Apr. 9th, 2009

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I've sponsored a wolf.

Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary is a wonderful place in the middle of nowhere, New Mexico. They offer lifetime sanctuary to captive-bred wolves and wolf-dogs abandoned by the exotic pet trade.

Often what happens is someone thinks it would be cool to have a wolf for a pet, so they buy a pup from a breeder. Then they find out why wolves don't make good pets. Sometimes the owners just can't handle the behavior of an intelligent, energetic, undomesticated animal with very strong jaws. Sometimes they can, but their communities outlaw ownership of such animals. Either way, a lot of these wolves and cross-bred wolf dogs wind up homeless, or threatened with euthanasia. They can't be released into the wild, because they were bred in captivity and don't have the experience to survive. 

Wild Spirit gives a lifetime home to over 50 such animals. They constantly have to turn others away, and are always operating on a shoestring budget. I've helped them out a little here and there in the past, but this year the taxes weren't as bad as I expected, so I've been able to sponsor a wolf for the first time.

stormI was extremely fortunate to have the chance to meet Storm and actually play with him and his siblings when he was just a pup.  He is one of a half dozen pups who came to Wild Spirit when their breeder decided to go out of business. 

When I got to play with the pups, they were eighteen weeks old, and they had so much strength and energy (squirmy!) that I was truly worried one of them might clock me in the face and injure me.  Now, a couple of years later, I know that Storm could easily kill me. 

Not that he's vicious--he's pretty much the opposite, very shy.  Most wolves are (rightly) afraid of humans, but they will attack if they feel threatened.  They are wild animals. 

I probably won't ever get to play with Storm again, but I'm going to visit him, and if I'm very lucky and the stars are all aligned, I might get to scritch his head a little.  If not, I'll settle for giving him presents now and then, and knowing that by sponsoring him (as I hope to continue to do each year), I'm helping him have as good a life as he can possibly get. 

(PS - The day we played with the pups, I caught a great picture of Jane Lindskold with a wolf pup the same age as Storm.  Check it out on Jane's website.)


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