Barbara ‘Bobbie’ U., 82, of Brookdale Des Plaines in Des Plaines, Illinois has a special connection with animals. She first fell in love with animals as a child on her farm in Indiana, where she raised chickens, cows, pigs, dogs, and cats, just to name a few. As Bobbie grew up, her love for animals grew with her. Bobbie has adored wolves for years, but she never got the opportunity to live out her dream. Bobbie’s Wish of a Lifetime was to meet a wolf.
Bobbie’s husband was an avid collector of anything that had to do with wolves. Bobbie and her husband lived in a seven room apartment, and five of the rooms had wolf décor; from wolf paintings, wolf curtains and wolf rugs, to wolf bedding. For their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, Bobbie adopted a wolf for her husband. They received pictures of their wolf and were updated on their wolf regularly. Bobbie gradually fell more and more in love with wolves as she spent more time with her husband. They would go to the zoo periodically to look at the wolves, but Bobbie longed to hold one in her arms. Bobbie’s husband passed away about a year ago and coping with the loss has been difficult. Bobbie recently learned about wolf sanctuaries that allow people to pet and feed wolves and wanted to go meet a wolf herself. This wish helped her to cope with the loss of her husband and she would love to feel connected to him once again while meeting an animal that she has longed to meet for so many years.
Brookdale and Wish of a Lifetime sent Bobbie, her daughter, and her companion, Kami, to Big Run Wolf Ranch to meet and feed wolf pups on May 22, 2015. Before Bobbie met the wolf pups, she was able to meet a variety of other animals at the Ranch, including Charlie the cougar and Marty Moose the goat. Bobbie was extremely excited to meet and bottle feed some adorable wolf pups, and finally live out her dream! When Bobbie received a tuft of fur from one of the wolves, Zeus, she broke out in tears, saying “I don’t know why I’m so special, but thank you for treating me like it.” When Bobbie finally reached the pups, she began crying, saying “Look at this, look at this!” Bobbie was able to feed six wolf pups that day. When the fun trip came to an end, Bobbie said “I just can’t believe today. I haven’t been happy since I was with my husband, but today, today I am happy.”