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Shelby was the only surviving puppy from Ayla’s litter. She had been saved only because I had given her away to friends at the wee age of six weeks old. I had been used to raising numerous dogs throughout my life, and this was the normal age to give a puppy away, once it was weaned.
But not according to wolves. Ayla didn’t forgive me for a long time. Shelby had been the only girl of four puppies, and her favorite. She would wake her up to nurse her, fattening her up with her rich milk as much as possible.
When I gave the second pup away to friends, Ayla clutched the remaining two pups to her closely. I allowed her to keep them, watching as they grew and marveling at the ways of a wolf mother who devoted herself completely to teaching them wisdom.
Walking with wolf dogs among civilization is a challenging experience. No matter the hybrid percentage that lies in their biology, their natural hunting instincts prevail. The human in the pack must take diligent care and many precautions to keep their charges at home.
Alas, one evening Ayla broke through the fence in the yard and took her three-month-old pups for a cruise in the ranch lands that surrounded our small town. She wanted to teach them how to hunt. Soon enough the smell of chickens drew them to their fate. The rancher, alarmed by the sounds of squawking in his yard, fired shots at the dogs until they fled.
All this was unknown to me as I sat soaking in a hot bath. Ayla and I had always had a rare and beautiful telepathic communication, and so when her face suddenly appeared as though hovering above the waters, I did not think it unusual. Her and I could mind talk, using pictures and images and feeling tones.
I had found her from an advertisement in the newspaper. A woman who raised hybrid wolves was selling them to good homes. That day there were two three-month-old pups that sat at my feet, and although I felt kindred with the little golden female, I was unsure. The father was a 120 pound beautiful timber wolf hybrid named George.
Since I’ve always spoken to animals, it seemed natural to begin silently talking to him. As he sat before me, his head even with my own as I crouched on the ground, I asked him if I could be honored with one of his children. And if so, could he tell me which one?
He shifted his weight and turned slightly until he was sitting directly before the female. She looked directly into his eyes as they shared a silent communication. Then abruptly he got up and walked away, and Ayla came and put her paws on my lap. And so began my walk with my beloved friend.
Although I’ve always been able to communicate with animals, Ayla was the first one to have complete and total communication abilities. We spoke as clearly to each other through silent thought and feeling tones – as clear as two humans speaking audibly did. There was nothing in my heart she didn’t know. It was as though she was simply an extension of my soul.
Now soaking in the bath, I sent a wave of love from my heart to her vision and mentally said, “I love you Ayla!” Pure Love emanated from her eyes, filling my heart to the brim. I saw a golden energy emanate from the vision. I held onto it for several moments until it dissolved into the ethers. Still unaware of the events that had transpired, I felt grateful for a companion who could communicate in such a way, simply because she loved and because she could.
My husband had been watching television, unaware that the dogs had escaped. When I came downstairs and opened the back door to check on the dogs, I realized they were gone. The vision of Ayla’s love still fresh, I now knew something was terribly wrong. I knew she had come to say goodbye, and my heart lurched.
It was not until the next morning we learned what had happened. My husband made several frantic calls around town searching for the dogs. Finally it was the sheriff who gave us our answers. Ayla had lead the pups to within two blocks of home before the shots in her body became fatal. The sheriff had found the pups mourning beside their mom, but they were too skittish to be caught. My husband was able to coax them to him and brought them home.
I found it interesting the sheriff was angry with the rancher. “These dogs didn’t learn anything. If they had been fired at with the intention to scare, perhaps they would never hunt again. But now they will not have that chance.”
One pup was unharmed; the other had a shot in the leg and eventually had to be put down. Nikoma was his name, and at the moment of his death he also appeared in vision, linking to my heart. The feeling tones in his heart were those of confusion, sadness, and longing for me. I broadcasted love to him until I felt his spirit meld into peace. The sorrow in our household was unmatched by the sorrow within the remaining pup’s eyes.
Eventually we found a home for the remaining pup. Within two months, however, I received an unexpected gift. Shelby’s owner had died, and his girl friend did not have the time to devote to her that she needed. Ayla’s favorite pup was returned to me!
Shelby lived with me for six years. Although we did not have the telepathic bond that Ayla and I had, ours was a bond of the heart. She helped raise my children, was a gentle guardian of our home, walked with me through divorce and remarriage, and kept my own wolf heart alive and open with her playfulness.
Her golden eyes would pierce through me sometimes. Often were the times she simply wanted to be held while we sat together on the couch. She was an 85-pound puppy that never grew up. She had not walked with the wisdom of her mother, and so remained a child within herself.
My second marriage began to fail. Due to alcoholism and the growing violent nature of my husband, it became necessary for me to leave my home and move away. At the time I moved, I could not take Shelby with me. The people I was to stay with had no room for a dog. I prayed I would one day be able to have her with me, but feared at our parting that it would not be so. She sat before me on the floor, and I spoke to her from the silent depths of my heart. She whined, and then placed her forehead against mine. We lingered for several silent moments; heads bowed to one another touching. It was the last time I saw her.
Months passed, my husband disconnected the phone and I knew not where he or Shelby was. Then one day a friend who had lived near them told me my husband had been picked up for drunk driving and Shelby had been impounded. She was never released, and had been put to sleep.
Oh, my friend! I stood outside in the tall grasses of my new home and wept. I felt so helpless and angry. I wished there had been a way for her to still be with me, but I knew in truth there had not been.
Suddenly a vision of her came fully into view. There was her face, smiling and happy. Her gentle presence vivid. Something within broke open, and I found myself telepathically howling to her spirit. I heard her howl in response. The depth of my own inner howls rose from our joint sorrow. I was too clutched with tears to give physical voice to this pain, but My Heart sang loudly.
Then in the canyon where I live an audible sound came to my ears. The sound of coyotes howling. On the inner planes they heard our communion, and sang long and mournful in the afternoon sun. Now the howls of sorrow were heard both within and without.
The vision of Shelby remained until our howls subsided and my heart emptied. The howls of the coyotes subsided as well. Pure Love emanated from Shelby’s eyes, and I both saw and felt her smile. Around her lay a new paradise, full of color and aliveness. “Oh, forgive me!” I began to sob again.
A wave of Forgiveness, Understanding, and eternal Love washed over me as her smile radiated a golden energy into my heart. She continued to broadcast these feeling tones until the guilt dissolved within my heart. “There is only Love,” I heard her heart speak.
I learned that day there is no difference between the voice of our hearts and the sound that comes through physically. There is only love, real and full and eternal.
And the love of my wolf friends goes ever
© Myriah Krista Walker 2002