Thursday, July 12, 2012

Memorial to NaKiTa

NaKiTa - February 4, 2011
Native American Wolf Legends - From the Myths of Many Tribes
Wolves figure prominently in the mythology of nearly every Native American Tribe. In most Native cultures, Wolf is considered a medicine being associated with courage, strength, loyalty, and success at hunting. Like bears, wolves are considered closely related to humans by many North American tribes, and the origin stories of some Northwest Coast tribes, such as the Quileute and the Kwakiutl, tell of their first ancestors being transformed from wolves into men. In Shoshone mythology, Wolf plays the role of the noble Creator god, while in Anishinabe mythology a wolf character is the brother and true best friend of the culture hero. Among the Pueblo tribes, wolves are considered one of the six directional guardians, associated with the east and the color white. The Zunis carve stone wolf fetishes for protection, ascribing to them both healing and hunting powers.

NaKiTa was of the Gray Wolf family, part Northern and part Alaskan, with a touch of Alaskan malamute thrown in. NaKiTa was a sixth generation wolf born in the San Bernardino mountains in December 1995. She came to us in February 1996 and ultimately adopted us as her family.

NaKiTa never lacked courage, always present to protect us from whatever danger might be present, even when we were our own danger. NaKiTa was extremely loyal, she always honored the alpha, played with every member of the family, consoled any or all of us in times of grief. She remembered family members and friends, even if she had not seen them in many years, though she hid from strangers as long as they were not threatening. NaKiTa had incredible strength, easily demolishing any type of bones with her 1,500 pounds of jaw pressure, but was so very tender, just as easily carrying a filled water balloon in her mouth across the yard without breaking it. She was a successful hunter, but only wanted to play with her "catch" (until they died, at which time she would eat the catch, fur, bones, hair, meat, everything). She was not aggressive, unless you were unknown to her and either presented imminent danger or were where you did not belong (such as her den).

Wolves only live an average of 8 years in the wild, and normally only live a few more years in captivity. We were very fortunate to have NaKiTa with us for over 16 years. She began to deteriorate several years ago and we could no longer let her run outside of her pen. In the past year or so she lost most of her hearing, and recently started having hip problems. We made the decision when she first joined our family that she would always be as free as we could allow her to be, and would never be subjected to any painful treatments (we had a vet that always wanted to clean her teeth, which we did not allow) or have to live in pain. In the past week she developed an infection around one eye, which resulted in her going, at least temporarily, blind. Her hips became substantially worse, causing her hardship whether standing, laying, or sitting. It was time to let her go.

This morning we sent NaKiTa to the Lord, praying that she will be loved in heaven as much as she was loved here on earth. She is now at peace.

NaKiTa, you were always there for us, through thick and thin, the good and the bad, celebrating our joys and consoling us during our sorrows. We can only hope that we were there for you as well.

She will be missed, but we will always remember her, and she will live on in our hearts, just as any other member of our family.

December 1995 - July 2012
Rest in Peace NaKiTa

"'The wolf and the lamb shall graze together; the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and dust shall be the serpent's food. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain,' says the Lord".

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