Wanda was a sweet girl that joined us all the way from Oregon along with Ladybug, Stallion, Sugar, Foz, Totter, Tater, Inca, Natalie, Lightning Bug, Fabio, and Newt. She had a signature full-body wiggle and tail wag that she did whenever it was time to go play outside. Wanda developed an eye infection during her first winter with us and after multiple treatments, our vet team decided to remove her eye. She adjusted to one-eyed life quickly and smoothly and did not let it stop her from playing outside and exploring.
Prior to coming to Cornell, Wanda was on a team that did short distance runs and tours. The teams usually consisted of 10 dogs. They did, on average, 5 mile loops which took about one hour. Each dog ran anywhere between one and three times per day. Wanda was semi-retired the year before coming to Cornell, so she ran once a day up to three times per week. Wanda preferred to be a wheel dog rather than a leader.
Wanda passed away from aggressive lymphoma at the age of 13. Her participation in our project made a great input. As one of many examples, Wanda helped out to create a first of a kind Canine Brain Atlas. For that, her brain was imaged by magnetic resonance while she was asleep. This type of imaging is common in humans, and it allows for the identification of alterations in brain tissue volume and connectivity, as well as the identification of neuropathology at the early stages. However, until recently, this technique was not utilized for the same purposes in dogs. Participation of Wanda and nine other Vaika dogs allowed researchers to build a comprehensive atlas of the canine brain which, from now on, will serve as a reference standard for canine neurological research.