A Day with the Wolves
I drove 3 hours down to Guffey, Colorado the other day to visit the rescued wolves at Rocky Mountain Wildlife Foundation. I had been wanting to visit them for a long time, and finally found some time to do it right after New Year's. The sun was shining and the day was clear, despite the wintry weather, and I had the wolves all to myself!
Mark, the founder of RMWF, told me a little bit about the wolves under his care, which for the most part were rescued from abusive pet owners who had bitten off a little more than they could chew with trying to raise a wolf. Some of the wolves were wolf-dog mixes, and some of them were 100% wolf. I got to get up close and personal with some of these wolves, and they were full of pure love and affection! Mark spent years working with these rescued animals, some of which were so fearful of humans when they came to the center that they wouldn't let him anywhere near them. Now they all love him, and it's fun to watch him interact and play with them.
Before that day, I had never experienced a wolf kiss, but now I can say I've experienced plenty of them! The wolves I was able to interact with were some of the sweetest animals I have come across. I guess that's where domesticated dogs get their affection from! I got licked and slobbered on more times that I bargained for. But since I rarely work with wolves in my travels, I soaked it all in.
Mark has done great work with his wolves. The story of Cheyenne, his healing wolf, is a well-known one in Colorado. Cheyenne could sniff out sickness in visitors, including cancer. Visitors who came to the center to meet her would leave feeling much better than when they came in. His wolves have worked with veterans who have PTSD. And, in fact, all of his wolves will soon be transferred to another organization nearby which specifically works with these veterans. Though RMWF will be closing its doors, its wolves will continue to make an impact on the lives of others. Veterans will have a chance to care for these wolves and form friendships with them, and through the power of this connection, will have a chance to heal. Animals are truly magical, and I for one am thankful for Mark and his wife and the years he spent caring for these wolves and educating the public about the importance of their conservation in the wild.