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Niko Akni coming into his Own – by Maria Ferguson


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Niko Akni is the largest Wolf at Wolf Howl Animal Preserve.  He is one of the yearling Wolves born last spring at the Preserve.  I feel because of his rapid growth he was pretty awkward and therefore he has stayed out of any confrontations with other Wolves.   Well, until now that is!  Even though, he never held the position of Omega, I have seen other Wolves just pick on him excessively, even Nita, the official Omega.  The only ones who seem to leave him alone are Chito and his Dad, Wa-ta-chee.  He adores Wa-ta-chee and pays him homage any chance that he gets.  I love watching those encounters.  Niko is no longer able to make himself smaller than his Dad but he sure gives it a college try.  His Mother, Ohoyo, has always been what I consider mean to him.  I feel that because of his size, she felt like she had to be stricter with him and put him in his place.  It was hard for me to watch particularly the time he had a leg injury and was unable to get up.  Ohoyo decided it would be a good time to mount him.  She continued to do that to him even after he was well especially while he was eating.  I noticed in these past few months that he would totally ignore her as she assaulted him this way.   I sure wished that she would stop. 

yearling wolf pictureIn the middle of September we had a particularly warm afternoon.  I figured it was a good day to take some pictures of the Wolves.  I brought out an ice bucket and to my surprise Niko dominated over it.  He growled and wouldn’t let another Wolf have any except his Dad, of course, unless they made their plea by groveling to him. (asking him nicely)  Well, Ohoyo came over and decided that was beneath her and she would just assault him again.  This time he would have no part of it and immediately went after her.  His movements were swift and liquid.  Before I knew what was happening he had her pinned to a small tree and was biting her muzzle.  At first she tried to fight back but soon realized that his size and strength were overpowering.  At that point, I saw Wa-ta-chee rush forward and thought that Niko Akni would pay for his actions but to my surprise, his Dad took Ohoyo down to the ground and berated her for her actions.  Niko Akni was the happiest Wolf I’ve seen in a long time.  I love the picture of him paying homage to his Dad.  It was his way of saying, “Thanks Dad for backing me in this”.

Niko Akni is the sweetest Wolf to me.  He loves to hang around with me and I adore him for it.  He gives me lots of toothy kisses and I’m usually full of slobber when I’m done with one of our sessions.  He loves having his back and legs rubbed the best.  I’ve included a very short video showing his winter coat coming in and how long the guard hairs are on his cape.

Here are the pictures of the encounter with his Mom.

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Niko Akni standing up to his Mom, Ohoyo, at last.

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Niko Akni giving Ohoyo a nip (there were no marks, so no worries).  You can see Chito looking up at him in between the both of them.  I'm sure she was as surprised as I was!

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Niko is standing in the foreground guarding as Wa-ta-chee, his Dad and Alpha, stands over Ohoyo in discipline.

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In this picture Niko is rallying with Wa-ta-chee, the Alpha and his Dad after the confrontation was over.

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I love this picture.  Niko is trying to make himself lower and smaller than his Dad so that he may thank him properly.  Notice how his back legs are bent.  His front legs are thrown up in joy as his Alpha accepts his thanks.

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