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Longlease Bernese Mountain Dogs Gallery of Friends

Willow the Timber Wolf
has a New Friend!

*for Willow's Story click here*

Willow and Normyn

When my marvelous Wolle died over a year ago, the hole left in out lives was (is) tremendous. And not just for his human family -- poor Willow the Timber Wolf was totally bereft. Wolle was her friend, her playmate, her pack leader, her anchor. She grieved his loss as acutely as we did. She began pacing the perimeter of her compound and displaying other stereotypies found in captive wild animals. We've had many heart to heart chats, but I just wasn't enough for her. Introducing her to Rowyn wasn't an option, when they've met through the fence Willow has displayed indifference & distain at best, raised hackles when she does respond to him. Bringing home puppy Janyse last March seemed to make her more anxious - she wanted that puppy to come play with her - but tiny 'Nysie was overwhelmed by the big wolf and wouldn't even sniff at the fence at first. Willow's pacing increased and weight melted off of her - she became quite bony in spite of a good appetite (thankfully she finally regained her weight and has filled out beautifully).

Janyse has grown considerably and Normyn has also joined the family. At 8 mos. Normyn is fully as tall as Willow and likely heavier. Their fenceline meetings have been nothing but wagging tails and smiles - I figured it was time to see if they could meet properly. So today my best friend came over. We went in first and had a nice play with Willow, I also picked up all her old bones and toys. Then I leashed Willow and my friend brought Normyn into the compound on leash. Willow's reaction was immediate joy! We tried to let them meet on loose leashes but were quickly hopelessly tangled, so off they came. Thankfully Norm's a very self-confident puppy, well socialized with other dogs, and knows how to play - Willow has also been well socialized with dogs when she was a pup herself and is quite submissive in nature. He was a little nervous at first but within 5 minutes he was right in the thick of game, giving as good as he got. He quickly learned the best shortcuts to catch up with Willow's flying form - even Willow loping was too fast for him altho' he certainly gave it a good try and actually looks quite athletic in the pictures. Willow was nothing short of ecstatic - she ran like the wind, showed Normyn all her hidey spots (her compound is 1/2 an acre), they played tug, they wrestled, she nuzzled him, rubbed on him and just generally revelled in having a new best friend. We missed some great pics due to our own tears. Normyn surprised me a bit by asserting his dominence - he used his full body to pin her down and gave a good growl - Willow was quite happy to acknowledge that and after that would lower her head to him and roll over when he placed his muzzle on her shoulders - then of course they'd be playing again. You can certainly learn a lot about canine body language by watching a wolf!

I'm soooooooooo very happy that my Willow has a friend again. It will enrich her life like nothing else could. Hooray for the healing powers of Berner puppies -- first my heart and now Willow's too. Normyn is Wolle's gift to me, and apparantly that extends to Willow too.

Sue(Janyse & Normyn with Devyn, Rowyn, and a very happy Willow) Simcoe, ON

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