Wolf Haven International is now home to a record 65 wolves, wolf dogs and coyotes thanks to the addition of two new wolves, Mariah and Hodari.
If you follow us regularly then you know that Bart, one of our male wolves, has been very lonely since the passing of his sister Jinkies last month. For weeks after her passing we listened to his solo, mournful howls and our hearts ached for him but we knew that finding a new companion for him as quickly as possible would help with the healing process.
We had worked with Lockwood Animal Rescue (LARC) in the past when we rescued Bono, Eve and Klondike and we knew they were still looking to place animals so we contacted them shortly after Jinkies’ passing to see if they had a female that needed placing. Fortunately for all involved, 10 year old Samantha fit the bill perfectly. Samantha, like the other 3 rescues that LARC had helped facilitate, had originally come from the now-defunct Alaska road side attraction, Wolf Country USA . And just like Eve, Bono and Klondike, she too had spent most of her life staked out on an 8 foot drag chain so that visitists could pay $5 dollars to see wolves and wolfdogs up close.
After being rescued by LARC, Samantha (who is actually the younger sister of Eve) spent the next year and a half at their facility in southern California. And though she could have stayed, the owners of LARC felt as though she might do better in a sanctuary setting.
As it turned out, the male that Samantha was housed with at the time was moving to W.O.L.F, a wolfdog sanctuary in La Porte, Colorado, so it made sense to do both transfers at the same time. We selected a location that was convenient for all 3 facilities (Provo, UT) as well as a date (September 4th).
Diane and I set out on Tuesday evening at 7pm, in the hopes that we would arrive in Provo the following afternoon in time to get a few hours of sleep before meeting up with the folks from LARC and WOLF, picking up Sam and then getting back on the road.
Sixteen hours and many cups of coffee later we arrived in at our designated meeting spot- the Days Inn parking lot and waited for the LARC volunteers (and Sam) to arrive. We had a few hours to kill, so we had an early dinner with the WOLF folks and then tried to get some sleep in our cargo van. Leave it to me to pick the one spot in all of Provo that had a disgruntled feral peacock who wanted the entire neighborhood to know the extent of his ire. And just about the time the peacock let up, a landscape crew showed up with lawnmowers, weed whackers and even a chain saw! No sleep for us L
Stanley and Greg (volunteers from LARC) arrived around 8 pm and we quickly and quietly transferred Samantha into our waiting van. It was dark by that time so we were not able to get a good look at her other than to see the yellow of her eyes reflected in the parking lot lights. Unlike some of the wolves that we rescue who hunker nervously in the back of their crate, Samantha was up at the front, ears pricked forward, taking in the sights and sounds of her surroundings as we headed for home.
Every once in awhile I would catch a glimpse of her beautiful face as we would pass under a street light but it wasn’t until the following morning that we got our first good look at her. She was perfect. Now 10, her black has phased to that silvery-blue that is so typical of wolves but like her sister, Eve, she has a dark strip that runs down her nose. Curled in the crate, it was hard to tell how big she was, but we got the sense that she was fairly slight but with the characteristically long, thin legs and giant feet.
She was the perfect passenger and though she would lay her head down occasionally, she would not allow herself to fall into a deep sleep- for even though outwardly she seemed calm and relaxed, this was undoubtedly scary for her so she remained vigilant.
We drove straight through and arrived at Wolf Haven the following afternoon at 1. We drove directly to Bart’s enclosure and let her into the sub-enclosure (deckpen). A chain link guillotine gate separates the two but they are still able to see and sniff and even touch noses, if they so choose but it is also serves as a safety barrier in the event that the two do not get along.