Barn Buddies: The Yearling And The Wolf

by | 04.17.2017 | 11:46am
Navarre and Foozie in the middle of a play session

In the life of our Barn Buddies series so far, we have met Thoroughbreds with all sorts of unusual companions. Cats, dogs, ducks, goats, sheep are all favorites. I'm not sure anyone can top a 17.2-hand yearling named Foozie, who belongs to decorated writer and Paulick Report Horse Care contributor Denise Steffanus. When he was growing up, Foozie's best friend was a wolf.

Steffanus had long held a fascination with wolves and was intrigued one day in the mid-1990s when she drove by a kennel that appeared to hold a bunch of wolves. The owner was getting ready for a new round of puppies and Steffanus asked if she could have one. A few weeks later, she picked up a tiny, two-week-old cub that was 94 percent wolf hybrid and six percent Alaskan Malamute. She named him Navarre, after a character in the 1985 film Ladyhawke.

Hybrids with greater than 90 percent wolf blood must be taken from their mothers before their eyes are open or they won't bond to humans, so Steffanus bottle-fed Navarre every two hours for a month, carrying him with her to her barn at Cincinnati's River Downs, where she trained horses at the time.

“I made a playpen for him with straw bales in my empty stall,” Steffanus said. “The other people in the barn told me that when I went out to the track with a horse, he'd howl the whole time until I got back — a tiny, little ‘Wooooo.'  One day, a security guard was walking through the barn and heard him. She stopped to investigate, then immediately ran to the racing office to complain that I was violating a track rule that barred dogs.

 

“The racing secretary's name was Warren Wolf. He dragged his rule book off the shelf, threw it on his desk in front of her, and said, ‘You show me where it says wolves are barred from the backside.'”

Even though he was handled from the age of two weeks, Navarre never let anyone forget he was a wild creature — and a dominant one. Wolves don't bark, and only growl or howl to communicate. Over time, Steffanus learned the differences in the tone of Navarre's growls to gauge his mood, though she admits most of her friends never quite got used to him.

Navarre gives Steffanus his usual enthusiastic greeting

Navarre gives Steffanus his usual enthusiastic greeting

“There were just a few of my friends who would get near him,” she laughed, noting that Navarre was always on alert and prone to growling at anyone who came down the walk, whether he'd seen them before or not.

Steffanus likens their relationship to that of a stallion and his handler; her safety depended upon mutual respect between them, and she always had to be a little on guard.

“It was a very delicate balance,” she said. “Because of course, if I let him get the better of me, I was in trouble because this animal could have probably killed me in a minute or two minutes flat, literally.”

That didn't mean Navarre was vicious. He was protective and gently playful toward Steffanus's cats and dog, and affectionate with her. Every evening after work, he'd leap up in front of her and throw his front legs around her in a type of hug.

“He was extremely affectionate,” she remembered. “Oftentimes I'd be sitting watching television and he'd come jump up in my lap, so now there'd be this 36-inch, 100-pound wolf sitting in my lap, looking down at me sort of whimpering because something was bothering him. I'd have to hug him and reassure him.”

Navarre was also clever, and one of the most intelligent animals Steffanus has ever encountered. He could sense nervous energy in visitors to her house, and if they wanted to stand anxiously or pace, he would gently lead them by the hand over to her couch and give them a shove to encourage them to sit down. When he grew tired of visitors, he'd take their hand and lead them to the front door.

Because of his penchant for intimidating people (which Steffanus said he seemed to find amusing), Navarre wasn't the type of pet she could throw a harness on and walk through Petsmart. He did go on a road trip with her when he was about a year old and frightened a restaurant employee.

“We went into a drive-in, a Hardee's or something, and I ordered him a plain hamburger,” she said. “When I got around to the window to pick up our food, the girl said, ‘Is he going to bite me?' and I said, ‘If you don't give him his hamburger, he will.'”

Steffanus lives on a farm in Central Kentucky and was afraid her neighbors might mistake Navarre for a coyote and shoot him if she let him roam freely. At night, he slept in a crate in her room, not because she was afraid of him, but because he enjoyed quietly opening all the chest of drawers in the room and pulling her clothes onto the floor to make a bed for himself. During the day, Navarre had a large outdoor run and outside kennel where he could stay while she worked. His run bordered one of the horse pastures and unsurprisingly, most of the horses turned out there stayed well clear, Steffanus suspects because they could smell him. She was stunned when one yearling, a goofball named Foozie, became curious enough to approach Navarre. The two would play, lunging back and forth on their respective sides of the fence, spinning and wheeling together nearly every day.

Navarre at rest

Navarre at rest

“Foozie's a very strange individual. His head is not wired like other horses,” said Steffanus. “Wolves are their natural predators, which is why [the other horses] would get all snorty and wide-eyed around Navarre. But Foozie didn't. Foozie loved him.”

One of few things that did (and still does) frighten Foozie was buzzards. He finds them disturbing enough that he will turn his head to look skyward before leaving the barn each day.

Navarre died in 2008 at the age of 14, an advanced age for a wolf. Foozie still lives with Steffanus, though she says to her knowledge he has not befriended any more wolves.

  • Fred and Joan Booth

    Very interesting story. Enjoyed reading a story that was most definitely out of the ordinary.

  • tony a

    Not a feel good story, she laughed that her friends and others were in fear? Sounds like a real jerk like got lucky the story ended okay.

    • DeniseSteffanus

      I’m sure you’d have good reason to fear Navarre. He sized up people like you pretty quickly

      • tony a

        Exactly the reason when they turn on their owner I have no compassion, just like I said a real jerk!

      • Rachel

        ” You’d have good reason to fear…he sized up people like you…”
        Seriously? That’s the attitude you project back to a comment?
        No harmless person should have to fear a pet, their own or any one else’s.
        Pet temperament should not be a “balancing act.”
        I’m glad for you that your hybrid had a decent life while juggling his two conflicting instincts.
        You should also be glad he never bit anyone, since rabies vaccines are not considered consistently effective for wolves therefore, had he bit someone, as a hybrid, sadly he would have been treated as an unvaccinated animal and been tested for rabies.

        • Always Curious

          You should not have called her a jerk. And I can understand Denise’s offense. She loved the animal very much and I respect that. You can read my post to see how I view wolves as pets.

      • OopsyDaisy3

        Tell them Denise, every creature reacts differently. If you are born with the insight
        to know your own boundaries and those of the ‘wild’ animal with which you have
        bonded. to me there is no greater love, which is why i love and trust animals more than
        most humans. And those who chastise people who do bond with an animal are
        being quite hypocritical. Since this is a horse blog, remember a horse can sense
        when there is consternation of a human for it. Same with most animals, they have an inborn, uncanny ability to size someone up. Thank you for the story of Navarre, 14 years of companionship and no one can take that away from you.
        Linda in Texas

  • smoof

    a 17.2 hand yearling?

    • Rob B

      Haha. Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

      • DeniseSteffanus

        I know…I took him to Hagyard once and he filled up the whole stall. Dr. Slovis walked in and said, “My God, where did you get a horse this big?!!”

  • ExactaGirl

    I really enjoy this series, Natalie. Thanks for writing Barn Buddies; this article was very interesting. I would never have imagined that a wolf and horse would be BFFs!

  • Judy Fraizer

    Animals are so much nicer than humans. Loved the story, Natalie. I would have been one of those who stayed back in fear because I am scared of ALL dogs. The ironic thing is, dogs just love me. So maybe Navarre would have dragged me to the couch. Sorry for his passing. Lucky him to have had you taking care of him.

  • DeniseSteffanus

    Many thanks, Natalie, for telling our story so well.

  • Gordon calhoun

    “I’m not sure anyone can top a 17.2-hand yearling named Foozie…” Full stop….you got that right, my thoroughbred is 16.3 and is 8 years old.

  • Rob B

    17.2 yearling? You sure it wasn’t a cross breed with a giraffe?

    • billy

      Lol thought the same wow what a monster

    • DeniseSteffanus

      That’s exactly what Dr. Bob Hunt at Hagyard asked me the first time he saw him.

  • Mindy

    Every evening after work, he’d leap up in front of her and throw his front legs around her in a type of hug.
    “He was extremely affectionate,” she remembered. “Oftentimes I’d be sitting watching television and he’d come jump up in my lap, so now there’d be this 36-inch, 100-pound wolf sitting in my lap, looking down at me sort of whimpering because something was bothering him. I’d have to hug him and reassure him.”

    – um, hate to tell you this, Ms. Steffanus, but those were dominance moves, anytime a wolf is ‘above’/’over’ or on top of another (wolf, usually), they are exhibiting their dominance over that other individual, what you saw as a ‘hug,’ well, watch films of wolves interacting, they’ll ‘throw their front legs’ over/around another, as well, it means they’re of higher status in the pack, than the one they’re ‘hugging’

    • Always Curious

      Many people do not even know about such dominant behavior in dogs. Or how to be the dominant one in the relationship. It may not matter to the owner of some breeds. A friend recently brought over his young great dane puppy. I love the breed but that dog dragged him all around, stood up for those hugs but it was obvious to me the dog did not respect him and obeyed no commands. Guess what, now the dog lives with someone else and they can’t handle him either. They want to get rid of him too. So very, very sad. I just hope they can get some education and learn how to manage and keep that beautiful dog.

      • whirlaway

        Being dominant in the eyes of your dog also does not mean being cruel or mistreating your loving dog as most people think. Your info on the great Dane is why we see so many sad situations for dogs and people. I am furious every time I hear of a dog killing another dog or attacking a human. Years ago from Tufts there was a book written by one of their canine behavior people listing the breeds that are not good for inexperienced owners. That does not mean they are vicious it means they need certain guidance or they can become unruly and put their owners in situations they do not know how to deal with. My one Dane was a wonderful experience but an owner needs
        understanding how to deal with that breed as well as obedience training . My sadness for the Dane is the short life span but mine lived to 11yrs she was a very good dog as
        was my Boxer but these are not for most inexperienced people. I have always had big
        breeds but in retirement I now have a king Charles spaniels and we know how sweet they are but the same rules apply to them as the big breeds. This is a soft breed but if given the chance they would love to run the house, which is why we see small breeds
        Being delinquent it is not the small breed it is the owners encouraging that behavior. I am happy this wolf dog had a happy life but I wonder how many sad endings came about for the majority of these two week old puppies sold to people that may not have been aware of the big commitment they were taking on with this animal

        • Mindy

          “Being dominant in the eyes of your dog also does not mean being cruel or mistreating your loving dog as most people think.”
          THANK YOU!!!!

    • DeniseSteffanus

      Every animal is an individual. The fact that he and I lived together in harmony shows that our interaction was positive. Also remember, this wasn’t a DOG; dogs and wolves behave very differently.

      As you may notice from the pieces that I write, I thoroughly research everything I do. Learning about wolves was a priority for me. We had a loving relationship for 14 years, so that should prove that whatever I was doing was correct.

      • billy

        Great story, have to ask though how big did your horse grow too

        • Denise Steffanus

          He grew to 17.2 as a long yearling, but just filled out afterward.

      • Mindy

        wolf packs live in harmony, too, as long as everyone knows their place in the pack, and doesn’t try to move up in it (that’s when there are squabbles, which end when one establishes physical dominance over the other by being on top of them, and the other stops resisting), and, again, I’m sorry, but your wolf hybrid was demonstrating dominance over you, by being, well, ‘over’ you, in the situations you mentioned

        it’s like when people think a dog licking them is ‘kissing’ them, no, they’re demonstrating submission to the human, mimicking the behavior of wolf cubs, when the adults return from a hunting trip, trying to stimulate the adult to vomit up a meal for them, the pet dog recognizes the human as the provider of food, above them in the family pack, in control of whether they eat or not, and when (also why you need to make sure a dog sits, and is calm, after you put the food bowl down, before they’re allowed to eat, no jumping up on you)

        • whirlaway

          Such a simple rule at feeding but not practiced. After owning big breeds retirement brought the king Charles Spaniel and these would be easy to give free run but same
          rules apply big or little. When dinner time comes she needs to sit where she eats
          and if she approaches the counter no feeding all she needs is eye contact and she is
          back to the rug and stays sitting till she gets her food. It takes effort and time,with
          any animal,and never forget patience. I love this breed never thought I would enjoy a smaller dog this much she travels everywhere and is well behaved. Dogs do best with structure and need a leader they will become far less insecure which results in undesirable traits. 🐶

          • Mindy

            CKC Spaniels are so cute, I love them! but, as you say, as with any dog, if you don’t provide leadership, they’ll take that job (the ol’ ‘nature abhors a vacuum’ thing), it’s why there’s a thing called, “Napoleon Syndrome” in little dogs, where they become little terrors, and take over their owners’ life, because the owner thinks of them more like a toy, than as a dog, carrying them like babies, putting them in purses or baby carriages, they’re still dogs, people! respect that about them, you owe them that, and you’ll both be happier for it! yes, your little dog wants to love you, and make you happy, but he still must respect you, fingers aren’t chew toys, teeth are for food only, and you’ve got legs, walk on them yourself (unless there’s some danger, of course, like snow deeper than they are tall, say)

          • Always Curious

            I am thinking of getting one of those! How bizarre. I can’t lift 100 lb. dogs anymore.

          • whirlaway

            Check my post above about i mentioned a few things about them I love them I live in New England and there are some good breeders here but my first was from California as I showed
            dogs over 45 years and have a friend that was one of the first in the breed in the U.S. and was a licensed judge. The second I did buy in New England as I met breeders here at shows (I moved here from California in 1998) You sound knowledgeable so probably know they have a heart issue mainly the mitral valve which my first developed even with tested animals behind her it will still appear. She did live to
            almost 13 and I did euthanize her when she went into heart failure the night of AP ‘s
            Haskell and was one of the toughest I have lost. My second is now 7 yrs old and heart clear. My only regret is it did not get this breed earlier in my life but they
            have been a great experience as a dog.The National Club runs one of the best rescues I have seen but there is numerous applications on one dog. .

          • whirlaway

            These CKC are perfect for retirement the girls are 15lbs love hiking and walks and
            When we go places what little dogs also need to do is heel no choking and pulling on
            your leash . No going out the door until I allow you which will be after I go out first ( this could save a dog’s life from dashing to a street) For those that think we leaders
            are mean and no fun quite the contrary because our dogs have a whole world of fun open to them and both outdoor and indoor games to participate in. The Cavalier
            is very Spaniel like hence some will show that it is mine syndrome how after gently
            enforcing what is theirs is really mine they learn sharing.They definitely need to be handled softly as they are really a sweet natured breed and a joy to look at and I
            keep mine in Show coat even not showing dogs any longer. This breed really does
            adore their owners as do many toy breeds for basically what they were bred for.
            I was a professional show dog handler over 40 yrs and some feel the Cavalier does
            not belong in the toy group as it really is not completely like a toy more like
            a Spaniel they are birdy and mine both needed to learn no bird chasing they seem
            to like retrieving things if you throw them and mine both have been very quiet in the house and easy to housebreak. They are great little dogs and sadly climbing in popularity which is not always good.

          • Always Curious

            Thank you for the additional info on the Cavalier:)

          • whirlaway

            Your welcome any question I will be happy to honestly answer and point you in the
            right direction if you think you may want a CKC.

        • DeniseSteffanus

          With all due respect, Mindy, you are not a wolf expert, but the people I consulted for guidance with Navarre were.

          • Mindy

            with all due respect, I know a lot about the subject (including enough to know they should never be pets, full-blooded wolves, or wolf-dog hybrids), please point out something I’ve written that isn’t true

      • Always Curious

        Denise, I am sorry for hurting your feelings with my comments. After reading this piece for the 3rd time, I see you were well researched and took many precautions to manage the risk. You had a love affair with a wonderful animal for 14 yrs. To hear it criticized hear must be bad. I have done some ingorant and what others might call stupid things and that did not always turn out good. If I were your mother, and knowing what I know now, I would have freaked!

        Maybe if you put a kind of a disclaimer at the end like, Don’t try his at home and why I would have not responded they way I did. The danger of a wild animal like that and how you managed it is a remarkable story. But people are so ignorant. I still think you fortunate too.

  • Delrene

    Such a great story! Thank you. I can well imagine he was intimidating.

  • Elle D

    Another grand rendition of “Barn Buddies”. I’ve always had a fascination with wolves and have visited some wolf sanctuaries where I’ve had great up-close experiences with them.

  • Judy W

    What a wonderful story! Denise was so blessed to have had such a friend for so long!

  • Always Curious

    I was holding my breath while reading this article. I am happy nothing happened to anyone. She worked hard to keep this animal’s natural instincts under control. I am sure most folks here know “Jungle Jack” Hanna. He says also to remember a wild animal is a wild animal. They can revert to their innate behavior in the blink of an eye, even if raised in captivity and very friendly. He was hand raising a big cat (can’t remember if tiger, lion, etc.) in his yard. The animal was never aggressive and bit off the arm of a 3 yr. old child of a friend who was visiting. The animal was in a cage at the time. I hope this article does not encourage anyone to take a wolf as a pet. They are illegal in many places, even dog-wolf hybrids.

    There is a very sad story in FL right now where the family pet, a wolf hybrid, got loose and .picked up by animal control, the family tried to get their pet back and were stopped. Their pet will be put down if the scheduled DNA test shows any wolf. That is really sad because the animal was never aggressive and may be more dog than wolf. I can’t even have a Doberman due to my homeowner’s insurance. That is ridiculous. She would have lost everything she owned if this wolf injured, killed a person or a horse. Sorry but this is not a feel good story and I hope it does not encourage anyone to take one as a pet. It is not worth the risk.

    • whirlaway

      The impression of the doberman is once again the result of owners that have not got
      a clue what to do with this highly intelligent and trainable dog. First seek out a good breeder that truly cares about their breed and will be honest in the pros and cons which
      every breed has, to the ability to be an appropriate owner the doberman is an incredible dog very loyal highly intelligent and trainable but like any dog including cross bred dogs
      if the dog gets the upper hand it will be back to square one. It is too bad due to irresponsible owners that this home owner insurance has come about.

      • Always Curious

        Really bothers me I can’t have one. My last dog was a Doberman. She was so sweet and we’ll trained but she knew when something was up to no good, like a coyote. There was that growl. She did not yap all the time like my minipins and one actually bit someone! It was the house insurance lady who did not let me know she was coming or when she arrived. She started walking around the outside of my house, it might even be kind of sneaky, but anyway she got bit and I did not get any insurance with that company! Lol

        • whirlaway

          I love the Doberman and my husband grew up with one and Tippi was a good dog.
          My husband still calls them the Ferrari of the dog world even over the sleek sighthounds.

      • Judy Gaddis

        It is always the humans who end up giving a breed (any breed but particularly the large ones) a “bad reputation. I remember when it was Rottweilers & Dobermans and of course we ALL know the current sad stories of how most shelters will almost always euthanize any Pit Bulls or Pit mixes if they are picked up/brought in because of the horrible rap they have gotten. This was going on even LONG before the Michael Vick incident.

        I am not sure that I am dog “savvy” enough to have a dog that is part wolf but apparently Denise Steffanus was and is and immensely enjoyed the story!

        • whirlaway

          The most ridiculous statement I hear about the breeds you mentioned is ” it is how
          you raise them” well that is true for all breeds. What people do not fail to comprehend is each breed was bred for a purpose and still has that make up in their genetic background. The sporting dogs are high energy will still be working bird dogs and need plenty of exercise. The mastiff Danes Boxers Dobes are guard dogs
          and service dogs that is why they are called working dogs. The terriers are ratters and yes some fighting breeds and how
          you raise them isn’t going to change that and not just pit bills. Any Terrier breed
          Usually is more than willing to mix it up and don’t be fooled by some of those cute
          Terrier breeds with their wire coats. These many times are not for the inexperienced
          and with their strength and background that is where we see problems with pit
          Bulls, Rotties Danes and even the good natured Boxer which I had and she was amazing. One of the worse fights I saw at a dog show which almost never happens
          because most people are experienced and know their breed were two female Boxers
          which I thought would never get broken up. It was not good. These breeds are big, strong a responsibility I have had both a Dane and a Boxer both females in the same home good temperament both well trained but still I was responsible with them and they were not aggressive but they were working dogs with protective traits.

          • Judy Gaddis

            Well said!!

          • whirlaway

            Thanks sadly it is always the dogs that pay the price 🐾

  • Marlaine Meeker

    I dislike being a killjoy but I,too do not find this story amusing or cute. Wild animals deserve to be wild and I consider these hybrids as such. Do not buy one. I have known several people that acquired these wolf/hybrids and none had a happy ending especially for the animal. Just go to any wild animal sanctuary and see so many who started out as cute pets. The motive for some to own wild animals is just machismo behavior in my opinion. I wish we had better laws that banned sales and ownership of ALL wild animals.

    • showhorse

      Thanks for saying that. It’s a story with a happy ending, but wolf/ wolf hybrids as pets = NOT a good idea. I would hate for this story to encourage anyone to get one( or any wild animal) as a pet.

      • DeniseSteffanus

        I agree. Most people who have wolf hybrids don’t make an effort to learn about wolves so they can handle them properly. I did. In fact, Wolf Run Sanctuary near Lexington asked me to help them socialize their wolves.

    • Mrs. Cosmopilite

      Agreed. My parents, through no fault of their own, ended up with a wolf dog, albeit a lower percentage one. Highly intelligent, very sweet with his people, but high fear and a muddle of misplaced instincts. He’s had a good life, but only because he got to live in the country with a *very* understanding and experienced animal person. Under the wrong circumstances (and especially with someone who wanted him for macho reasons), he would have been unbelievably dangerous. As my mom always says, he’s special and one of her all time favorite pets, but he never should have been allowed to happen.

    • Larry Sterne

      ageed. but there r exceptions to the rule. my x wife adopted a hybrid wolf that was caught running loose in town. she c was notified due to her compassion for wild wolves .after ninety days of getting it to trust her she brought it home. The wolf became companion to our two huskies and one Boykin spaniel. the wolf stretched out on our 8 ft sofa and the or bed never taken out in public, too stressful for her. this life was a much better choice for her than being put down which was the only other that was offered her.

  • Gotchagold

    I’m reading a great book called “Inside Of A Dog” and it is a book I highly recommend for all dog owners, whether their dog is big or small. I’ve had dogs all my life, from a mini poodle to a “Daniff” ( a mix of first generation Mastiff x Great Dane”, that book taught me a lot.
    I’m glad Ms Steffanus had a lovely experience with her hybrid, but I would agree with the last poster. And I’m not sure if it’s a law of the land, but I believe a mix like that may not be legal to own.

    • DeniseSteffanus

      It’s not legal any more.

    • Mindy

      damn! a Mastiff/Great Dane mix? wow, how tall? how much did he weight? how did his head come out? big & round like a basketball, with some wrinkling, like a Mastiff, or more rectangular, like the Dane? musta scared the heck out of any neighbors or kids nearby…and how long did he live?

      • Gotchagold

        Mindy, she was black and beautiful lol. A female who weighted 110 at her peak and she was all muscle. She had the elegance of the dane and the strength of a mastiff. She had a big head (that was our nick name for her) but it was lovely, serious but goofy at the same time. If people didn’t walk on the other side of the street, they would complement her on her great looks and ask what breed she was, never thinking she was a mixed breed. Raised her from a 5 week puppy, never growled at anyone and when she died suddenly, she left a hole in my heart as big as Texas. She was 9. Check out the Daniff site on Facebook, Raven is there in one of the photos.

        • Mindy

          wow, I didn’t even know it was a ‘thing’ to mix those 2 breeds, following in the footsteps of Bull Masiffs, I guess?
          most of them seem to physically favor the Dane side, but with a more rounded head…pleased to see their ears being left alone :)
          thanks for the info, interesting

          • Gotchagold

            Not sure about Bull Mastiffs, but she was as close to a perfect dog as I have ever had and I truly miss her with all my heart. Glad you liked them. I’d get another but the breeders aren’t many . (yes, love the ears and the tails natural too)

  • David Worley

    Very interesting story on so many levels.

  • Deb

    great story! I love how Foozie loved Navarre. Excellent name for a wolf! Cool name for a horse too! Thanks for the story.

  • Mindy

    I didn’t know about the 2 week thing for wolf hybrids, wow, as if creating a creature so confused about his purpose and place in the world wasn’t cruel enough, but to take them away from their mothers (and imagine the sorrow of the mothers!) so terribly young, I mean, I understand the logic (probably hard-learned from others’ experience), but that doesn’t make it any nicer

    • DeniseSteffanus

      Believe me, Navarre had a wonderful “childhood.” I carried him strapped to me in a baby papoose when he was a wee one; at night he slept on my chest with his nose tucked under my chin; and during the day one of my cats acted as his mother, keeping him clean and cuddling with him.

      The mere fact that I never — in 14 years — had a single negative incident with Navarre is proof that I did everything right.

  • Greg J.

    What a wonderful story, thank you.

  • Erin Casseday

    Great story. I have known a few wolf hybrids and they are very special.

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