March 23, 2019
Rescued From: California
Given Sanctuary: November 23, 2020

Joe Lohrum

W.O.L.F. received a call in November of 2020 from a rescue partner in California stating there was a female wolf dog that had been running as a stray since Labor Day.  She often visited a compassionate couple who fed her and tried to keep her safe.  They were unable to touch her or get a leash on her. She stayed close to their home on a beautiful multi-acre property. The couple often saw her jump into their pond, run several laps around their yard, and then curl up under some thick bushes to take a nap. Eventually, she began to follow the wife around the yard as she gardened. She would disappear at night and reappear early in the morning.

While caring for her, the couple actively searched for her owner and discovered that the wolf dog previously had a home, albeit not a good one. She had been kept on a nearby property in a small horse stall for a year. She was never walked, and the owners only visited her to feed her once each day. There were other wolf dogs on the property, but the female stray was not allowed any contact with them. Eventually, the house was sold, and the owners moved away, leaving her behind.  The new homeowners called to have them come collect their animal, but they never did. It was clear the wolf dog was on her own.   

As the weeks went on, the wolf dog kept coming for feedings, and the couple realized her life was not as easy or carefree as she made it seem. Late one evening, they heard a disturbance outside their bedroom window, and the husband rushed outside to see what was happening. The wolf dog was cornered by three coyotes that were snapping and lunging at her. A fourth coyote stood to the side and watched. While the husband chased the coyotes away, the wolf dog stood at his side and accepted his protection. When the couple reviewed the film on the trail camera, they saw that the wolf dog had been able to hold her own. She charged and lunged at the coyotes and forced them to back up.

Shortly after that altercation, she came into the yard with a serious eye injury. She was unable to open her left eye, and it appeared to be bleeding. The couple could not catch her to get her to a veterinarian, so they decided to put antibiotics in her food to help with the infection. In the coming days, the eye seemed to improve, and the wolf dog was gradually able to open her eye. However, the couple saw that the lens in the eye was completely clouded.

They became increasingly worried that the wolf dog would be hit by a car or shot if left running free. They contacted a local wolf rescue, and they were able to organize a catch-up plan.  A wire enclosure was moved to the property, and the couple placed food inside the open enclosure.  At first, the wolf dog went into the enclosure but took her bowl of food outside to eat. Eventually, she started to eat in the enclosure. On the day of the catch up, the husband fed the wolf dog and started to close the enclosure door. The wolf turned, saw the door closing, and quickly slipped out the door. When the rescue team arrived, they began the laborious process of catching her on the multi-acre property. Eventually, they were able to lure her into a greenhouse on the property.  The greenhouse door was closed, and she was finally safe.

W.O.L.F. had been looking for a female companion for Castiel, and this stray was the perfect candidate.   She was transported to a temporary foster home, and the W.O.L.F. transport team headed to California to bring her to W.O.L.F.  

W.O.L.F. staff named her Mayari after the one-eyed moon goddess and warrior of beauty and strength. The first stop in Colorado was to W.O.L.F.’s veterinarian, who did a thorough exam and gave her all of the necessary vaccinations. She determined that Mayari was approximately one and a half years old. The next stop was Mayari’s visit with a Board-Certified veterinary ophthalmologist who examined her eye. While she did not have any lingering infection and the damaged eye was not painful, he determined that she was totally blind in that eye.

After an exhausting two days of travel and veterinary examinations, Mayari arrived at W.O.L.F. on November 23, 2020. She was nervous with her new surroundings and overwhelmed with the number of wolf dogs she suddenly found near her.  It was decided that she needed at least a few days to settle into her new home before trying to introduce her to Castiel. They were placed so that they could interact through a fence while she adjusted.

Mayari quickly adapted to the new routine with her caretakers and would often curiously watch them perform chores or follow them at a safe distance around her habitat. She also quickly learned that her caretakers often came with food and began racing over to her feeder whenever she would see one walk down the road in hopes of getting a treat.

It took longer for her to become comfortable with the other wolves around her, but after a week, it was decided that it was time to try a face-to-face introduction with Castiel. Much to the surprise of staff and volunteers, Mayari was not shy about interacting with Castiel and desperately wanted to play with him. Castiel remained aloof, more interested in exploring his new habitat and avoiding his caretakers than interacting with her.   Castiel and Mayari eventually settled into their habitat in Rist Canyon.  Eventually, Mayari was paired with Casey and Castiel with Reese.

In September of 2023, Mayari moved to her new forever home in Red Feather Lakes.  She and her companion, Casey, spend their days exploring their habitat.  They have the best view in the whole sanctuary!  Mayari likes to bask in the sunshine and walk the fence line to keep an eye on her neighbors, Jacob and Ember.  Mayari watches over Casey and uses her maternal instincts to guide him as he matures.

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