Farewell Cinderella

Each and every member of the Speedwell Family is special to us, and there are some that leave a lasting legacy in our hearts and minds. Smokey’s pack will forever be remembered for their deep sense of loyalty, family, and love. Through the years, our hearts ached with the passing of each member of the pack, and now we grieve with one last loss – the loss of a very special member of Smokey’s pack – Cinderella.

Born to Smokey and Sampson in 2003, Cinderella and her siblings always lived harmoniously together. Each pack member knew their place, their rank, and their duty in the pack, and Cinderella was no exception. After her mother Smokey passed, she submitted to her sister Solo’s will and chose to remain the omega. Cinderella loved her sister and her brothers dearly. They were often seen playing together, or lounging together, always in union. As omega, Cinderella waited her turn at mealtimes, but once it was her time she was not afraid to let her siblings know to back off and let her have her share. When the volunteers brought treats and snacks, she would always wait patiently at the fence until her turn, and then gently take the treat. She always had a quiet grace and gentle happiness about her.

Like the rest of her family, Cinderella was very shy of humans and was a master at hiding if she did not wish to be seen. She always knew a safe distance, and would only come close to her human caretakers if there was at least one fence between. In her later years, she no longer cared as much to keep up this elusiveness, but in her youth there was no one who could disappear in the brush like Cinderella.

Over the years as her family members aged and passed on, Cinderella and Swayze remained, aging gracefully together. They took comfort in each other’s company and were very close. After Swayze suffered his stroke, Cinderella was there by his side, encouraging him to take their daily exercise trot around their enclosure to keep him sharp and agile.

Cinderella remained strong and vibrant throughout her life and only started showing signs of her years after her brother Swayze passed away, leaving her as the last living member of Smokey’s Pack. Though she missed her brother, she never lost the spring in her step, continuing to do her daily exercise routine. Even as we began to notice signs of joint pain, Cinderella continued her daily trots until her last days. She had been suffering from joint pain for some time, and though we had been treating her symptoms as best we could, her ailments were not improving. Our vet visited Wednesday February 10 and during her exam she found severe muscle deterioration and told us that she was likely in a lot of pain. After consulting with our vet and after a great deal of careful consideration, the difficult decision was made to bid her farewell.

Dearest Cinderella, what can be said about your passing. An end to an era. You were the last of your great pack. The most wild of packs we had here at Wolf Sanctuary and the most loving of all families. Never in the history of your pack did any wolf attack or maim a family member. You all lived in such harmony, and the respect you all had for each other and your magnificent mama was matched by none. As your mother did, you also lived to be 18. We did not want to see you go, and there are times I still see all of you walking the paths of your homeland. Strong and free and in sync with each other. You were all babes of Speedwell, born here to live lives of happy splendor hindered by no human. Allowed to grow within your pack raised only by your wolf parents. How my heart cries out for all of you to be here with us, and yet while I can hardly swallow as my thoughts race and collide with memories, it makes me happy to know you are all once again together. How alone you were when your brother left and even when you could not make a sound you raised your head to the sky and called silently out your anguish and solitude. Oh Cindy I am so sad for all of us that we are not in your grace anymore. I will miss your soulful gaze. To my beautiful girl I raise my face to the sky and call out my anguish and lonely silent wail as my throat restricts and tears well in my eyes. Run free, young, and wild reunited with your mama and papa and all your brothers and sisters. I can see past the rainbow to the bridge, heavy with the weight of your kin. Fare thee well beautiful Cinderella. I will listen for your beautiful howl as I am sure you got your song back as your crossed over.  ~ Dawn Darlington, President

Cinderella had a light and joyful spirit. She always brightened up her pack and she was deeply loyal and close with her family. She was filled with a lighthearted resilience and always had a spring in her step. Farewell Cinderella. We will never forget your bright spirit and the memory of your elegant grace will always remain in our hearts.

Born: January 10, 2003 – Died: February 10, 2021