Today, Nubee is 13 days old. Her upper canines and incisors are irrupting. She trys to bite her handlers' fingers in attempts to ease the discomfort associated with teething. Staff has been regularly massaging her gums to ease the process. She seems more alert today than in previous days. She is also beginning to explore the logs, balsam boughs and rocks which are found in the pen.
Had more energy after 10:30 am feeding, but was very reluctant to feed at first. Initallly refused the bottle so we fed her 6cc with syringe. Eventually she took to the bottle and drank the 2 oz in about 5 minutes. She howled for about 2 seconds. Motor skills becoming more finely tuned.
Today Nubee is twelve days old. At approximately 1:00a.m., Nubee opened her right eye but her left eye remains closed. She is being fed whenever she is hungry in order for her to gain weight and to catch up with her sibling's progress. When sleeping, she seeks the warmth of her siblings or handlers.
Part II – Janet Narron's tribute: I had spoken to the curator, Lori, prior to my trip, confirming photography guidelines. As part of the team, she said if I could arrive on Sunday, I would be able to see the pups in their enclosure and take pictures; they would be released into the large enclosure the following morning. I pushed myself to get there, and although disheveled and feeling a bit out of place I found myself in the pup pen with Grizzer (all feet), Maya (all shyness and ear troubles), and Nyssa (all belly). Euphoric as I was, I fumbled around taking pictures of the pups. Lori asked if I wanted my picture taken and I said sure. I was sitting on a stump and figured it would be a shot of me sitting there with wolves napping nearby. I looked up and she handed me Nyssa…my wolf for the week. … I was thrilled beyond description. That moment will never, ever leave me. Without the International Wolf Center coupled with Lori’s unbelievable patience and generosity toward yet another untrained volunteer, I never would have experienced what it feels like to hold a truly wild heart in my hands. To be able to connect with a spirit such as Nyssa’s and to feel the life pulsating through her body against my chest was quite possibly the happiest moment of my life. I would spend the next week watching Nyssa’s every move…when I could find her. Needless to say, it is very difficult to put into words, and of course the tears now flow, but I wanted to try and share a bit of my experiences, as others have shared memories of Nyssa.
Behavioral Observation Team Member Janet Narron sent this tribute to Nyssa: It's split in three sections to fit in the space allowed: One year ago this month (August), I took a journey northward to find the International Wolf Center. I was to be a part of the Behavioral Observation Team. Three magnificent wolf pups were to be assimilated into the world of Shadow and Malik, thereby creating a new family, a new pack. The week would be like nothing I had ever known. It is, to this day, my most rewarding trip. As I write this, my IWC identification badge for the week still hangs above my desk. The badges each displayed photos of our assigned wolves for the week…mine reads…Janet Narron—NYSSA. I am not a scientist, or a teacher, or a wolf biologist. I am just someone who has always been intrigued with wolves, although I knew very little about them. Perhaps I was drawn to their mesmerizing beauty or simply their ever-present air of mystery. I was so thrilled, as I drove along unfamiliar roads, to think I would have the chance to be near wolves, to watch them and to photograph them. I certainly never imagined how it would feel to hold one in my arms.
When I learned of Nyssa’s heart wrenching, premature death, I had been checking the website planning to return to take photos. I was amazed at the growth of the pups throughout the year and at how incredibly majestic Nyssa had become. I am not sure what it was I felt as I read the announcement. In shock and sobbing, I read the paragraph over and over. It is truly quite amazing how Nyssa touched so many lives in her one short year on this planet. Each of us can only hope and strive to make such a strong impact on others. I am so very grateful to the IWC for allowing me the opportunity to join Nyssa’s world for a time and the world of her family, both human and animal. Some experiences in life you just never forget. I will never forget the day I held a wolf in my arms. Thank you Nyssa…you are missed. Sincerely, Janet Narron Behavioral Team Observer 2004
Written by Sherrel Grabler Sharing the experience of the socialization process reminded me of something, I know all to well: size is not a true indicator of strength, determination, passion or vulnerability. Thank you for blessing our lives and our hearts with your vibrant, mischievous and loveable spirit. Lynne Haines writes: Thank you for sharing your love with us. You allowed us to become a part of the pack and changed our lives in ways that will never be forgotten. Your spirit talked to us in a different way. The high pitch is no longer heard, but your powerful energy gives strength and force in its presence. I was recently blessed with a gift of your energy during an accupuncture treatment. Your name came first, followed by a very powerful, yet pleasant rush of your energy running feely.
The following was written by Pups at One Year program participant: Donna Baumgartner. Nyssa was my favorite pups from the first day. I guess I gravitated toward the smallest and seemingly neediest pup. I soon learned that she was a mightly pups in a small package. I remember her jumping on Grizzer when he was sleeping, then chewing on his ear or biting his belly while he tried valiantly to continue sleeping. She didn't see to realize that she was smaller than the other two. I was lucky to be with the pups when they discovered their first deer carcass. On the way back from a program, they noticed a thawaing deer carcass in a wheelbarrow. When Nyssa got close, she went right after that deer. For 45 minutes, Nyssa gnawed on any part she could reach, all the while growling fiercely at anyone and everyone around her. It was HER deer, and no one was going to interfere with HER meal. It seems she continued those same table manners throughout her short life. My time with Nyssa and the other pups was truly a gift, and Nyssa will always remain in my heart.
The International Wolf Center advances the survival of wolf populations by teaching about wolves, their relationship to wildlands and the human role in their future.