Born: December 21, 2003
Rescued From: Ohio
Given Sanctuary: July 23, 2013
Returned to Spirit: May 22, 2019

Karen Skilken

Ariel was rescued in Ohio after roaming the woods nearby her rescuer’s home with two other dogs. Clearly not like the other dogs, wolf dog Ariel was very shy and terrified of people and avoided all contact if possible. After the other two dogs were adopted, her rescuer tried to work with Ariel to take care of her including grooming, socialization and trips to the veterinarian. Although she did not show signs of aggression, she remained very frightened and instead of considering what was recommended, euthanasia, her rescuer adopted her and placed her in a boarding facility, where she would have the company of other dogs, with the hopes of finding sanctuary placement.

Months of efforts turned into years as sanctuaries were either full or Ariel was too low content or too high content, but her rescuer did not give up and continued to try socialization through frequent visits. As discouragement grew, things began to change. A friend offered to help and soon found out about W.O.L.F. Sanctuary. W.O.L.F. had space and Ariel would finally have a forever home at the Sanctuary. Ariel was driven from Ohio to Colorado in a non-stop trip that would get Ariel safely to the Sanctuary in less than 24 hours.

Ariel was nervous and shy around people, but once she was introduced to her new companion, Thor, she spent less time hiding and more time watching. She watched curiously as her caretakers socialized with Thor. She enjoyed Thor’s company and could often be seen walking over to him to make sure he was okay once humans left the enclosure. They were often seen lying side by side or following each other around. At meal times, Ariel approached the front of her enclosure and did a little happy dance in anticipation of her food. When Thor passed away in November 2016, Ariel was devastated. She had come to rely on Thor as her companion and protector. She hid herself away from the eyes of her humans and spent many hours in her den. W.O.L.F. gave Ariel the time she needed to grieve for Thor and then placed the gentle wolf dog Sigmund in her enclosure. The two never formed a strong bond, but Sigmund brought companionship and comfort to Ariel. When Sigmund died in May, 2017, Ariel was again given time to grieve for her lost companion. Her neighbor Pax was also alone and W.O.L.F. made the decision to put the two together. Pax is a very social wolf dog and loves the company of people. He is always at the fence in order to visit and watch the Sanctuary comings and goings. Periodically he climbs the mountain enclosure to check on Ariel to make sure she is safe. He may spend time sleeping in the sun near her. But Pax is loathe to give up his spot at the front of the enclosure where he serves as the official Sanctuary greeter. Ariel has adjusted quite well to Pax. She is happy to have a companion in the enclosure, and she is coming down to the front of the enclosure at meal times. She knows Pax is a chow hound so they are separated at meal times. Ariel will always be a shy and somewhat reclusive wolf dog who does not care for human contact. W.O.L.F. respects this beautiful girl and will continue to care for her and love her for the rest of her days.
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.

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