Wolfdog Activities / Dick Thayer & Mahkwayi



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Mahkwayi (Mackie) Dick and Mackie

Mahkwayi-- ambassador wolf, therapy animal.

I have used two of my guys to visit the Veterans Administration hospital as well as rest homes and some schools where I do education about the wolves. This past October because of my connections with the Zoo volunteers who make regular visits to the VA hospital the hospital asked me to bring my big male high%er as they had heard tales from my zoo volunteer friends about him. It was his first time in a closed in environment like this. Also one ward of elder care people was on the third floor requiring us to use an elevator for the first time.

We ended up visiting the elder care unit as well as the Adult day care center at the VA and it was a smashing success. We had to wait in the elder care ward for fifteen minutes until one doctor had finished surgery so he could see Mackie. He told the staff not to let us leave until he could see us.

I'd like to also relate another little part of the story about the October VA visit that astounded me. I had gotten up at 5:30 am and put Mackies harness on in preparation for the visit. He immediately ran out into the early morning darkness leaving me standing with leash in my hand. I thought he would be impossible to catch I was at a loss.

I sort of shouted to the door, "Come on Mackie this is a very important thing we have to do to day there are a lot of people depending on you." Do you know that he poked his head back through the dog door stared at me a moment then came in and up to me so I could put the leash on with no trouble. I was shocked. He had never displayed this kind of thing before.

When time had come for us to leave, even though he does not care for riding in a vehicle he jumped in my Explorer with no coaching. It was as if he seemed to realize that this was a very important task we were doing and he willingly accepted his role. I'm in amazement of this guy every day.

We have also worked with a civilian group sponsoring an outing for people with MS. They were so impressed at the day with the wolves that I was asked to speak at their next meeting. These animals have showed some remarkable interactions, especially with people with handicaps.

Dick             What is Mackie, and where did he come from ? More below...

Mahkwayi (Mackie) visits the Veterans Administration Hospital in Albuquerque, New Mexico. October, 1998.

(description) Visiting the Elderly Care Ward and Adult day care center
Mackie, Dick and patient In Hospital
(description) Therapy Animal
Mackie visiting patient in wheelchair Mackie and Dick in hospital, visiting patient
(description) Therapy Animal
Mackie in hospital Mackie outside hospital
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(description) Therapy Animal
Mackie with children at Wildlife West Mackie with a young girl
Mackie and Dick with school children at Earth Day

Mackie and Dick can be contacted by e-mail ( thayd@rt66.com ). Please put 'Mackie' as subject.

Candy Kitchen Rescue Ranch Dick often represents and assists Candy Kitchen Rescue Ranch in their educational outreach programs on wolves. Candy Kitchen provides sanctuary for abused and abandoned captive born wolves and wolf-dog crosses, located outside Ramah, New Mexico. Please visit their website, Candy Kitchen Rescue Ranch for more information.

More about Mahkwayi (Mackie)

Mackie was a rescue at 4 months old, one of two left out of a litter that the breeder couldn't sell so he was going to kill them. Candy Kitchen rescued the two who were unsocialized and totally wild. Mackie was the less agressive of the two. When I went to see him I just knew I could work with him. I watched the people holding the animals before going to the Ranch as they tried to leash train him a bit. It was an enormous struggle. He fought them every inch. I asked if I could try something so they said yes. I got a harness and put on him and stiff legged he walked with me around the yard. They said he obviously likes you so you might as well take him home.

At home he wouldn't stay in the kennels. He would work the metal slats that held the chain link to the frame and squeeze out. But my blessing was my shepherd lab cross. Mackie adopted him as his big brother and this was how he learned. I had no trouble house training him and he learned from Major everything he needed.


Note from The Wolf Dunn: * Permission to use these particular photos for any other purpose than to simply view as part of The Wolf Dunn web site, is not granted without prior owner permission. Contact Dick Thayer for permission.

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