Atraeau Dumascus was born September 7, 2001 in Mantorville, Minnesota, in a litter of 9. His Sire was 100% Mid - Missouri Grey Wolf and his Dame was 50% Grey and 50% Samoyed. Even though he was a mix, his coloration and markings were that of a full Grey. My significant other and I were so elated to be given the opportunity to be able to raise a pup such as this. He had a wonderful disposition...was loving to one and all....he played well with all the children and got along with all of the other animals in our home.
When we got him, he wasn't more than 9 weeks old and very, very timid, though cautious of everything around him. Unlike many new owners of a wolfdog puppy, Julie and I read as much as we possibly could, so that we could know what to expect in almost any given situation and what to do when the situation arose.
Raising a wolfdog is a major undertaking for even the most seasoned owner, as unlike a "normal" dog, wolfdogs have this uncanny ability to actually watch and learn. They will watch your every move and learn....REALLY learn! At only 3 months of age, he was letting us know when he needed to go speak to the trees or when he wanted some food or water ( our clothes will never be the same! *LOL*.
Whenever we had the opportunity, we got Atraeau around other dogs, so that he wouldn't be so skittish. And we got him around other people, as well. When the opportunity presented itself, we took our "son" to Whitewater State Park, to Quarry Hill ( sort of like a Nature Reserve within city limits ) and to anyplace where we could walk and hike around with our puppy. We really enjoyed his company very much as he was a pleasure to be around....watching over his shoulder, whenever we went out for walks to make sure we were still behind him and bringing up the rear. You must remember that even though wolves and wolf - hybrids are very different creatures in their own right, they are very pack/family oriented and will stay close to what they consider their family or pack. Unless there are circumstances of physical abuse involved, a wolf-hybrid will not usually stray far nor leave for very long.
This past thursday evening was an evening that none of us, within our household, will ever forget. At 9:00 pm on Thursday, May 2nd, 2002, my significant other let our cat out to go to the bathroom and Atraeau managed to zip by her. With the woods being close to the house, he quickly disappeared. Even though we live rurally, my significant other and I searched all over the place for our missing puppy.....posted fliers, called shelters, spoke to several people in the area but got absolutely nowhere. By late Friday evening, we were both in a state of shear panic......deeply fearing the worst had come to our beloved puppy of 7 months.
On Saturday, May 4th, we went down to the Pound to see if anyone had turned in a stray puppy ( we didn't dare say that he was part wolf as they would have killed him on site, without further warning at all.). And, as we had experienced before, we came up empty handed.
We had no sooner gotten home when we received a call from one of our neighbors. He had suggested we contact the Local Sherrif's Department as there had been a dog hit by a passing car on thursday evening. Since he didn't get the chance to see the dog himself, he really couldn't say for sure whether it was our puppy or not. He only said that DSO had come knocking on his door at 10:30 pm, thursday night, and had wanted to know if he had known the owners of the dog that had gotten hit. He told them "No".....they had told him that the puppy had been hit by a car and was critically injured with a broken back and both of his front legs broken ( amoungst other injuries).
Since he didn't know, they said that they would have to put the dog down as his injuries were far too extensive to be healed. A few minutes later, a 9 mm round penetrated the dog's head and put him out of his misery. We contacted the DSO dispatcher and gave them the information our neighbor had given us and he looked on the duty log for the evening....we gave him the description of our puppy as well as what his training collar looked like.....He told us that the officer that answered the call that night wouldn't be on duty again until Monday night. So he said that he would contact us then and let us know what the other officer had to report.
Twenty minutes later, we received a call back from the dispatcher....like us, he was an animal owner ( more specifically a K9 unit officer ) and because he fully understood the fears and pain, he had called the other officer's home to get the information ahead of time.
He then confirmed our worst fears....our beloved puppy of seven months of age, was dead....never to return home again.
There is an old saying " A Door Never Closes Without Another Opening ....." and, in our case, this is so very true. After we had contacted the various shelters, to let them know that we had found out what had happened to our beloved Atraeau, we received a call from "Spirit of the Wolf", a shelter located about 5 miles south of us. They were one of the shelters we had contacted earlier....and they had told us that a puppy from the same litter as our beloved Atraeau, was going to be dropped off because the owner couldn't handle her any longer. It seems that she was digging holes in his front yard and that was something he wouldn't tolerate....go figure. His way of dealing with the anger and frustration regarding to Atraeau's litter mate, was to beat her with a broom handle. And, from what we had been told, he had done so on a frequent basis. The Great Mother knows that I am, by nature, both an honorable and a non-violent person. But, after hearing what I had about the foolish man's treatment towards an innocent pup, I would've willingly put my values and ethics aside to give the man a taste of his own medicine and use the same impliment of instruction on him that he chose to use on the pup, were I given the opportunity to do so.
Anyway.....the owners of "Spirit of the Wolf" contacted us to offer their condolences for our loss as well as to let us know of our puppy's litter - mate and said that they could get her if we wanted her! How could we possibly refuse?....Granted, we were and still are missing our Atraeau terribly, as it hasn't been but a couple of days since he was placed violently into the hands of our Great Mother....now we are given the opportunity to take in one of his sisters and, by the Gods, we jumped at the chance!
On Monday, May 6th, we will drive to "Spirit of the Wolf" with both a heaviness in both our hearts in memory of our poor Atraeau, but then again, our hearts will be filled with over-flowing joy for the soon - to - be new addition to our family. Even though its not Atraeau....and she never will be able to replace him really....we'll be able to give her all the loving, caring and attention that Atraeau would still be getting, were he still here.
It is with high hopes, in both of our hearts, that this once tragic, violent end may change to a happier one...if the Goddess and Her Consort so wish it to be so.
Merry Part Atraeau, our son....May Your Spirit Roam Forever Free......and May Your Loving Spirit Aid Us In The Proper Raising of Your Litter Mate As You Were So Raised By Us....
We love and Miss You Very Much, Atraeau.....
Always.....in All Ways....
Donald, Julie and the Children
The graphical tribute below was made anonymously, by someone who had also lost one of their children, many years ago. Whoever you are, my children and I all thank you, very much.