I have always been fascinated by the Irish Wolfhound canine breed. Something about their eyes -- it's like looking into the eyes of a human when you make eye contact with an Irish Wolfhound. I'm also partial to big dogs, so Irish Wolfhounds fit that bill as well. And they're so adorably goofy looking.
Kym (and Dave) Colella, founders of earthdog, have dedicated their lives to not only making quality, eco-friendly dog products, but also rescuing Irish Wolfhounds, Wolfhound mixes, and various other canine breeds. And sharing their adventures at earthdoglife. So who better to discuss Irish Wolfhounds with than Kym?
Why Irish Wolfhounds?
I saw my first Irish Wolfhound when I was a child and was smitten at first glance. I got the chance to rescue an abandoned wolfhound from our local humane society about 12 years ago, and that's when my interest turned into an obsession. Not only are they gorgeous, but they have incredibly large hearts, enormous spirits, and are a joy to be around. I think it's achingly beautiful to see a wolfhound running. I adore all dogs but the Irish Wolfhound will always have a special place in my heart and I hope to always have one.
How did you adopt—through what group(s) and what is/was the adoption process like?
Fortunately Irish Wolfhounds are a fairly well protected breed, so comparably few appear in rescue. That being said, most regions have an Irish Wolfhound group with a rescue attached and will have applications available. How the process goes will really depend on the length of the wait list of approved applicants and the amount of dogs available in rescue. Most wolfhound rescues will try to match the dog with the right people. Some rescues will accept wolfhound mixes and some only accept purebreds. We are rescue-minded and do not purchase dogs, all of our 15 dogs are rescues (3 wolfhounds).
Initial adoption cost(s)?
To the best of my knowledge, adoption costs vary with each rescue group. In our case we've adopted/rescued 6 wolfhounds (and several other probable wolfhound mixes) from various sources through the years and the cost has varied depending on travel, etc. The last one, Dooley, we were contacted about and the people brought him to us from Cincinnati, and before that I traveled to Omaha, Nebraska, and drove home to Nashville with Carly.
What type of household/family is best for an Irish Wolfhound (are they good with small kids, in apartments, need lots of space, etc.)?
Wolfhounds need two things in this order: love and couches -- food and water are lower on the list. I can only speak to dogs coming out of rescue and all, but one of ours has been good with kids (one is scared of everything although never aggressive) -- it really depends on the situation they came out of. In my opinion because of their huge hearts and spirits they are more easily broken than many other breeds and need a lot of attention and love. If you've got time and love to give a wolfhound (and a couch) then you're the right home. One of our wolfhounds, Carly, is a wild child and loves to run and play, but the others we've had through the years have been much more laid-back. They don't seem to care about their accommodations or accouterments as long as there's love flowing freely and a couch available.
How many Irish Wolfhounds have you rescued to date?
We've rescued 6 wolfhounds to date.
When did you start?
Our local humane society, who we fostered for at the time, contacted me about a dumped wolfhound about 12 years ago. Sadly, she had been kept outside and then her owners apparently grew tired of her. We only had her 4 months before she died of bone cancer and the one thing I'm forever grateful for is that she got to know love before she died. After Skylar I was left with the feeling that I never wanted to be without a wolfhound, and aside from a few months we haven't been, although that thought is a double-edged sword because that means I essentially want a wolfhound to be in need. I guess I would be happier if all wolfhounds of the world were loved and safe and be without one.
What are the names, ages, and personalities of your current personal pack?
We have 15 dogs in our pack -- the easiest answer to this question is to send you to the our crew page on our website. Our newest addition, Benny, an 8-month-old mix of some sort (deaf), is the only one missing (I need to get that page updated).
Any other pets in your personal pack?
We are a dog-only pack!
Just to encourage spaying and neutering and adopting from your local humane societies/rescues.
Are you an Irish Wolfhound lover?
Image via earthdog