Throw back your head and let out a long celebratory birthday howl for Alawa and Zephyr! It’s hard to believe our rambunctious pups are entering their fabulous fives! An inspiration from their adorable start, the stunning siblings continue to thrive in their "Ambassador" roles. They open the door to understanding the importance and plight of their wild kin and remind us of our personal responsibility for improved human stewardship of our World.
Two years ago the duo became a threesome when their younger brother Nikai joined the pack. As a pup Nikai was all over Zephyr. His big brother had become his favorite chew toy! Alawa wanted no part - babysitting is clearly not her thing. But Zephyr showed boundless patience from the get-go. He tolerated every nibble, pounce attack, and tail-tug his brother delivered. Zephyr is a nurturer.
Alawa is a survivor. She’s mastered the art of avoiding conflict and securing what she needs to satisfy her needs.
Although Zephyr is the self-appointed leader of the family expressing his status with erect posture and tail carried high. It’s possible that Alawa holds the same position in the family, albeit covertly. Most of the time Nikai exhibits his lower position through submissive/puppy-like behavior. With lowered tail and posture, he acknowledges his role and rank in the family hierarchy. He is often pawing, tucking his tail, and licking the muzzles of his siblings - some of the natural submissive gestures expressed by less dominant wolves. However, during the 2015-2016 winter season, Nikai tested Zephyr. He incessantly egged on his older brother until the two had it out while Alawa wisely and unsurprisingly steered clear of the mayhem. Thankfully it took only a few bumps and scratches for the boys to check their egos and have peace and order restored with Zephyr taking to the helm once again. And while the brothers licked their wounds, Alawa quietly thrived. Her fitness and position remained unscathed. Like a quiet queen.
So a new chapter has opens for our Ambassador trio. And what comes next only time will tell. But in the meantime, it will remain an honor to watch the family continue to develop into such powerful players in the fight to preserve wolves’ rightful place in the environment.