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In Memory of Waya
Waya came to live at Wolf Howl Animal Preserve when he was just a few days shy of 6 months old. He was malnourished, full of parasites and afraid. I remember feeding him the first night and he was so hungry that he didn’t even chew big pieces of meat, he just swallowed them. Within a few weeks he looked like a different pup. His coat improved, he gained weight and was enjoying the freedom of a large enclosure in a forest setting.
Waya was a challenge to get to know. He was very shy and fearful of humans, which is an inherent trait of Wolves. I didn’t give up on him and it paid off. He started to befriend me and let me give him belly rubs. Very soon after that he would seek us out for affection and rub up against our legs like a cat. He remained fearful of anything new that I wore into the enclosure which changed my scent. I dreaded getting new boots or clothes as he always spooked at them for at least a week or two.
Waya was sought out by all the females in the pack. He was very handsome by Wolf standards. He was also very aloof except for breeding season. We called him the lone Wolf or bachelor Wolf. He was the choice of our females for a mate and was the cause of lots of squabbles between them.
The happiest I ever saw Waya was when our 2007 pups arrived. As soon as they were returned to the main enclosure after socialization, he took over as the Wolf nanny. He was always with them, supervising, playing and eating with them. You could actually detect a smile on his face when they were around. One of those rascals were always biting his ears, pulling his tail or lying on top of him. He loved it.
Niko Akni and Waya had a rivalry. Not more than a few days would go by without one or the other trying to be the dominant Wolf. We used to laugh at them because it was like they would take turns being the tough guys. They never hurt each other during these noisy displays. Niko Akni is missing him terribly.
Waya loved to eat and was the dominant Wolf at suppertime especially if we had deer. He also enjoyed a good party. Our Halloween pumpkin fest was always his favorite. He was masterful at getting the treats out of the pumpkins even after he lost his eyesight.
Waya suffered sudden blindness in September of 2015. After a short period of adjustment, he seemed to be handling it very well. With no warning, he suffered a cluster seizure on November 14, 2015 which took his life.
We express our deepest sympathies to all of his symbolic Wolf adoptive parents. He will be greatly missed by all of us. The pack structure will forever be altered. He is buried at the Preserve down by the creek next to Nita.