Nomad was 13 and came to the Refuge during November of 2004 from the Aztec shelter as a 5-year-old adult. Before he came to the Refuge, he had been catch-poled on two sides and was dragged until he bled. He had been on a chain his whole life and was in shock and extremely disoriented when he arrived. But, with time and patience he adapted to his new home and finally warmed up to people. Nomad was a big, strong, handsome animal and was protective of his food. He would sometimes come up to visitors at the fence, but, if he let you pet him, he would be very particular about where you pet him. He did not mind being petted along the lower part of his back but he did not like to be touched towards his neck. Nomad lived with Tika. He had a bad heart condition and Dr Wagner said it would be a kindness to let him go. He was a rough and tumble guy and left us enjoying a big juicy bone until the very end.
Red Dog (2012):
Red Dog was a sweet, goofy guy who always had a big grin on his face. He came from the Ignacio area. Someone bought him on the Internet for $800 because he was a "red wolf". Red Dog was a big, fat Husky, without an ounce of wolf in him, but we all loved him anyway. He wanted belly rubs and food! He developed severe arthritis. On the night he died there was an amazing red sunset, a final farewell from our friend.
Simone was very shy and did not like to be touched. She lived in California with another animal named Mozart. In 2000, Mozart was flown to Wolfwood but Simone was flown to a person in Philadelphia. However, her new owner had a heart attack shortly after Simone arrived so she was flown to Denver where we picked her up.
Simone was 16 and had cancer. Eventually she had great difficulty getting up and moving and she would have frozen to the ground in that condition as the winter set in. She was ready for her passing, even if we weren't.
Few animals have touched as many lives as she has. More then anyone else, she helped make WolfWood into the special refuge that it is. She shaped and shared our dream. Tonka, you are loved and missed. Rest and run with your brother.
(Read more of the story of Tonka and Buddy in our July 2012 newsletter which can be found here.)
Zia was part of a coordinated rescue between the Ute Tribe, La Plata Humane Society and WolfWood in 1999. She was one of the 30 animals taken over two years from an extremely bad situation here in the Durango area. She had Parvo as a puppy, and had some residual damage because of that. She lived to be 14. She was Silver's pen mate who passed late last year. She was the last of the "Shannon" group. While never an animal that would let you close, she had a long life here at WolfWood.
Anis came to us from Farmington NM. She was in a very bad situation there. She was always shy and submissive. After her sister died, Anis went to live with Inepee. She was very happy with him until she passed away at the age of 10. Her sweet face will be missed.
Bronte came to us after he was picked up by the Pueblo Humane Society when he was found running loose. He was, by far, the largest member of the Wolfwood family. However, that size ended up taking a toll on his kidneys as he got older.
Bronte became an Ambassador for Wolfwood almost immediately. He loved children and loved the attention associated with being the center of an event.
While Bronte was a very large animal, he had some interesting tendencies. He did not like cowboy hats and would back away when he saw someone wearing one. This may have been due to his handling before he came to Wolfwood.
Bronte also had his particular likes and dislikes while traveling in his Ambassador role. When staying somewhere away from Wolfwood, Bronte had to have a clear line of sight to wherever Craig and Paula were staying. He didn't need to actually see them but he had to see the door of the place where they were staying. On one trip it wasn't physically possible for Bronte to see the door of the house even though Craig and Paula could see Bronte through a window. Bronte howled and howled until Craig came out to assure him that they were still there. Bronte wasn't satisfied, and when Craig went back inside, he began to howl again because he couldn't see the door. Craig came out and slept in the truck with Bronte so he would feel better.
We were fortunate to have several weeks with Bronte to say our goodbyes. Lavonne sat with him, and he was surrounded by friends as he passed. We miss his beautiful spirit, but take comfort in knowing he is with Cassidy again.
Navarre was one of the original 9 members of the Wolfwood pack. His father, Winslow, was the undisputed alpha of the pack.
Navarre was one of the first Ambassadors for Wolfwood and enjoyed his role for many years. As he got older, Navarre turned over the reins to other animals and enjoyed spending his time with Dominoe (of the original pack) and Trinity, a new addition.
Navarre inherited some characteristics from his father regarding leadership within the pack. While his father was alive, Navarre always made sure that the younger members of the pack were allowed their fair share of the food. However, he wasn't a push-over for these youngsters. He had no problem letting a younger member know when they were out-of-line regarding their behavior around the older pack members.
As Navarre's father aged, some wolves tried to take the alpha role, especially after his father had a stroke. However, Navarre did not let this happen. Navarre would not allow any other wolf to eat before his father, even though his father could not physically hold the alpha role. If another animal tried to eat first, there were severe consequences from Navarre. Needless to say, the other pack members quickly learned who the next alpha was and who they would listen to. Navarre made sure his father got the respect he deserved until the day his father died.
But Navarre also had patience that would surprise people. At one event at a Humane Society, a small dog got loose and started biting Navarre on his backside. The Wolfwood volunteer had Navarre on a leash but if he wanted to go after the small dog, it would have been an issue. Navarre just looked at Paula with an expression that said "Is this little dog kidding me?" Fortunately, the little dog was put back on a leash and taken away. Navarre went on his way with his continued role as Ambassador for Wolfwood at the event.
His leadership qualities, confidence and personality will be missed.
Saber died at 13. He came to us from Utah. Knowing there were safe places for animals like Saber, animal control officers did not want to put him down. After contacting us and getting the go ahead, Best Friends offered to transport him here. He flew in a Piper Cherokee into Durango airport. He lived happily at Wolfwood, with his friend Atirea, for 10 years. Saber was an active and strong animal even after his surgery, but eventually he succumbed to cancer.
Silver was part of a coordinated rescue between the Ute tribe, La Plata Humane Society and WolfWood. He was one of the 30 animals taken over two years from an extremely bad situation here in the Durango area. He had parvo (a contagious canine virus) as a puppy, and had some residual damage because of that. He lived to 12. Silver never socialized well, although we tried. Liz Morris spent many hours with him when he was younger. He lived with his sister Zia, who is the last of the "Shannon" group. While never an animal that would let you close, Silver was a brave example of survival against the odds.
Many of you had met Cassidy, either in Estes Park or at one of our other events. She had been a premier ambassador animal for years and had literally been petted and photographed by thousands of people.