Tribute To Sabine
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Sabine's History
Tribute From Rory Zoerb
Tribute From Susan Williams
Sabine's Passing
Medical Findings
Veterinary Costs
Wild Animals Are Not Pets
Item Sabine's History

May 3rd, 2006 to September 21st, 2015

Sabine came to Wild Spirit on May 23rd, 2006, with her five siblings; Alice, Powder, Sugar, Thunder, and Storm. Her parents (Yukon and Sierra) and older brother, Axel, joined her in early March of 2007. Sierra came to the Sanctuary pregnant, and so, on May 8th, 2007, Sabine's family was expanded by the birth of five pups; Frost, Flurry, Teton, Shasta, and Trinity.

The Arctic family came from a breeder in Oregon after the Sanctuary had sought out one or two pups to be raised as ambassadors. A friend told us that there was a breeder in Jacksonville, Oregon who may be willing to donate two pups of a recently born litter.

A few days before Leyton, Georgia, and 4-year-old Lakota hopped into the car to pick up the pups, the breeder told us to plan on taking all six, as his previous buyers had decided not to purchase the pups. Excited to have the whole litter, the Cougar family picked up the pups and bottle-fed them the whole way back to New Mexico.

Sabine was bottle-raised at Wild Spirit. Sabine was only 2 lbs when the rest of the litter was 3 lbs or more. She had great difficulty drinking from a bottle, so her surrogate mom, Angel, would spend many hours holding the nipple at her own lips so Sabine would chew. Sabine grew up to be healthy and extraordinarily affectionate to her original human caretakers.

Item Tribute From Rory Zoerb

"See You On The Other Side"

It’s 3:15 am and I have been at my laptop for over an hour now. I’m having a hard time starting my tribute to Sabine when, after almost seven full days from the time that Susan and I said our tearful goodbyes to Sabine as she passed away, I hear the unmistakable lone howl of Zoerro. He is in his habitat about 500 yards away. Zoerro’s howl is inspiring me to start typing. His howl sounds mournful… I have no doubt that he is still howling for his bonded habitat mate, Sabine.

We all miss Sabine for she was an unbelievably sweet girl that deeply touched the hearts of all she shared time and space with. There is so much to say for Sabine, as well as all of the caregivers that loved and cared for her throughout her life at Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary. I could easily sit here and type for hours. But, instead, I’ll try to keep this short and focus on the period of Sabine’s life that I was a part of. The Cinderella Story.

At the time that Zoerro and I arrived at Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary back in 2011, Sabine lived with her brother, Powder, her sister, Sugar, and her lifelong friend, Dakota. “The Powder Pack”, as they were known, lived in a beautiful habitat, complete with big boulders and trees, up on the hill overlooking the sanctuary.

Not long after Zoerro and I arrived, Sabine’s sister, Sugar, became increasingly aggressive towards Sabine as the two girls were now well into adulthood and spending a fair amount of time sorting out their position within The Powder Pack. As time progressed, Sugar became more dominant and aggressive which resulted in Sabine spending more and more time in a solitary perch up in the boulders overlooking the sanctuary. I remember wanting to help Sabine every time I would pass by The Powder Pack while doing rounds or giving tours. All of the staff and volunteers wanted to help Sabine so we started discussing possible solutions. I suggested that we take Sabine out of The Powder Pack and introduce her to Zoerro who now lived alone following his altercation with Contessa. I had no doubt that Zoerro would love Sabine.

Our decision to remove Sabine from The Powder Pack was solidified when Dakota “went after” Sabine while returning to their habitat from a walk together. Sabine’s new home would be an empty habitat directly across the tour path from Zoerro. This made it very easy for Zoerro and I to stop by and say hi to Sabine when Zoerro and I returned from our daily romps. Well, it didn’t quite work out that way. It ended up that I was the only one that would go up to Sabine’s habitat to say hi to her. Zoerro was acting like he was in high school and couldn’t let her know that he was interested. Oh, I could tell that he was interested, but it seemed that he wasn’t going to let her know it. Out of probably around a couple of dozen attempts, I was only able to get Zoerro to go up to Sabine’s habitat twice. But I was sure he liked her, I could just tell.

On or about Saturday, April 5, 2014, Leyton and I took Sabine and Zoerro for a walk together and allowed them to get face-to-face with one another (without a fence between them) for the very first time. All of the signals were A-OK - “Houston, we have a pair”. And the adventures of Zoerro and Sabine began on that day. Two innately wild spirits bred and born into an unnatural and uncomfortable life of constant control and confinement for the private possession of human beings would spend the next year and a half together having the best life in captivity that they could possibly have. I have a lot more to say about breeding and promoting “wolves” and wolf-dogs into private ownership, none of which is nice, but I’ll save it for another time. This post is for Sabine. And they say a picture is worth a thousand words - so please, take a look at the “Tribute to Sabine” photo album and continue "reading".

It’s now 6:25 am, Susan and Vuka are still fast asleep and Zoerro has started yet another mournful howl… run free Sabine, we’ll see you on the other side. ~ Rory Zoerb

Item Tribute From Susan Williams

Hi everyone! I want to thank you all for your kind and thoughtful comments, posts and shares about Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary's beloved rescue, Sabine. Before I came to WSWS it had been Rory, Zoerro, Sabine and Vuka, a great pack! I have only been Sabines handler, alongside Rory, for about six months. What an honor and a priveledge! In those six months, Sabine and I, Zoerro and Rory, and of course, Vuka, have spent at least an hour almost everyday hiking the valleys and hills of this beautiful land. Someday's it was even longer. Beanie has been a joy to walk and observe, she scraped the dirt with gusto, scent rolled with glee, ran with so much enthusiasm to stay alongside Zoerro and then rested for a good and gentle conversation with me. I will swear that she listened too! She smiled, oh how Beanie smiled! She was a happy girl, especially at the side of her guy, Zoerro.

Queen Sabine will be missed, sitting on top of her "She-Shack", overlooking her beautiful surroundings and the goings-on of the sanctuary. I now go for walks with Rory, Zoerro and Vuka and the weight of a leash that is not there tears at my heart. I long for her. But so do many others that love her. There have been so many good people before me that knew her and for a much longer time. So to those that came before me and had the opportunity to take care of this wonderful angel, thank you. Your time spent loving her helped to make her who she came to be. My heart aches with all of you.

To my Sweet Bean, run with the Angels, there will no longer be fences and enclosures, so get your "Alpha Girl" on and romp! A wild and magnificent spirit like yours, Sabine, should have never been bred for the selfish pleasures of others. You were an educational rescue, indeed. For so many reasons, I feel even more strongly now than ever that wolves and wolf-dogs should never be bred to be pets. Beanie, you will remain in my heart and a part of me for the rest of my days. Your pink leash has a permanent home next to my bedside. I love you, Beanie. Teach the angels your deep and beautiful howl, they'll listen, how could they not? It is Devine. ~ Susan Williams

Item Sabine's Passing

On Monday, September 21st, 2015, Sabine's caregivers, Rory and Susan, drove to The Animal Neurological & Imaging Center in Albuquerque to see Sabine. Sabine's condition had deteriorated to the point that she was barely conscious, having difficuty breathing and dependent on IV fluids and supplemental oxygen.

Having been informed that the veterinary medical staff had exhausted all possible attempts to successfully treat and identify the source of Sabine's almost complete neurological dysfunction and Sabine's quality of life having reached the point that she was in constant and obvious discomfort, Rory and Susan made the difficult decision to assist Sabine to the other side. Sabine slipped away as Rory and Susan held her, stroked her and said their tearful goodbyes.

The wonderful veterinarians and staff at ANIC went the extra mile and further for Sabine. We all, including many of you, did everything in our power to save her.

Item Medical Findings
Update: Sunday, September 27th, 2015

by Dr. Peter Brofman, DVM, DACVIM

"Sabine presented with a progressive neurologic condition that was affecting the central nervous system multifocally (more than one part of the nervous system was affected). Her neurological exam was consistent with abnormalities associated with the cerebrum, vestibular (balance) system, and cervical spinal cord. MRI of the brain and cervical spinal cord was normal. Analysis of spinal fluid was consistent with a non-specific inflammation (meningo-encephalitis) without any evidence of infectious organisms or cancer cells.

A normal MRI can be seen in 20-30% of cases of meningoencephalitis in dogs. Meningoencephalitis can be either infectious (e.g. a bacteria or virus) or immune-mediated (overactive immune system attacking the brain and spinal cord as if there were an infection present but there is no infection). It is much more common for meningoencephalitis in domestic dogs to be immune-mediated rather than infectious.

Tests were submitted for toxin screening, Toxoplasma, Neospora, Blastomyces, Coccidioides, Cryptococcus, Histoplasma, Aspergillus, and West Nile Virus. While waiting for these results we started treating Sabine for both infection and immune-mediated disease. We treated her with Clindamycin to treat possible Toxoplasma or Neospora; Fluconazole to treat possible fungal diseases; doxycycline for possible tick-borne diseases; and steroids and Cytosar to treat a possible immune-mediated disease.

Over the following week, Sabine continued to decline despite broad spectrum treatments. The tests for Toxoplasma, Neospora, Blastomyces, Coccidioides, Cryptococcus, Histoplasma, and Aspergillus were negative. The test for West Nile Virus is highly suggestive of this diagnosis, however, it only tests for antibodies Sabine’s body would produce to fight an infection and does not test for the virus itself.

Unfortunately Sabine succumbed to her disease. Final testing is pending to see if we can isolate actual West Nile Virus from her brain or see any other explanation for her illness on autopsy. As soon as we get the final results in the next 1-2 months we will pass the information along ASAP."

Item Veterinary Costs

We often cringe at the thought of the veterinary costs we will have to pay to keep our rescues healthy. All of the veterinarians that we work with give us a break, but still, the cost of providing lifetime veterinary care can be significant. Thank you so much for your consideration and support.

Item "Wild Animals Are Not Pets"

"Wild Animals Are Not Pets" is our tagline and you will see and hear it often... for good reason. Contained in this album are photos of innately wild animals that were bred and born into unnatural, uncomfortable and {insufficient} lives with humans. We rescue them and then give them the best life possible. In fact, the photos you see throughout our website and all of our social media pages, provide a visual window into the love, care and enrichment that we are able to provide for {some} of our rescues. As beautiful as these images are, the subjects are still innately wild animals held against their natural desire, and will, to pursue life, freedom and happiness as THEY see fit.

Our Tribute To Sabine Photo Album

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