by Kelly Legarreta, Canine Massage Instructor
(Part III 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.
I had forgotten just how big wolves are; not in bulk – just the sheer height! They are lean, long, and taller than you think! I connected with one of the “puppies” (a 13-month old named, Mariah) and as she stood on her hind legs to give me wolfy kisses through the gate, I had to stand on my tiptoes to receive them! It was really incredible.
We all went into an enclosure with two level 1 wolves, named Bear, and Nikipa. They were happy to see us but clearly thought they were going for a walk or “out”, and would not settle down; they paced by their gate waiting impatiently. Imagine living in that neighborhood, and seeing wolves walk down your street? We decided to take them out for a walk and as we left the Sanctuary we found a nice shady spot under a tree at the front of the property and we all settled down.
It was perfect that these were level 3/Senior Canine Massage students, because the gentle, light, nerve-stroking, and brief massage sequence was just what the doctor ordered for these guys. I was very proud of my students as they quietly and confidently began to “listen” intently, and really connect to their charges. I’m not sure if these wolves have ever had this kind of touch before and it was amazing to see them accept the work being given to them and really tune in. Kris (student) who is very petite anyway, was simply dwarfed by Bear, and as he lay right down, he all but got in her lap at the conclusion begging for more! Nikipa was a little more stand-offish, but you could see her settle internally, and absorb the connection she was receiving from Deana (student).
Stay tuned for Part IV, the last of this series!