BIO ~ Summer was a neutered male high-content wolf-dog which means he looked and acted like a wolf but had some dog in his history. We don’t know exactly how old he was but we rescued him in 2012 when was at least 4 years old. He joined the Big Pack in the Sky on May 16th, 2019. We are always so thankful when one of our rescues passes peacefully in his sleep.
PERSONALITY ~ Summer was shy like all our Westeros rescues. He curiously watched his caretaker but always kept a comfortable distance. He did love food though, and he would usually find the confidence to approach if he knew he would get something to eat.
RELATIONSHIP ~ Summer lived with a female high-content wolf-dog named Brienne, who was rescued at the same time he was. Originally, he lived in a pack with Shae, Shaggydog, and Jon Snow, but Summer was separated due to health issues. He and Brienne were not on the tour path because they are very shy and crowds make them nervous.
LIKES ~ Summer liked resting on top of his house, where he could easily see what was happening around him. He prefered female caretakers to male caretakers, but he liked his canine friends better than any humans. Like all our rescues, Summer loved chewing on donated bones.
DISLIKES ~ Summer disliked sudden movements, crowds of people, and being contained in small spaces.
FUN FACTS ~ Summer badly injured his eye in 2016 and had to have it removed by the great team at Eye Care for Animals. In 2017, Summer started to experience rapid weight loss. Thanks to the wonderful people at TLC Pet Hospital, we were able to do a full exam complete with x-rays right here at Wild Spirit, which eliminated a lot of stress for our unsocial Summer. He was diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease and was treated with medications until he joined the Big Pack in the Sky.
SUMMER’S HISTORY ~ Summer was born into horrible conditions at a breeding facility in Iowa. The original owner/breeder had passed away after a lengthy illness, and her surviving family was having a difficult time caring for the 12 high-content wolf-dogs that she left behind. The breeder had kept her wolf-dogs in 10′ x 20′ cages, some with up to three animals. The cages had cement or plywood floors and only 6-foot-high wire ceilings. Sadly, these are the typical conditions for wolves or high-content wolf-dogs kept in captivity, since these animals can easily dig or climb out of the average yard or enclosure.
After the breeder died, no one ever went into the cages and the poor wolf-dogs never went outside. The small enclosures were cleaned with a hose from outside, and years of waste had collected in piles around the edges. No one remembered their names or how they were related. They were not spayed and neutered, so each year more puppies were born. None of them ever survived.
A family friend stepped in to try to help take care of the animals and called everyone he thought might be able to help. Unfortunately, no one was able or willing to take on so many animals. Luckily, he didn’t give up and finally called Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary. We immediately prepared to make our first trip to Iowa to assess the situation, but before we arrived, the oldest male of the Iowa 12 had passed away.
During the assessment trip, we quickly saw how serious the situation was for the remaining 11 wolf-dogs. Wanting to help any way they could, the family generously offered all of their chain link fencing and hardware to help with the building of the Iowa Rescue habitats. Before leaving to return home, WSWS staff loaded Cassie, the oldest female wolf-dog, into the van and took her to Canyon Crossroad Vet Hospital. She received an extensive exam and the immediate care she needed, and then she came home to rest in safety at WSWS. Cassie passed away in the winter of 2012.
In September of 2012, WSWS staff went back to Iowa to rescue the remaining 10 wolf-dogs. At midnight, on September 17th, the Iowa 10 stepped foot onto the soil in their new habitats at WSWS. It was the first time they had felt the earth beneath their feet in at least three years! Vet visits revealed they were malnourished, heartworm positive, and had brittle bones and teeth. Due to their age and poor health, we chose not to have some of the Iowa girls spayed, but the boys were all neutered (neutering is often an easier, less invasive procedure with significantly lower risk for the animal). All of the Iowa 10 were given proper medication for their many health issues, put on a healthy diet, and finally received the care they needed. After 3 years with no space to run, they all ran a bit oddly at first, but with time they’ve adjusted to their new life and home. They have all become much stronger and healthier, although they have had some drama due to shifting pack dynamics and further health issues.
In the summer of 2013, George R. R. Martin’s wife, Parris McBride-Martin, named all of the Iowa kids after GRRM’s characters from his well-known book series, Game of Thrones. The Iowa 10 are now all known as The Westeros Pack. The Martins have come to visit them and Mr. Martin loaned his star powers to a fund-raiser to build them a brand new habitat! With Mr. Martin’s help, we’ve raised $150,000 to build larger habitats for this deserving family.
Summer was placed in a beautifully wooded habitat with males Jon Snow and Shaggydog, along with a female, Shae. Our rescued Westeros Pack takes after the dramatic characters they were named for by George R. R. Martin’s wife, Parris. Our deserving family of high-content wolf-dogs has more health issues due to the horrible conditions they grew up in before we rescued them, combined with likely in-breeding. In August of 2016, Summer suffered a serious injury to his left eye, most likely due to a muzzle-grab from a pack-mate. Our vet concluded it would be best to surgically remove it, and he recovered beautifully!
In 2017, he began to show signs of gastro-intestinal issues. Fortunately, we were able to have our vet examine him on site with the help of a mobile x-ray machine and heavy sedation. It was decided that Summer’s dietary needs could be handled more easily in a smaller pack with less competition from other animals. He moved in with Brienne and was diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease shortly after. Summer and Brienne have been doing well since then!