Keeley (KY) is doing fine and continues to assert herself against
Ingo (IO). However, we were faced with some troubling times the
first few weeks after we brought IO here (8-8-99). At this time
(8-12-99), KY weighed 75 pounds. KY began to regurgitate food for
IO and this continued and actually became such a concern for us
that we wondered if there was something wrong with her. KY was loosing
weight at a fast pace and although we were sure that it was because
she was constantly regurgitating food for IO, we were not 100% sure.
We then began to feed more and although KY ate more, so did the
other two wolves. The more we fed her and the other wolves, the
more she regurgitated and lost, and the more the other two gained.
Through correspondence with Wolf Park, it was decided to draw blood
and to check for any obvious problems. About that same time, a few
long-standing volunteers and myself thought that we noted a swelling
under her left eye. The same day that we thought we noticed this
swelling, we also took her for a leash walk and noted that she did
not appear to chew any treats using the left side of her jaw. On
this day, she weighed in at 64 pounds. We then videotaped her and
took this to our vet who then decided that she might have a fractured
tooth. He came to this conclusion because of what we had told him
and because we also noticed that KY would take raw burger from us
but we did not see her eat off the deer carcasses or the frozen
Nebraska Brand food that we also fed. We also relayed to the vet,
Dr. Duerr that her left eye was draining. So, plans were made for
an examination of her mouth under anesthesia. On 9-14-99, we had
numerous volunteers here as well as our vet, Dr. Duerr, an assistant
of his and Monty Sloan, from Wolf Park. Monty just so happened to
be taking IO littermates to New York that week and agreed to stop
and assist us in examining KY. We gave KY the shot and Jen McDougal,
a long time volunteer, walked KY until she became unsteady. We then
carried KY into our medical room at Wolf Timbers where everything
was all set to examine her and to remove any fractured teeth. We
were happy to find that she had no fractured teeth and that she
was as healthy as possible. We then gave her a shot to reverse the
effects of the anesthesia and within 10 minutes, she could be returned
to the pack with no obvious signs that she had been under anesthesia.
On October 2, 1999, KY weighed in at 67 pounds. On November 14,
she weighed in at 70 pounds. She has not been observed regurgitating
for IO for the last month and IO has not pestered her to regurgitate.
During this period to keep her weight level and to actually increase
it, we gave her bacon grease, which she loved and also a diet higher
in percentage of fat. This all contributed to her keeping her weight
level and to cause an increase. The biggest reason for her increase
though is her reluctance to regurgitate for IO and his maturing
out of his puppyhood. Keeley has been the unfortunate recipient
of IO pranks. However, KY can only take so much of the younger wolfs`
exuberance and rowdiness. An example of this is described in my
NA also wanted to get involved and it appeared
that he was also tormenting KY. All of a sudden, KY began to growl
and took off after IO. KY did not seem to care at that time about
anything else except to get at the pesky mass of wolf fur and really
teach him a lesson. At this point, NA sensing that this was "fun"
also took part in the chase of the pre-teen wolf. I imagine that
if IO were caught, he would face a strict reprimand. After about
7 minutes of the two adults chasing the "firecracker"
(IO), they were able to corner him against the fence. Although we
could not see what happened next, we surmise, by IO actions later,
that he was thoroughly chastised and "put into place"
by the alphas. After the high-speed chase was over, the adults freely
took drinks of water while the accused stood about 10 feet back,
watching. As the adults approached us, IO gingerly made his way
to get a cool drink. After interacting with the humans, both NA
and KY went to rest. It was then, and only then that IO decided
that it might be safe for him to approach us". KY is becoming
better at meeting new people. She is also inviting IO at times to
chase her. Within the past two weeks, we have noted an obvious increase
in her attention to NA. The breeding season is around the corner
and it is obvious that the adults have entered into pre-breeding
season rituals. This is where an increase in courting can be observed
in wolves. NA is becoming more interested in KY hindquarters. KY
is also showing more active submission to NA, rolling on the ground
in front of him, licking his muzzle and showing an obvious affection
to him. KY still continues to be the last to eat however, her social
freedom has not been hampered by IO. Many behaviors or "privileges"
characterize dominance. One of those privileges that indicate high
status is the freedom to move about where and whenever a wolf desires.
In KY, we see this by growling and agonistic puckering (baring of
the canines - a way of saying "leave me alone or I shall whip
you one") directed at IO when he approaches her as she is being
groomed by humans. A few growls and agonistic puckering by KY at
IO are usually sufficient to send IO on his way to other mischief.
KY still continues to be our primary instigator of howling sessions,
usually as the siren in the town of Strasburg is sounded. She still
whines and whimpers at Shadow, our directors dog - as if to say
to him "come here, I want to court you". KY is up to date
on all vaccinations and although not a heavy wolf, appears to be
in excellent condition. She is scheduled to have her weight checked
the week of December the 12th. Although not as outgoing as NA or
IO, KY still remains our most affectionate wolf.