Wolves are very visually appealing creatures. They possess an intelligence that is easily deciphered by looking at how upright their ears are, their sharp teeth and their muzzles which are very pointed. They seem to communicate without even saying anything that they know what they are and what they are capable of. They have a personality that is marked by intuition, instinct and intelligence that no other canine can match. The wolf is used in symbolizing things like rituals, guardianship, incredible spirit and loyalty. Wolves also have the ability to make quick and very stable emotional connections even though they may not make the best of pets unless we find them very young and even then, it is not recommended we get one but if it works,we might be a happy person. They will be some of the best pets if a person can manage to have one but it is not easy and that is the reason why people opt to go for the closest thing that they can find to a wolf without necessarily getting a wolf. They have a reputation for being very remarkable and their presence has been felt across the generations since early man. That is why they have been included in legends, stories, books, movies, and even art. Their presence evokes a certain that is rivaled only by other wolves. It is understandable that people would want to take that kind of wildness home in the form of a wolfdog. This is a member of the canine family produced when you mate a domestic dog and a gray wolf.
That is how we come to have the story of Yuki. He is one of the wolfdogs with the highest content of wolf genetic combination, which gives him a striking appearance that is hard to ignore when we first see him. He is currently staying at the Shy Wolf Sanctuary but that is not where his story started. His is a long and sad story that we will find out about in a while.
His genetic combination was tested and he was found to have 87.5% gray wolf, 8.6% Siberian husky and 3.9% was a German shepherd. He is more wolf than anything else and when we look at him and everything about his demeanor and looks speak of magnificence and a kind of majesty that you will not find anywhere in domesticated animals unless of course, you own a tiger.
The Giant Dog
When we first see a giant dog, the reaction is usually one of incredulity that something can get so big. We start to wonder what happened to the dog that it became that huge. But, seeing it in front of our own eyes is a very different thing from seeing it on the internet. With the advent of Photoshop, when people first saw Yuki, they were convinced that he was photoshopped.
In this photo with Brittany Allen, the girl in the photo, he looks so gigantic that people thought he was edited to look that way. Brittany responded to these people by explaining that a lot of people don’t really believe that Yuki is real and that the pictures hey share of him are photoshopped. And she even joked that the pictures are taken from his ‘fat angles’, and that every person has one.
According to Brittany
Brittany then gives us an explanation of how it is to work with Wolfdogs. She explains that because of their nature, they are a bit difficult to handle. No one really knows how much their behavior resembles a wolf vs a dog. She goes further to say that the sanctuary has pure wolves that will see a new person and will run away – because they are usually pretty shy, but still curious. Yuki, on the other hand, is a bit more social and will run towards a new person in order to play with them or cuddle.
If he doesn’t really feel them though, he will more likely become aggressive towards that person. Things are a bit different with pure wolves – once they get to know a person and they feel comfortable, affection and love will be there. But it’s important to keep in mind that they are still wolves, and in no circumstance, a person should get in their way or in the way of their food.
When people saw this photo, they also got to learn about the story behind this dog. Attention from the internet can be beneficial when the story is told right. There was a raised level of awareness that was sparked when the heartwarming story of this wolfdog was told. The animal was granted a second chance at life when this story was told.
He was dumped by the original owners at a kill shelter because they had probably found him a bit much to handle because of his unusually huge size that a lot of people are not used to. There is no way that most people would be able to handle all this awesomeness when they can’t even handle a regular mutt.
The Original Owner
He was a breeder and he bought this wolfdog to use for breeding purposes but Yuki must have become a bit much. Brittany explains this story summarily like so: “We rescued him from a failed house pet situation.”
His owner had purchased the wolfdog from a breeder and soon realized that the animal could be a lot to handle. He didn’t think it through before he decided to buy him, and probably thought it would be a cool thing to do. After some times they just decided to dump at a kill shelter – he was only 8 months old. Once the shelter found out, they decided to step in and to provide a home for him. He has been with them ever since that moment.
Shy Wolf Sanctuary rescued him from the literal jaws of being put down that are shelters that will most probably put them down. He arrived at their sanctuary in 2008. He was in very good health when compared to the other animals that had been brought to them from the kill shelters.
The visual appeal that he had made them even consider making him their ambassador at some point during his stay with them. He would have been a great one too if something hadn’t happened that made him aggressive.
When he was there at the sanctuary, Yuki was involved in a small accident that left him with an open wound on his right rear knee. He caught his foot on a palmetto and that is what caused his wound.
They had to do 5 surgeries on him to repair it and it would seem that the wound took a toll on the dog because he became cage aggressive after all that trauma he went through.
The First Impression
The wolfdog was awesome from day one. In 2012, the people at the sanctuary shared photos of him on the internet in his new home. They said things about him that were adorable and we could tell that pictures would not do Yuki justice.
It would be paramount for people to want to see him in person. Apparently, Yuki loves women, showing off to people who come to see him and being as goofy as the world allows him to be.
When we say that yuki loves women, that is not some joke with pervy undertones. He literally has a harem of women that he allows into his enclosure. He is not hesitant in letting people know that he wants them in there with him or outside.
He has a very small group of women who work at the sanctuary that he allows into his enclosure. They have dubbed themselves a harem and they are pleased to be honored by the wolfdog.
The Shy Wolf Sanctuary
This is the place that tool Yuki in. The Shy Wolf Sanctuary, Education and Experience center is a facility that is truly one of a kind. Their mission is to take in unwanted and neglected animals that are also exotic.
Most of the time, these animals are not experienced or even good enough to be released into and survive the wild so, they stay at the sanctuary forever. They find happiness here because of the lovely staff.
Education and Awareness
They do not just give these animals a home, the Shy Wolf Sanctuary is also a place where people can go to be educated about these animals and give to the community an understanding of these animals so that people can develop the ability to appreciate them in all their glory and majesty.
If we met Yuki and we didn’t know how cool he was, we would probably be terrified. However, when you learn about him, you begin to understand why he is the way he is.
The sanctuary has managed to fill a void that has been left by zoos, animal rescue, wildlife rehabilitators and others who work in the animal industry. They cater for animals that are exotic and do not have release into the wild on their cards.
The volunteers who work at the sanctuary are encouraged to interact with the animals and also learn about them as they do so. It creates a deeper understanding for them on what their role is for these animals.
It states; to “reconnect people and animals through education”. This is something that they have become quite good at doing. They have a great staff and over 30 people who volunteer to work there all year round.
They have managed to help the neglected animals and educate the public about the importance of making sure that these animals are protected properly. Wolfdogs are usually not recommended for adoption and the only thing that people can do is take them to kill shelters.
The Last Hope
Because of how animals that are as exotic as Yuki are seen by the public and Animal Rescues, the sanctuary is literally the last hope that they have of being saved and staying alive.
A wolfdog, for instance, is never ever put up for adoption by animal rescue and if they do not get a sanctuary like this one to go to, they will get put down. Exposing them to trauma makes them dangerous and that is something a lot of people do inadvertently.
Brittany explains that “They definitely are creatures that demand respect. It would be a much different encounter in the wild than what I do with these guys. The animals I work with have never been in the wild and never will be, so they are more socialized.
We show off their adorable moments in the hope of helping people identify with them at least and maybe change their fear response into healthy respect through education. And also giving an animal a chance at a decent life when otherwise they would be euthanized.”
When a wild animal and a domestic one breed, there is a clash in the mind because they do not really know what they are. We cannot just play around with evolution and hope that the outcome is going to be perfect.
This is something that Yuki has experienced. It is the reason why he will not behave like a normal domesticated animal all the time. It is a precarious situation that needs to be avoided.
Unlike wolves, dogs tend to be aggressive, eager to please their masters and also quite accommodating if it serves them well. Wolves tend to shy away from a man and have a fear of people that are literally coded into their nature.
They are very different from dogs in aspects of psychology and also sociology. Mixing the two results in Yuki, who doesn’t really know what to do when it comes to interactions with human society.
Not an Easy Animal
Obviously, Yuki was not going to be easy to get along with but as they tell us; “Today, Yuki is one of the most interesting animals in the sanctuary. He is not an easy guy to get to know, but he does have a small number of volunteers he has bonded with.”
He has the tendency to call out to the volunteers that he likes. His nickname is ‘Woowoo’ because that is the sound he makes when he calls out to someone.
Yuki Is Sick
“He was diagnosed with cancer last year and unfortunately it is terminal. We have dealt with this particular cancer before and ultimately you don’t really know how fast you caught it and how much time they have.
Yuki has been fighting it for quite a while now and is persevering so it is business as usual while we enjoy our time with Yuki. When the day comes that he starts showing symptoms we will, as we always do, make the right decisions for Yuki’s quality of life,” Jeremy Albrecht said.
Jeremy explains that “Saying goodbye to one of our animals is always difficult for our staff and volunteers, and Yuki will be no different. But it’s important to remember that while many of these animals have rough beginnings, their stories always have happy endings once they get to Shy Wolf Sanctuary.
When their time with us is over the last thing they do is make room for our next rescue and happy ending.”
Yuki Is Home
As sad as that news might be, we will take solace in the fact that Yuki lives in a place where people love him and care for him in the best way possible. He is happy there and we know that the Shy Wolf Sanctuary is home for him now.
The unconditional love, treatment and care that he gets will be imperative in this time when he is facing a terminal illness. We can’t help but just live this wolfdog.