Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Farewell Hudson

Our beautiful Hudson was 16 but even 16 years never feels like enough time.   The heat of this year was too much compounded by his age and failing hind quarters.  He laid down where his brother had lain in January of 2015 and prepared to leave this land.  To avoid prolonged suffering our vet came to him and helped him cross over mid-afternoon on August 11, 2016.   Even the skies broke with thunder and a brief respite of rain as our Hudson laid down his burdens and passed on to be with his brothers.

Hudson was born at the sanctuary and helped his brothers as they ruled their pack with strength and understanding.  Leaving the alpha and beta responsibilities to his brothers Murphy and Winston, Hudson focused on strengthening the bonds between his family members and was ever ready to protect and defend them at all costs.

As he aged, Hudson became a respected elder and even after his brothers had passed on, he still retained a high rank during meal times and occasional disputes.  He could be seen right alongside Lincoln, given uncontested preference for the choicest parts of the meal.

His pack always showed him respect.  When the howl would begin, his family would gather around him in a circle, requesting permission to join in with excited wagging tails as they kissed up to his lower jaw.

Hudson’s pack stayed with him until the very end, especially his nephew Lenape who had a particularly strong bond with his older uncle.  Being a lower-ranked member of the pack, Lenape had looked to Hudson for guidance and reassurance.  Lenape and all of the members of the Big Pack will greatly miss their wise and noble elder.

To Hudson:

“Named for the river that flows from Lake Tear of the Clouds in the Adirondack Mountains to Manhattan New York.  Born here, you grew with your family, never having to be separated from those you love.  You lived your life in the same majestic style of that mighty river.  Calm and serene, even tempered and at times tempest and fierce but never hateful.  You were an elder in your pack.  Always respected.  Hudson of the Big Pack!  In my mind’s eye I remember the first time I saw you.  Beautifully stoic in your stance, yes even as a puppy.  You seamed to look upon your world through a unique and philosophic gaze.  How you cared for all in your pack.  Not the Alpha, you were their sentinel and their elder.  The young would depend upon you to teach them and how you did that with such grace and dignity. How I will miss your bear-like looks and your steadfast way.  Always there when I would walk the grounds and you would listen when I cried.  You were always there for me too.  You would tilt your head and look at me and somehow that made me feel better. I always thought you the most beautiful in the park.  I will miss you, we will all miss you.  I know you are at peace and there is no more pain.  I understand that, I just wish I could explain it to my heart. 
Hudson, all that have met you through the years are better for having known you.  We all love you.  I will listen for your howl in the winds.  Run free with those that have gone before.”

May you have peace now, Hudson, and know that we will all remember your honorable and dignified presence.

February 15, 2000 – August 11, 2016

Farewell Jerico

Tempestuous heat and humidity worthy of the tropics filled the air this August and brought with them an air of sadness.  Jerico passed naturally in early morning August 11, 2016.  We never knew his birthday, but estimated him to be somewhere between 12 to 14 years of age when he arrived here two years ago.

Jerico had tread a difficult path before coming to the sanctuary.  He spent many years in a small concrete area with the sounds and smells of dozens of other animals.  His living conditions affected his health, as tumors grew on his hind quarters and there were problems with his teeth which can be particularly damaging for a wolf.  Our vets worked quickly when he arrived and brought him back to health so that he could move to his own territory and meet his new pack-mate Sophie.

Sophie and Jerico quickly became a well-loved sanctuary pair.  Sophie brightened up his days and gave him over two years of happiness in a beautiful forest home.  The two spent all their days together, in the snow, sun, and shade.  Jerico always held himself with a graceful poise.  If volunteers came to clean his water buckets or brought guests up for a tour, he would politely come to the fence for a brief greeting until retiring again with Sophie into the shade of their woods.

To Jerico:

“You came to us April 2014 from St Clair New York.  There was a sadness in your eyes.  Your health was hindered by several tumors on your rump and rear.  We quickly got you to the vet for surgery and the next day you came home to us. Your new forever home awaited you with trees and flowing grasses and Sophie- a she-wolf also from New York.  You two hit it off immediately, and it wasn’t long before you were acting like an old married couple.  Your sad eyes went away, replaced by a mischievous smile.  You had this somber way about you.  Always quick to kiss a hand if offered.  A beautiful yet quiet howl.  I will miss you Jerico.  I imagine you met Hudson on your way to the hunting grounds.  Now both of you are running free.  Young again and full of wild abandon.  While you did not stay with us for many years, I am happy to have met you and I am happy to have been able to have given you a home free from worries.”  

Rest easy Jerico, your life and character will not be forgotten.

Born: est. 2000 – Rescued: May 10, 2014 -- Died: August 11, 2016

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Meet Kuzco!

Here at Wolf Sanctuary of PA we rescue wolves and wolf-dogs of all shapes and sizes - even the floppy-eared ones!  At first glance, the newest member of the Speedwell family may not look like a wolf, but he has all the behavioral traits and strength that you might expect from a young male wolf-dog.

Despite his lab-like looks, Kuzco's genetics contain wolf DNA, giving him extreme jaw pressure, a thick double coat of fur, and a strong pack mentality, which caused him to exhibit severe separation anxiety at his former home.  While he was well-loved growing up, Kuzco, like many other wolf-dogs we have seen, eventually outgrew his human household.  Now, he has his very own pack-mates, Shawnee and Princess, and he is taking in all of the wonderful sights, scents, and sounds of his new surroundings.

Schedule a Private Tour to see how Kuzco is faring in his new hillside forest territory with pack mates Shawnee and Princess!  You can also support Kuzco through our Adopt a Wolf program by symbolically adopting him.

As always, thank you for your support and interest!  Come visit us soon!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Farewell Hope

With heavy hearts, we bid our Hope farewell two weeks ago.  She had suffered from a genetic spinal defect.  Too young to pass from us so soon, we were heartbroken to lose her, but we know that she had moved on to a better place, free from any further suffering.

Hope was born at the sanctuary with her brother Aries.  The two of them had met and bonded with our young Lazarus at a very early age and the three had been a pack ever since.  Their very social, friendly demeanor made all three of them very popular among guests and volunteers alike.  Hope was known as our "Fainting Wolf" throughout the sanctuary because of her habit of rushing to greet any caretaker who came to visit  her enclosure and immediately flopping at their feet for a belly rub.  She was the alpha leader of her pack, always sure to keep Aries and Lazarus in line, and she ruled her pack with discipline, love, and lots of fun, though she did not hesitate to ensure that she receive the most attention of the three.  Hope's presence will be deeply missed throughout the sanctuary and we will always keep her memory close to our hearts.   

"Dear Hope, my brain isn’t quite wrapped around your death. So young, we never expected your journey would begin so soon.  We knew you were not feeling well.  Only two months ago, the vet examined you.  You laid beside us so calm, your demeanor a tad embarrassed as the vet checked around and beneath your tail and your hind legs.  We sedated you lightly for the x-rays and were worried by the vet’s expression.  He said that your spine was compacted (a genetic defect) and the nerves were being restricted in your lower back, the prognoses was not good.  He explained that there was no way to know how long you would be with us, but that many have lived for years with this condition.  We are all stunned by how quick you left.  I grasp at memories.  My hand reaches into thin air, a feeble attempt to pull you back.  Just one more moment to capture some glimpse of your sweet face, and hear your gentle melodic howl.  You had a way of always making me smile.  Miss Hope, I will miss rubbing your belly, how you would pin my feet to the ground so I could not escape.  Rub! you commanded, and all of us that had the blessing to occupy your space obeyed.  We all miss you Hope, our Hope.  Thank you for blessing us and choosing us to care for you and give you a happy home.  You are and will always be one of our babes born here.  You knew nothing but love all your life.  Don’t fret as you move to higher hills and cross the bridge on your new adventure with the sun and moon at your heals.   We will care for your brother Aries and your pack mate Lazarus.  You lead your pack with dignity and strength, a true leader until the end.  I am gladdened in heart to know that your family was close by your side in your final hours and could grieve in true wolf form, to help ease your passing with whispers in your own language, and tales from your own nation.  Safe journey my friend, my sister.   Nature blessed your final day with sun, warm and welcoming you to wonder beyond our borders. No more pain.  I wonder did it lift your spirits to have a sunny day with birds singing as you left this plain.  A sunny day was always your favorite time.  I see you running and playing.  Stretching your legs and throwing your head back.  Until we meet again, all my love, all our love…"
Dawn Darlington - President, Wolf Sanctuary of PA

born: 12-14-2008 / died 05-17-2016

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Spring has sprung and our new fencing is up!

After many months of work, Tioga and Little Girl's renovations are finally complete!

Thanks to the tireless effort and dedication of our volunteers, we were able to tear down the old enclosures and affix fresh dig-fencing to make the final addition to Tioga and Little Girl's territory wolf-ready!
Thank you also to all of our supporters and visitors who helped to make this dream possible.

Visit us for a tour to see how the wolves are enjoying the new renovations!

Special thanks to the volunteer group from GSK for taking the time to come out earlier this month to help with the finishing touches.
Little Girl and Tioga greatly appreciate it!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Spectacular Snouts

You may have heard on the tours that wolves have an excellent sense of smell.  They are often able to detect a herd that is miles away just by picking up their scent in the air!   

But how does this work exactly?

In mammals, the sense of smell depends on the function and number of olfactory receptors.  These are a little like tiny alarms that send messages to the brain.  Sometimes the messages can be about something stinky like garbage or sweet like a flower, or even something tasty!

Humans have about 5 million olfactory receptors, enabling us to pick up on a wide variety of scents.  But that's nothing compared to a wolf snout!
Wolves have 280 million olfactory receptors.  Their sense of smell plays a very important role in their ability to hunt successfully and in their general survival.  It not only helps them locate their prey, but it also helps them to detect if a member of the herd is sick, weak, or injured so that they can better choose their target.

For more information and to see their spectacular snouts in person, come visit us for a tour!  

You can also check out this website for more fun facts.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Something To Howl About!

Wolf Sanctuary of PA is always excited when children get a chance to visit and learn about the wolves.  Below is one example of a class project that was completed after a visit to our sanctuary.  Thank you to Chesterbrook Academy's 2nd Graders!  These kids rock!

Visit our website to schedule your class trip for the spring or summer now!