White wolf laying down

She was a stunning white wolf of unusual athletic ability—all lightness, grace, and agility. We named her Mariah because she could run like the wind. One day, when she was two years old, Jean and I turned our heads away for a moment. When we turned back, she was lying on the ground with utter panic in her eyes. Her back legs were paralyzed. Paralysis is a horrible death sentence for a wild animal. We rushed her to the Don, the vet. I drove, and Jean lay in the back of the truck with Mariah, comforting her. Her sides were swelling as we drove, symptoms of colic that kills so many animals. Don immediately inserted a needle in her side to relieve the pressure from the gas causing the colic....

He was found at a roadside zoo, just a few weeks old, and it was clear even then that he was a “differently-abled” bear. Now four years old he is enormous for his age, but it isn’t the size you notice first – it is a gentleness, an innocence. It is in the expression of his face, in his movements, the whole feeling he emanates. Most animals at Earthfire have names reflecting their magnificence – Northwind, the wolf; Windwalker the cougar. But as we watched him play, sweetly, gently, not too coordinated, not too quick on the draw, the name just came out – Humble Bumble. When we first brought him home he would lie on his back in our arms absolutely rigid, eyes staring...

Brown fox inside an animal crate

We received an urgent call---could we take in a sweet fox who had been someone’s pet and now was abandoned? He had been living alone in a locked cabin with food being thrown in sporadically, and the situation was no longer tenable. The exterminator was scheduled for the next day, so he needed a home immediately. We had no room, but it was life or death. We could try to put him in with our foxes Feather and Lightfoot and hope they got along. We would have to get permits, as he was in Wyoming and would be coming across state lines. Could we get them quickly enough? The laws had recently changed in Idaho and everyone in all the relevant offices were still uncertain about what was needed,...

White wolf in a grassy field

Cucumber was wilted. It was different this time. After her two near-death experiences during which she worked her way into becoming a House Wolf, she thrived on her special status. When her status became threatened because another sick animal required special care and occupied our tiny living room, she learned how to manipulate us through pretend near-death experiences. But now she is older---going on her 14th year---and the wilting felt different. As if she were defeated. The cause of the problem was two-fold. First Firefly, a tiny little black fox-rescue from a fur farm ousted her because she needed intensive care, but we could at least move her out each day so Cucumber could come and...

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