Isabeau was born at a breeding facility in Oregon. Advertised as a pure wolf, she was sold to a couple from California when she was only a few weeks old. By the time Isabeau was four months old, the couple was having a difficult time coping with her wolf-like behaviors. She was food aggressive, played hard, and destroyed items in the house. In addition, wolves and wolf dogs were not legal in the municipality where the couple lived. The final straw came when Isabeau bit a neighbor’s child while playing. The couple contacted the American Sanctuary Association, which in turn sent out an alert to all of their accredited members, including W.O.L.F.
We have always tried to save the limited space at the sanctuary for high-content animals that cannot be placed anywhere else. Isabeau fit this description exactly. When Isabeau arrived, blood tests revealed that Isabeau was under-nourished, dehydrated, and had signs of kidney disease. She was immediately treated for dehydration and the kidney problems and put on a healthy diet. Maybe that was why cheese and butter became the simplest way to coax her into her enclosure.
Isabeau was paired with Nashoba in 2010 after her companion Sky passed. They were a perfect match, as both were high energy and were often seen playing and chasing each other around their enclosure. Isabeau was a favorite of everyone who visits the sanctuary. She loved attention and was quite affectionate with some volunteers. She loved the men, while she seemed to have a love/hate relationship with some of the female volunteers. She was quick to approach the fence to say hello. She and Nashoba often competed with each other for someone’s attention.
As she aged, Isabeau mellowed, but she was still the undisputed queen of her domain. Nashoba remained devoted to her, but he knew that she was the ruler of their pack of two. Their bond remained unbreakably strong until Nashoba’s sudden onset of a severe infection, for which he was sadly helped to pass in August of 2021. Staff quickly moved Isabeau to a new habitat where she would receive more human interaction and would have lots of stimulation with other packs around her. We closely monitored her to see if she began to appear lonely and in need of a new companion, but it appeared that she was content with the interactions with her caretakers and fence neighbors.
Isabeau remained quite picky about her female human friends, but she continued to adore attention from her male humans. She aged gracefully and beautifully, but she refused to be denied. It was still a joy to watch her dash about her enclosure and lavish her attention on her gentlemen callers. As she lived the life of a bachelorette, her caretakers ensured that she received more attention than ever in her golden years at the Sanctuary.
For approximately a month, Isabeau seemed to flourish living in the cabin run that adjoined to her caretakers’ quarters. Her playful side emerged, particularly in the evening hours, where she spent much time rearranging her beds on the deck and trying to encourage her caretakers to play with her. She seemed to bask in their constant attention and clearly enjoyed her time being spoiled rotten.
On Saturday, September 11th, however, it became clear that something was amiss with Isabeau. She hadn’t been eating well, vomited, and began to have severe diarrhea. Concerned as the afternoon turned to evening, staff and our veterinarian made the decision to rush Isabeau into an emergency veterinary clinic overnight. While initial diagnostics did not reveal anything that was of major concern, Isabeau was kept hospitalized for the remainder of the night with plans to transport her back up to the Sanctuary the next morning after receiving fluids and antibiotics throughout the early morning hours.
After seeming to have stabilized relatively well overnight, in the morning hours of September 12th, Isabeau’s health plummeted very suddenly, and she began to have trouble breathing. With the rapidity and extremity of this change, it was determined that the kindest decision to make for Isabeau was to help her pass immediately to end any suffering. This sudden loss has left all of us in a state of shock and mourning. Isabeau had an unmatched personality for the fifteen years that she graced us with her presence, and the absence of that spark has left a hole at the Sanctuary that will never be filled. She was a staple of the Sanctuary. Isabeau was a character that was all her own, and her uniqueness is sorely missed. We are glad to know that she has reunited with her dearest Nashoba, and we know the two will be romping wildly together over the Rainbow Bridge while we at the Sanctuary continue to remember them with fondness and love.