Alex – Swimming for Geriatric Care

On a frosty winter morning thirteen years ago, my niece Jessica Abrams was on her way to Port Angeles High School. Stopped at an intersection, she saw a tiny white ball of fluff dart out from the side of the road and run under her truck, where he sat trembling. She got out, fished him out from under the truck and put him in the cab. The look on his face, she told me, said, “I am the King and you are so lucky to get me.” He has remained regal, royal and handsome ever since. No one responded to their “Dog Found” ads, so he became part of our family.


His ancestry is uncertain but wolf rescuers and vets say he is part Arctic Wolf, Siberian Husky and Chow. He has classic wolf markings, including charcoal tipping on his cream colored coat, which changes color slightly, hues of copper, grey, black and white shifting through the seasons; with a striking tail blaze, spotted tongue, and unusually high intelligence, another wolf trait. He has been on a leash, when out of my fenced yard, almost all his life, as he is a predator unlike any dog I have met. If he sees a small animal, he freezes in a straight line from tail to nose-tip and stalks silently and slowly, and you realize you are in the presence of a primeval animal. Other dogs, especially Northern dogs, seem compelled to challenge him; he has been injured by off-leash dogs a number of times, once quite seriously.


My mother once said that looking into Alex’s golden eyes was like seeing the wilderness. I can’t improve upon that phrase. We feel honored, as though a royal visitor has touched down to grace our lives, and with all his wildness, he is sweet and loving, undemanding and ready no matter what the weather to go out into nature. He has a soft bed of blankets in the warm house and always sleeps there at night, but sometimes seems to prefer napping comfortably in raging wind and snow storms on the cold ground under my big willow tree.

Perhaps his most remarkable trait is his talking. He will carry on at length attempting to convince us of something or ask for something (often a walk) and he is often obviously frustrated that these uneducated humans can’t understand plain Wolfish.

Alex is a gift to us and we feel that it is our duty to help him now that he is elderly. He suffers from arthritis and cataracts now, and like many a handsome and strong man faced with the ravages of age, retains his beauty, dignity, and value to us more than ever.

He has been helped by the warm waters and loving touch at La Paw Spa, where Cindy also appreciates his singular beauty and strong, proud personality. With all of his strengths, he still needs loving care, as we all do.