She is NOT on the Tour Path.
Flicker was purchased from a breeder in California when she was 4 months old. Her new owner had visited the breeding facility and been absolutely horrified by what she saw – dirty enclosures stretching as far as the eye could see, very little shade in the hot sun, and too many animals to count. She couldn’t stand the thought of all those poor dogs and wolfdogs suffering in such a place, so she took Flicker home. Flicker, already 4 months old at the time, had not been socialized as a young puppy and her owner quickly realized that she was at a serious disadvantage because of that late start.
Flicker was excruciatingly shy and skittish. Even in her new home, if someone moved too quickly, she panicked. Standing up from sitting without warning could make her bolt. Her anxiety made her life miserable and after several escapes and much suffering, her owners decided to pursue medication. They put her on anti-anxiety meds at the recommendation of their vet. Although the pills helped inhibit her reactions, they didn’t actually make her any happier. When faced with enough fear, Flicker still panicked and took off.
When Flicker was almost a year old, her owners decided that she needed to be somewhere where she would feel safe and secure, and their home clearly was not that place. They made the difficult choice to contact our staff here at Wild Spirit and we reviewed her case. Flicker certainly sounded like a risk, given her history of escapes, but we also needed to find a new companion for one of our male wolfdogs, and Flicker seemed like she could be the one. We decided the risk was worth the reward, so our staff planned to go pick her up.
While we were getting ready to drive to California, Flicker escaped her home yet again. This time, she was not easily re-caught, and for two weeks she was running loose in her neighborhood, too skittish to let anyone get close to her. At first we waited for her to be brought home, and when that didn’t happen, staff decided it was time for us to intervene. We packed the rescue van and set out to catch poor Flicker ourselves, and then bring her home to safety.
Some careful planning, a lot of waiting, and a few handy tools later, our staff had successfully tranquilized and caught Flicker. We loaded her up and drove her home to the sanctuary, where we introduced her to her new companion. Although he was thrilled, Flicker wasn’t too interested – all she wanted was to figure out how to get out of her enclosure.
In due time, Flicker has grown to see Wild Spirit as a safe place where she can relax and live a life free of stress and anxiety. She is now living with male mid-content wolfdog, Lobo, who has helped her to see the fun and playful side of life. In fact, Flicker is so comfortable in her new home that she hasn’t made any attempts to escape since her first few days with us, and tends to spend most of her time napping, playing with Lobo, or flirting with her male neighbors.