Raising puppies has kept us busy, busy, busy! Between training, introducing them to the world, and the general raising of five little ones, we haven’t had much time for anything else.
The two litters have been combined into one litter at long last. At first one big puppy would spend some time with the little ones and that worked pretty well. We decided bringing Fiona in to act as mediating adult would help if the Mountaineers were nervous or the Twiglets were too rowdy. With her assistance, both litters had longer and longer playdates together until they were one (relatively) happy family. They still often divide into their sibling groups for activities but they all do enjoy being together.
The Twiglets are getting their adult coats and markings. Aspen has the darkest markings and will probably be a very striking wolf when he’s old. Máni has the lightest markings. Aspen is a large and easy-going wolf. He often starts chase games by plopping a piece of meat down in the middle of a group of puppies. Máni is a little more concerned about the world than the others. He likes to sleep in a hut while everyone else prefers the trees. Sparrow is an explorer. She’s very calm when brought to a new enclosure and very interested in discovering the world.
Meanwhile, the Mountaineers are still in their fuzzy puppy coats. Niko continues to grow lighter patches in his fur. He may not be an entirely black wolf when he’s grown. Khewa remains solid grey. Her markings are yet to appear. Khewa is mild-mannered compared to her rowdy companions. If things get wild, she’ll go off by herself, or play quietly with Niko. She’s very observant and quick to take food away from distracted siblings. Niko is quick to react angrily toward the Twiglets if they push him around. He still loves playing with toys more than anything else.
The annual Watermelon Party occurred on Saturday, giving visitors a chance to see the wolves tear apart watermelons in search of treats. This year’s melons included some ice cream inside, which was greatly appreciated on a hot day. All the animals really enjoyed their treats and the pups made it through their first big park event in fine style. Gibson Shaved Ice came by to make snow cones. They also gave some of the wolves ‘snow’ to play with. Aspen and Sparrow were the most interested in it.
We’d like to welcome a new member to our staff. Khaz Brooks was an intern last fall and we liked her so much we decided to keep her. Khaz comes to us from Georgia where she has worked as a professional dog trainer. She’s our new Education Coordinator. She’s working on seminars, camps, volunteer opportunities and outreach. We expect great things!