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.
Written by Joey Haswell: Nyssa's distinctive coloring was matched by her distinctive personality. Her sharp features (and wild guard hairs) were pointed references to her uncompromising approach to those around her. I love her feistiness, her beauty, her sweet cuddles, often snapping at whoever woke her up. Nyssa was fun, smart, and never boring. She was an alpha female.
Written by Deb Lucchesi: So many memories of Nyssa, two come to mind most readily. Nyssa was the most engaging with her immediate interaction with wolf care staff, nannies and even strangers during the pose with the pups program. She always ran up to lick and nibble our chins, and get a belly rub. Of course the other memory is of the fierce, spunky defense of her food, toys and treats. I always will like to refer to Nyssa as Miss Vocal, never a hesitation to be heard in the wolf yard. Her sounds resound in my memory forever. I came to see Nyssa last September and once again she came to the fence, intent on face licks and making a connection, as if to give me one more intense memory of the black princess. As I walked away, she gazed on at me in a way that I'll never forget…Remember me… Remember me… When Nyssa passed to the spirit world, my brother reminded me that she had fulfilled her purpose… She is so loved and cherished.
Written by Lee Williams: It was our Nanny team's turn to escourt the pups into the "Pups 101" program, and after several attempts to entice her, I had to carry a grumpy Nyssa into the building. As usual, she snarled and did her best to look menacing, but once I picked her up, she went as limp as a wet noodle in my arms. We had recently prepared treats for the lecture, which consisted of bones that had been drilled, filled with meat, and attached to lines of rope for easy retrieval from determined pup jaws. We tethered the rope ends to the little fence surrounding the enclosure, and watched as each pup ran to claim their bone. There were only two bones in thepen, and after assessing the situation, Nyssa decided rather than her usual "pounce and claim", she'd try something new. I watched as her eyes followed each rope to where it was tied to the fence. Then, with calculated precision, she went straight for the knots and started to untie them. She actually got one free and yanked it away from her surprised brother. She was such a clever girl. Her beauty, her fierce will and her intelligence will stay with me always.
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.
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.