Druid pup stranded as its pack leaves

All turns out well

July 10, 2006

Editor's note: Kathie Lynch reported the interesting story below while I was at my father's funeral dealing with the death of my father and attending his funeral. As a result, I was slow putting it up, and it was resolved before I returned. RM

By Kathie Lynch

A new drama is unfolding for the Druid Peak pack, or at least for one of their little black pups. Evidently the four Druid adults and the other 10 pups departed Round Prairie sometime during the night of July 4, and one pup was left behind. It was first observed on the morning of July 5, alone and howling its brave little heart out in Round Prairie. Four days later, the situation remains the same, and the strikingly beautiful tarnished silver pup with black head, legs and tail has been visible every morning and evening. 
   This morning (Day 4, July 8) we watched and listened for almost three hours as the little fellow kept trying to contact his missing pack.The pup first howled for half an hour from somewhere in the trees. Then it appeared and made a grand circuit of Round Prairie, going all the way to the west end along the tree line before returning along the creek all the way to the east end. The pup loped along and frequently stopped to howl in all directions. We have seen it biting at plants and playing with old bones but have not observed any hunting behavior, so I'm sure by now it is pretty hungry.
   It is very hard to watch and heart-breaking to hear the little fellow's mournful howls. We all hold our breath as we too strain to listen for an answer. Unfortunately, there has been no indication of any response, so it appears that the Druids may have left it behind when they moved to their rendezvous site--wherever that is this year. Since wolves can't count and probably actually have no idea that they are missing a pup, the only hope is that some of the adult Druids will happen to venture back to the den area and discover it.
   Optimistically, that is certainly a possibility. Several years ago, the old Druids left a gray pup behind at their Lamar Valley rendezvous when they moved up Chalcedony Creek. After six days on its own watching bison (Its preoccupation with bison was actually why it missed the move!), the pack returned and fed the pup for several more days. Finally, its father, the great Druid alpha 21M, "had a little talk with him," and the next time the pack left, it paid better attention and followed along!   
   By howling its heart out and staying where it was lost, this grandson or granddaughter of 21M seems to be doing everything right in order to be found. We can only hope that somehow 21M's legacy will inspire the Druids to return to Round Prairie so that this story too will have a happy ending. 

Later on July 9-

  Absolutely wonderful news!!!  The four adult Druids returned to Round Prairie this morning (7/9/06) for a joyful reunion with the little lost pup!  At 4:55 a.m., Bill Hamlin heard howling and then saw the three black adults (302M and alphas 480M and 529F). Rick McIntyre arrived minutes later and saw the uncollared gray female. They had obviously come on a mission to find their missing pup! 
   By 5:20 a.m., the happy group departed with the joyful pup bouncing along between the two equally joyful females. Their destination was probably their new rendezvous site somewhere way up Cache Creek.  Even though we don't expect to see the Druids again any time soon, every wolf watcher who had kept the vigil and shared the pup's despair for four days was absolutely elated!  How wonderful to be able to tell you all that this little lost puppy story had such a happy ending! 

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