by Kelly Legarreta, Canine Massage Instructor
(Part II of IV in a 4-part series)
A 3-hour adventure that evolves into a benevolent relationship with Shy Wolf Sanctuary; Kelly Legarreta, RMSAAM’s Canine Massage course instructor (Ft. Myers florida location), takes her massage class to Shy Wolf Sanctuary in Naples, Florida.
When I called Mark, I was a little hesitant to tell him I would like to bring my Canine Massage class down to work on the Wolves… without skipping a beat, he said, “When can you be here?” My heart did a somersault with joy and anticipation of giving the gift of massage to these wonderful animals, as well as being able to give my RMSAAM students what might be the opportunity of a lifetime!
When we arrived, Mark gave us a tour of the sanctuary. Nestled in a neighborhood on land with a lot of acreage, we wondered what it would be like to live down the street from Shy Wolf. It took our breath away when a wolf song erupted. We all stopped as one by one they joined in to the harmonious haunting howls. I looked around we all seemed to break out in goose bumps. Mark just smiled and said, “Isn’t it beautiful?” It was probably the most beautiful thing I had ever heard. On our tour, Mark gave us a brief intro to all of the wolves as well as some of the other animal residents, including “Ernie Tubbs” a very chubby Prairie dog, Fennec and Arctic foxes, two Florida Panthers, and various rabbits.
Mark explained the use of level ratings for the wolves; the lower the level, the more friendly they are. For example levels 1 and some 2’s are used in their education outreach programs and travel to schools and functions, while level 3’s and 4’s are very particular about how close or who they allow to come in contact with. As we walked through the maze of enclosures we discussed the best wolves to work on for the day…
Stay tuned for Part III!