Born: April 24, 2004
Rescued From: Colorado
Given Sanctuary: April 27, 2013
Returned to Spirit: May 7, 2015
Drake came to our attention in Spring of 2013. His owner was looking for placement for Drake as he was being forced to move and couldn’t take Drake with him. Drake was all alone since his two companions had recently been hit and killed by cars after someone cut a hole in their enclosure fence. Since we had the space we agreed to accept Drake.
His owner drove Drake to the Sanctuary and walked him into the enclosure on a leash. Drake was tolerant of attention from his new humans but was very unhappy to be left behind. Eventually, with the help of his companion Kasota, Drake settled into his new life. He seemed to enjoy the amount of space he had and gradually stopped seeking attention from his caretakers, instead content to stay just out of reach as he followed them around the enclosure.
It was a few months after his rescue that we received an unsettling phone call. Drake’s owner was looking for him and heard he had been given to W.O.L.F. What?! He had been surrendered to the Sanctuary by his owner…hadn’t he? Concerned about the truth of Drake’s situation, we agreed for the gentleman to come and visit Drake. It was during his visit that his full story came to light.
This gentleman and the man who had surrendered Drake to W.O.L.F. had been partners and were in the middle of a nasty break up when Drake had gone ‘missing’. The gentleman had been told by his ex-partner that Drake had been killed along with the two other wolves Drake had lived with. Desperate to find out the truth, he had begun researching the situation and found the Sanctuary. Luckily for us, he was not looking to reclaim ownership of Drake. He simply wanted to reassure himself that Drake was indeed alive and well taken care of.
Drake, the gentle giant he was, quickly became a favorite at the Sanctuary. He would follow his much smaller companion around the enclosure and cuddle up with her at night. Eventually his size became an unintentional issue with Kasota, and though he wouldn’t mean to he would often knock the ancient wolf over with a turn of his head or a wag of his tail. It was decided to separate the two of them and place Drake with a younger female we had recently rescued named Kaileah.
The two hit it off instantly and became practically inseparable. Despite his much larger size Kaileah was clearly the one in charge and it became a challenge trying to get Drake enough food to eat as she would constantly chase him away during meat feeding. Kaileah’s social nature also encouraged Drake once again to seek attention from his caretakers and would often try to engage them in play or allow a quick scratch under the chin.
Drake’s death came as a shock to all of us. Though he had had a few ‘off’ days in the months leading up to his death, there was nothing obviously wrong with him. He had recently been taken to the vet to get some dental work done and showed no other signs of illness. 99% of the time he was active and engaged with life. The day before he died was a great day for Drake. He had tons of energy, dancing around his caretakers trying to play with both them and Kaileah, allowing a full body message and he had a hearty appetite. So it came as a shock to find him passed away the next morning.
The necropsy showed Drake had passed away because a tumor on his heart ruptured. It appears to have been a quick death. Though the shock and pain of his loss still haunts us, this is what we wish for every wolf in our care. One where the animal is happy and active one moment and gone the next with no suffering or prolonged illness.
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.