To my animal-loving Care2 Friends - especially those of you with a special place in your heart for wolves:
It "poured cats and dogs" on Monday, so I was afraid my Tuesday trip to Speedwell Forge, home of the Wolf Sanctuary, would be a muddy mess. But just as with Annie, the sun came out on the morrow! A chill in the air, a strong breeze but just a beautiful day to be out and about.
My friend Marg and I had signed up for a day trip - a bus of 54 Friends of my local library. Before seeing their flyer, I had no idea (nor did most of my friends in the area) that we even had a wolf sanctuary. Excited by the thought of seeing these beautiful creatures "up close and personal" - and yet, a little disturbed that no matter how "free" their environment, they were still not roaming the wild. Of course, at that point, I did not know the history and purpose of the sanctuary. By the time we left, I was truly thankful for the work, dedication and care the staff provides to the 40 wolves priviledged to live in safety at the sanctuary.
As you will see by visiting the website below - each wolf has a name, each is recognized as an individual and treated accordingly. These wolves would not have survived if not for the sanctuary. They have been acquired either by purchase or illegal means and kept in apartments, trailors, cars. etc. Some were abused, others just became too agressive to be "pets" any longer. One had to be surrendered by a very loving, sad woman who did not know she needed a permit and could not meet the stringent requirements to acquire one. Her wolf faced euthanasia by her township if she did not find a home for it. That's where Speedwell comes in. They rescue, intervene and open their doors whenever possible. To the best of their ability, the provide an environment as close to natural as possible. These are not animals that could be released to the wild - as they either have never learned to hunt or would be attacked if they tried to enter a pack. The wolves of Speedwell have lived as long as 18 years under their care. The average life expectancy in the wild is 8 years - if the pup survives its first year.
I could go on and on about the education this organization is doing to alert people to the truth about wolves in general and why they should not be considered domestic pets. What started as a family interest with 4 wolves has grown (over several generations) into a 501C non-profit home to 40 wolves. They receive no federal funds - only rules and regulations (as the tour guide put it!) but depend totally on donations. Located just outside of Lancaster, PA it's well worth visiting and a great place for kids. Open to the public on weekends only. Here's a taste:
Thanks for reading and thanks for being my Friend!
Monday April 30, 2012, 6:43 pm
Thanks for sharing you wonderful experience...so glad you got to go. Maybe someday my wife and I can make a trip there...she is from Maryland, not too far from Lancaster.
Tuesday May 1, 2012, 6:56 am
First of all, dear Sheila, I would like to thank you for sharing this special trip description and infos with us!
What an amazing place and amazingly dedicated people!
Definitely the wolves have a special place in my heart.
I still recall one of my favorite book from my childhood, White Fang by Jack London.
Well, I'm a big big dreamer :P and I wish someday I can actually go to the U.S and be able to visit this great place :) Thanks again Sheila, I really enjoyed it. Have a wonderful day, my friend.
Sunday May 6, 2012, 8:36 am
Dear Sheila - 'open to the public on weekends only', that no one could ever mind? They do need to raise funds in any way they can to enable them to provide the best for the wolves in their care, whilst at the same time allowing the wolves some 'freedom' from humanity. Thanks for sharing this beautiful story!
Friday November 30, 2012, 10:49 pm
I am so pleased to recieve your lovely introduction. I'm glad you enjoyed the Images of my city's yearly Tree Lighting Celebration. It marks the beginning of the excitement for many tourists and New Yorkers whom feel the joys and miracles of the Christmas Season. I have read this wonderful posting that you are kind enough to share with C2 Friends and Members. I had not known of "Speedwell Forge's" existance. Had I known my sweet hybrid wolf would have been saved there, instead of being destroyed by the deplorable ludicrous laws of the state of Virginia, which are in dire need of revising.
I am grateful to you for the information you have supplied here. I will pledge a donation in hopes that Speedwell Forge can continue working as a blessed sanctuary for our beloved wolves.
With Peace & Love
My sincerest prayers to you :)
Monday February 18, 2013, 7:07 pm
Sheila thank you so much for taking me /us on your journey to The Wolf Sanctuary PA.
Wolves are our teachers, say Native American Elders.
The wolves taken into this sanctuary are given a second chance at life to recover and renew as evidenced by many new generations there.
This quote says it for me as well:
"It is a huge challenge to live a rhythm inspired by a close connection to the natural world in a culture that moves with an ever-increasing velocity. It requires some sacrifice and careful thought. It asks us to treat life as a precious gift." - Roderick MacIver
If only humans would do just that recognizing the initrinsic relationship that we are all interconnected in the "Sacred Hoop of Life" .
If only states like Alaska,Idaho,Montana and Wyoming would see wolves through the eyes of beauty and love, instead of fear and hate.
I am now following them on Twitter and sharing their message.
Donations are needed so I'll repost the link
Wishing and hoping these amazing Speedwell Wolves receive all they need to continue to thrive under the incredible care and protection by the Darlington family.
Someday maybe I will be fortunate enough to visit and just quietly communicate my profound love and respect for each and every wolf who wants to 'share' with me.
When i look into each face i just want to wrap my arms around each one - looking forward to adoption
I love the intro:
" The Speedwell Wolves, A Treasure Awaits
In the heart of the Pennsylvania Dutch country, quietly secured on 20 plus acres of natural woodland, you will find the home of the Speedwell Wolves. For over 30 years the Darlington Family has offered refuge to Wolves who have found themselves without a place in the natural world. It has been over a hundred years since the last wild Wolf was known to exist in Pennsylvania.
Originally created as a private rescue, the Wolf Sanctuary of PA has grown into an educational facility. We are devoted to assuring the most comfortable and stimulating environments for our wolves.
Here at Wolf Sanctuary of PA wolves and wolf hybrids are given back their dignity. The Wolves of Speedwell hold a unique position as Ambassadors to the wild. It has been said that “the best wolf habitat resides in the human heart.” Perhaps it is also that the best habitat for our own wildness resides in the heart of the Wolf.
The Sanctuary currently provides food, shelter and veterinary care for over forty Wolves with no government or corporate assistance. Only, by your continued support and interest do the Wolves thrive."
Bless your heart Sheila for offering and introducing me / all of us, to the Speedwell wolves at the Wolf Sactuary of PA.
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