Feb. 7 2001—-June 21 2001
Fritz was one of a litter of 7 pups.
He wasn’t the runt when he was born.
His mother “Idgie” had the pups beside the porch inside the
fenced front yard. She had dug a den but it had been pouring down rain
the day before so I covered it up for fear the pups would drown.
I had built a giant dog house for her and “Lobo” the father of the pups.
I moved the pups into the dog house. She didn’t want me touching them
so my husband Mike held her.
The roof of the house would raise up but you couldn’t really see
them very well. When they were 2 weeks old I heard one of the pups
crying about 2 A.M.. I opened the door and Idgie had one of them outside
the dog house. She had dug another hole and again it had been raining
and I was worried about them drowning.
I moved the couch away from the wall put a quilt on the floor behind
the couch took Idgie and the pup in the house and crawled
inside the dog house to get the rest of them.
I couldn’t believe how small and frail Fritz was.
He was skin stretched over bone and I didn’t think he would make it.
He was about 1/3 the size of the other pups. I had to fight the others off to
let him nurse. We took him to the vet the next day to get him checked out.
He seemed to be basically healthy. I named him that day.
His name was “Snicklefritz” but he acted and looked more like a “Fritz”
so I called him Fritz. I raised him on goats milk and a bottle and also made the
others let him nurse. He started to grow and get stronger.
I had to help him wiggle in to the bowl to get to the softened puppy chow,
but he got his share of it once he got there.
All but one of the others went to their new homes at 4 weeks of age.
We hadn’t planned to keep any of them but I had already decided that
Fritz wasn’t going anywhere. He was my baby and I was his mama.
So we still had Fritz and one of the other pups (the biggest one).
On May 12th when they were 3 months old we gave the other pup
to someone. Fritz was almost as tall as this pup and he was
taller than the other 2 that I had seen.
He had really shot up there but his muscles were not as well
developed as the others. He was really lonesome without the other pup
and he could hear Lobo and Idgie out in the big pen and he would howl.
So against my better judgment I put him out there with them.
He was so happy to be with them. Wolves play very rough and they play by
biting and teach the young ones to defend themselves by biting on
them to make them mad.
They also show their affection by biting on each other and on you.
After 4 or 5 days with them he was walking like he was sore. On the 7th day
he was very slow coming out of the den and was giving to his left back leg.
He was covered in mud from them rolling him around playing.
I took him out of the pen and bathed him and moved him back in the
house with us.
I took him to the vet the next day and they felt of his joints and thought that
he was just sore from the rough housing. Seven days later he was giving to
both back legs and could barely get up. I took him back to the vet and
they X-rayed him and couldn’t see anything.
They gave him an arthritis medication thinking that maybe his joints
were sore. That didn’t do any good so we tried steroids.
Nothing worked. By this time he couldn’t get up at all.
I felt sure now that it was a back injury caused from them biting on him.
I was really worried. They sent me to a Veterinary Neurologist.
He took some X-rays and could see what he hoped was only inflammation
but said that it could be a bone chip pressing against the spinal cord.
He gave him a shot of Chloramphenacol and gave me tablets to give him.
He said if he wasn’t better in five days to call him and we would do a
myelogram and see where the problem was and possibly surgery to correct it.
Fritz was much less active now. He would crawl to his water bowl and try to
crawl to me if I left the room but he didn’t try to play with his chew toys.
Three days later he developed a severe case of Tonsillitis.
He still had his appetite but when he drank water he would throw up
flem with an egg white consistency.
I called my vet and he said that he shouldn’t have Tonsillitis if he’s
taking an antibiotic. He told me to bring him over if he wasn’t better
by the next day. He was worse. His temp was 104 degrees and he wouldn’t eat.
We took him off of all food and water and put him on an IV.
He was very weak. I had to leave him that night and I didn’t go to sleep at all.
His temp was 105 degrees the next morning. I spent the day with him and then
told the vet that I thought it was time to end his suffering.
He wanted to give it one more day to see if the new antibiotic would help.
I brought him home with me and spent the night on a sleeping bag on
the floor with him. I knew this would be my last night with him.
He wanted water so badly and I would give it to him and he would
only throw it up. His temp had not gone down.
I took him back the next morning so they could put him back on the IV.
I told the vet when I walked in that I thought it was time to let him go.
He said that he was waiting for a call back from the Neurologist and
that they wanted to put their heads together and see if there wasn’t something
that could save him.
At 3:10 P.M. that day we put Fritz to sleep and ended his suffering.
They tried so hard to save Fritz. We still don’t know for sure what it was.
He had some of the symptoms of distemper but not some of the symptoms
that he should have had if it was distemper.
Wolves sometimes will get distemper from the vaccine.
It could possibly be that he had a spinal injury and there was infection there
like the Neurologist thought and the infection traveled up the
spinal cord to the brain causing the fever that would not come down.
We’ll never know. I just know that putting Fritz to sleep was a very hard
thing to do but I had to do it. I couldn’t stand to see him suffer.
I knew for the last three days that I was going to have to give him up.
I think that was the hardest three days of my life.
He was a sweet puppy. He had personality plus. He would fuss at me if I
was doing something to him that he didn’t want me to do
like toweling him dry after his bath.
After he got so bad that he couldn’t get up he would urinate while
laying on his side. I would get a washcloth and wash his stomach so he wouldn’t
get raw from the urine. He would really fuss about that.
He never let me out of his sight even when he had to crawl to get where
he could see me. If I was going to be in another room I would take him
with me even to take a bath so he could see me.
Where ever I was he was looking at me unless he was asleep.
He was so special to me.
I really miss my Fritz.
I can still feel his eyes on me.