Sometimes life has to have more meaning than just the everyday unconscious routine. Have you ever woke up, sat up in bed and thought there has to be more to life than this? Being human can get in the way of being a human being. We can easily forget life happening around us focusing on only what is in front of us. And sometimes life can become a blur because we become numb to our humanity. There are times in life when we have to just stop and look around so we don’t forget our purpose.
Occasionally a helping hand comes our way we call a “miracle” that touches us all the way to the soul. This helping hand for me just happened to have 4 paws. It’s amazing what can bring us back to our humanity and for me it just happens to be a particular wolf named Raven. Raven is a pure Black-phased Timber wolf who lives at the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary located in Candy Kitchen, New Mexico.
I’ll never forget the day I saw him at the State Fair grounds a couple of years ago along with the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary director, Leyton Cougar. My daughter and I were walking around looking at gem stones and we just happen to walk into another room where a group of people were gathered around something that really excited them. As we walked to where the group was standing, I happened to glance at the floor and all I could see was this gigantic paw. Now my curiosity was really peaked, we walked closer towards this huge paw and suddenly in full view was Raven. My heart just stopped and he took my breath away. From what Leyton tells me this is a common occurrence anytime people see Raven.
I can remember standing, listening to Leyton answer questions regarding Raven and the wolves when all of a sudden I turned to look at Raven and there he was looking at me. At that very moment when our eyes locked, Raven was speaking to me and I understood everything he was saying. This is how life changes forever; this is how life can have meaning beyond anything you ever imagined. All it took was one amazing wolf looking at me, speaking to me with his eyes. He gave me a gift that only his kind can give, he gave me back my humanity.
Something else amazing happens when you are touched by a wolf. Raven’s spirit and mine became intertwined with each other from that day forward. At times I thought that this romantic notion that I had about Raven was based on my wanting to run wild with the wolves. But I have loved wolves since I was a young girl and I felt that this was spirit bringing me back to my animal totem; the wolf.
The magnitude of what takes place to have a Wolf Sanctuary took on a whole new meaning for me once I learned from Leyton what it takes to care for the wolves. A romantic notion is one thing but reality is another and for the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary every day is a new challenge. It also takes a very unique individual such as Leyton to be able to even take on the day to day challenges that occur at the Sanctuary. Each wolf has a unique personality and Leyton understands and relates to all of them. But the one thing that I noticed is that it is so evident that the wolves chose Leyton. They all speak to him as he passes by their cages and each one has a different conversation with him. The wolves body language was so amazing when Leyton walked by. Since body language is one of the oldest languages on the planet, I found watching the wolves move reminded me of an ancient dance form being performed with deliberate grace. Their sinuous movements had the timing of any well versed choreographer. I also noticed that Leyton respects the wolves and he looks at every one of them as individuals with characteristics all their own. Don’t we do this as humans?
The wolves know this and this is why the respect is mutual between Leyton and the wolves.
What takes place at the sanctuary is a must see experience. I found out that they also have wolf dogs. You get to see what their diet is and how the wolves live. The day that I went to the sanctuary to see Raven, I noticed they fed them what looked like raw meat loaf. All the food is prepared at the sanctuary and the wolves are all cared for by volunteers who are as dedicated to the wolves as Leyton. Each wolf has a chance to live a healthy life at the sanctuary because Leyton makes sure all the wolves and wolf dogs have excellent care. This care also includes any veterinarian needs so as you can imagine to care for the wolves can be expensive. Raven is retired and his days representing the sanctuary are past him now. But the message will still be the same with each wolf chosen to carry on in Ravens footsteps. This message is simple; Wolves belong in the wild, not in someone’s back yard.
All I can say is that once you go to Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary, your life will never be the same and you will leave a more enriched person. As for me, my gift back to Raven is to never forget the gift he gave me and to wake up every morning like he does, ready to live life to it’s fullest.