With heavy hearts, we bid our Hope farewell two weeks ago. She had suffered from a genetic spinal defect. Too young to pass from us so soon, we were heartbroken to lose her, but we know that she had moved on to a better place, free from any further suffering.
Hope was born at the sanctuary with her brother Aries. The two of them had met and bonded with our young Lazarus at a very early age and the three had been a pack ever since. Their very social, friendly demeanor made all three of them very popular among guests and volunteers alike. Hope was known as our “Fainting Wolf” throughout the sanctuary because of her habit of rushing to greet any caretaker who came to visit her enclosure and immediately flopping at their feet for a belly rub. She was the alpha leader of her pack, always sure to keep Aries and Lazarus in line, and she ruled her pack with discipline, love, and lots of fun, though she did not hesitate to ensure that she receive the most attention of the three. Hope’s presence will be deeply missed throughout the sanctuary and we will always keep her memory close to our hearts.
“Dear Hope, my brain isn’t quite wrapped around your death. So young, we never expected your journey would begin so soon. We knew you were not feeling well. Only two months ago, the vet examined you. You laid beside us so calm, your demeanor a tad embarrassed as the vet checked around and beneath your tail and your hind legs. We sedated you lightly for the x-rays and were worried by the vet’s expression. He said that your spine was compacted (a genetic defect) and the nerves were being restricted in your lower back, the prognoses was not good. He explained that there was no way to know how long you would be with us, but that many have lived for years with this condition. We are all stunned by how quick you left. I grasp at memories. My hand reaches into thin air, a feeble attempt to pull you back. Just one more moment to capture some glimpse of your sweet face, and hear your gentle melodic howl. You had a way of always making me smile. Miss Hope, I will miss rubbing your belly, how you would pin my feet to the ground so I could not escape. Rub! you commanded, and all of us that had the blessing to occupy your space obeyed. We all miss you Hope, our Hope. Thank you for blessing us and choosing us to care for you and give you a happy home. You are and will always be one of our babes born here. You knew nothing but love all your life. Don’t fret as you move to higher hills and cross the bridge on your new adventure with the sun and moon at your heals. We will care for your brother Aries and your pack mate Lazarus. You lead your pack with dignity and strength, a true leader until the end. I am gladdened in heart to know that your family was close by your side in your final hours and could grieve in true wolf form, to help ease your passing with whispers in your own language, and tales from your own nation. Safe journey my friend, my sister. Nature blessed your final day with sun, warm and welcoming you to wonder beyond our borders. No more pain. I wonder did it lift your spirits to have a sunny day with birds singing as you left this plain. A sunny day was always your favorite time. I see you running and playing. Stretching your legs and throwing your head back. Until we meet again, all my love, all our love…” Dawn Darlington – President, Wolf Sanctuary of PA