Nymeria joined the Big Pack in the Sky on March 17th, 2019.
She was assisted at ~11 years old due to quality of life concerns.
Nymeria’s exact date of birth is unknown, but her estimated year of birth was 2008. She was rescued in 2012 when she was approximately 4 years old, and like the rest of her family, 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 wolfdogs that she had left behind. Before passing, the breeder had kept her animals in 10′ x 20′ cages, some with up to three animals inside. 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 wolfdogs 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 wolfdogs 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. Few of them ever survived.
Eventually, a family friend stepped in to try to help take care of the animals and called everyone he thought might be able to assist. Unfortunately, no one was able or willing to take on so many animals. Luckily, he didn’t give up and finally called Wild Spirit. 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 11 remaining wolfdogs. 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, our staff loaded Cassie, the oldest female wolfdog, 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 safely at the sanctuary. She passed away in the winter of 2012.
In September of 2012, Wild Spirit staff went back to Iowa to rescue the remaining 10 wolfdogs. At midnight on September 17th, the Iowa 10 stepped foot onto the soil of their new habitats. 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 were then known as The Westeros Pack, which includes: Shae, Shaggydog, Jon Snow, Summer, Beric Dondarrion, Ghost, Brienne, Arya, Nymeria and Lady. The Martins have come to visit them and Mr. Martin even loaned his star powers to a fund-raiser to build the pack a brand new habitat! With Mr. Martin’s help, we raised $150,000 to build larger habitats for this deserving family.
Nymeria was a feisty and rambunctious gal who loved to play and enjoy life. Caretakers were welcome into her habitat to clean, but she never did express an interest in socializing with humans during her time at Wild Spirit. However, she relished spending time with her companions, but her feisty nature did cause drama over the years.
Nymeria first lived with one of our Westeros Packs, along with Ghost, Arya, Brienne and Lady. When the group was split, she was attempted with a number of companions, but her over-zealous nature made it difficult to find a good match. Eventually, she found a home with Bear, who was able to handle her energy. The two made for a wonderful pair.
Likes & Dislikes
Nymeria loved to play, and fence fight with her neighbors. There was nothing she enjoyed more than getting a rise out of others.
Nymeria disliked when any of her companions took food or treats first. Ghost was the only exception; he was the only one Nymeria would listen to.
In all the introductions Wild Spirit has done over the years, Nymeria was one our trickiest rescues to find a companion for. Many times, matching wolfdogs is much like a “dating service”, where we attempt to pair compatible traits. Nymeria made this especially difficult, because she had a tendency to come on very strong and ignored the cues of her would-be companion if they were feeling uncomfortable. It took us time to find a male who could withstand her intensity.