Oct 14, 2014

Oct. 13, 2014 – Nahanni is 6 months old this weekend. What significant changes in the 5 months he has been with us. When he arrived as a 5 week old pup he was 10lbs. which was very large for such a young pup. He is now over 80lbs. & he has 6 months of growth left for his skeleton. He is going to be one HUGE wolf. But he is very gentle & loving.

When he first arrived, Nahanni was very traumatized from leaving the breeders home where his brother was & other pups from different litters. The plane flight & lengthy drive home did not help at all but those were the logistics to bring him home. He had Mahikan to be reassured & comforted by. Nahanni was a very sharp & aware 5 week old puppy. His cognitive ability was well advanced beyond his physical age. I should have received him at 4 weeks of age not 5 but that is the breeder’s call. Nahanni was very scared about being here & while Sally & I were very loving & reassuring to him, he had Mahikan as his friend. It took 3 months to get him to feel real comfortable being around us. Given that he is an Arctic wolf, they are very wary of humans because they do not have much human contact. All these factors had to be gently overcome.

Nahanni now will lay beside me early in the morning & he wants his back, chest & tummy rubbed. He revels in it & will lay quietly at my side for 20 minutes, while he gets massaged. This is our real bonding time. Throughout the day, he goes back to being a wolf & will have contact but only fleetingly & on his terms. He is always looking at you with those big, enquiring eyes of his. He is a real beauty.

His coat was brown in color when he arrived & it gradually changed to white & creamy over his first 3 months of age. His coat in August when it was still warm out, was very thick. His guard hair is 4 inches long & he looks well prepared for the Arctic. Can only wait to see what it will look like in mid-winter. He lays out in the rain but is dry & warm underneath the guard hair.

Nahanni had a very interesting relationship with Tundra as he grew older. He would follow & lick her as a very young pup & Tundra was quite maternal with him. She would lick him but also discipline him even though to us he did not look like he was misbehaving. Nahanni really loved her. Tundra also feed the 2 pups constantly (well over a dozen times in the first 3 months) by regurgitating her meal. He also liked Meshach very much & wanted to play with him & be his buddy. Meshach who was approaching 11 years old was not real interested in puppy sitting but he was quite tolerant of Nahanni & Mahikan & even more so than Tundra. He allowed them to pull his tail but would let them know for how long. Nahanni would like to lay down beside him & have his paw touch Meshach’s. It was quite cute.

Sally has a very close relationship with Nahanni even though she does not have much contact with him due to her work. As a young pup with wolves having more contact with females than males, I was quite far behind Sally in terms of Nahanni having contact with me. But thru perseverance over 4 months, Nahanni now is closer to me than Sally. It took a great deal to overcome.

I look forward to the next 6 months development with this Arctic wolfdog, that I have purposefully allowed to be a wolf & not a dog. It has been real challenging but rewarding to see him & Mahikan behave like wolves & allow me into their world on their terms.