Meet the Wolf Connection Youth Ambassadors
Every member of the Wolf Connection Pack has a story to tell … all of them have been rescued, victims of a wide variety of situations, from abuse and neglect, to owner’s going through hardship and life changes, to conflict in animal regulations and law.
Whatever the case, these magnificent and special beings come to Wolf Connection to find and embody a new purpose … a life of service changing the lives of countless young men and women from all walks of life.
Please take a moment to read their story and connect with the magical being each of them are … you can also come and meet them in person at our monthly “Community Hike with the Pack” and you can always help with care of that woofie that touches your heart in a special way by adopting them and enjoying special one-on-one time with your special friend.
Maya is one of the original pack members who started the Wolf Connection program. Her owner passed away, leaving her homeless.
Known as the mother of the pack, she is intelligent and sensitive– the quintessential alpha female. She is the wise teacher. Maya spent her first few years reared by her mother, ensuring that she would learn the way of the wolf. As a result, one of her gifts is to nurture new pack members when they join Wolf Connection. When we get a young Wolfdog or one who needs pack socializing, we pair them with her so she can work her magic. Several of the younger males have been kenneled with Maya who quickly instructs them in proper wolf etiquette. Maya also exhibits true alpha behavior: she simply IS alpha. She does not have to prove it. Her presence is as serene and expansive as one might imagine the silence of the Arctic to be. During the summer of 2012, while visiting the 13 Indigenous Grandmothers in Lame Deer, Montana, her sacred spirit joined the festivities as she was heard to howl, often alone, during times of prayer and ritual. Her howl, and the rest of the pack who joined her, is said to have inspired the return of the wild wolf to the Cheyenne people.
Maya is 10 years old and a High-Content Arctic Wolfdog.
“Little One” in Cheyenne, Ayasha is one of our main program animals as she’s incredibly loving with humans and gets along well with almost all other wolfdogs. Ayasha was a special case. She survived the snowy mountains of Northern California (near Sacramento) for 2 weeks alone before Animal Control was able to lure her with a piece of pizza. She apparently had jumped out of a moving car’s window. She was taken to the local pound only to be put on death row because of her wolf content. A woman did come to claim her but when asked for her wildlife permits, said she left them at home, left, and never came back. Being the sweetheart that she is, she won the hearts of the employees there who made every attempt to save her life. They contacted us and with the contributions of our supporters, we were able to make the trip up to Placer County and rescue her just in time. Her petite size may be attributed to being part coy dog (coyote/dog). Ayasha loves to wrestle with her best friend Beau and pose for pictures at events. She is five years old and she is a Grey Wolf – Coy Dog Mix.
Bandit is high energy, good natured, and very playful. He is one of our original pack members who were rescued from Grandmother’s Rescue in the Mojave Desert. The owner passed away, leaving the pack homeless.
He’s our James Dean of the pack – our rebel without a cause. He loves to row the pack up then hide behind a tree to watch the show. Bandit is a very good example of a “low-content” wolfdog.
He is eight years old and he is a Low-Content Wolfdog mixed with Shepherd.
Beau is our gentle giant, displaying behavior of an Omega: very intelligent and playful; the clown of the pack, knowing how to win the approval of the more dominant members.
Beau belonged to a family who again, had no idea how to give him what he needed to be a healthy, happy wolfdog. No longer feeling they were able to care for him, they called us.
We arrived to an emaciated Beau with every rib visible, tied to a tree with wire. It was so tight around his neck that it had begun to cut into his flesh and burrow into him leaving an open infected wound around his neck.
His ears were bloody from fly bites and his fur was thin, wiry, and colorless. Their explanation was that they couldn’t control him – he was an escape artist and kept getting into the neighbor’s chickens. Needless to say, he was extremely timid but when we opened our truck door, he flew in faster than the speed of light.
With the love and care from his human pack, Beau has blossomed into the beauty he is now. He’s outgoing and loves going on adventures as one of our main program animals. We couldn’t be happier with his new-found happiness! Beau is five years old and a Mid-high content Wolfdog mixed with shepherd.
CLOUD and MIKO
Miko and Cloud were adopted from Texas by a couple here in California. Not from the same litter but raised together since pups.
Their owners loved them dearly and took great care of them: they had a good-sized kennel where they could dig their dens and play. However, as the family grew with little toddlers and infants running around the house they felt it was time to find the two four-legged ones a new home.
They looked around for the right place and Wolf Connection was honored with their placement at the end. We remember how difficult it was for the couple to let them go but they knew it was the right thing to do. Were delighted to welcome them to our pack.
Cloud is very gentle and shy with humans yet a born Alpha with others of his kind. Miko is very loving and inquisitive, watching everything with keen observation. She is being trained to become a program animal and surprised us all by becoming one of the stars of our hike events, enjoying snuggles and belly rubs from everyone!
They are both 6 years old.
Kenai’s family had a dog they had been told was a wolfdog which recently passed away. Thinking they had a good idea of what a wolfdog was, they decided to get another one. Apparently it was either not a Wolfdog or a very low-content because Kenai was not what they at all expected. Being very high-content, he’s very intelligent, has high separation anxiety, is very skittish, and is destructive when stressed or bored. He destroyed many home objects including furniture and a lawn-mower. With the daughter beginning college, he was just too much for the parents to handle alone. Kenai is the newest member of our pack and has been put with Maya to help teach him pack etiquette and to learn trust with his human pack. Kenai is one year old and a High-Content Wolfdog.
Malo is one of the most energetic pack members. He got his name when he was a family pet and couldn’t stifle his love of howling. Many neighbors didn’t appreciate the constant noise and rambunctiousness and threatened to call animal control.
It got to the point where poisoned meat was being found thrown into the backyard and his owners began worrying for his safety. Realizing a house and backyard were not suited for Malo’s temperament, they brought him to Wolf Connection where his mischievous ways have decreased with increased exercise and social interaction.
Malo is now training to become a WC youth ambassador. (Handling: Malo is kept in a single kennel due to his high energy but gets along with most of the pack. He especially loves wrestling with his buddy Taboo.)
Malo is four years old and a Mid Content Wolfdog mixed with Akita.
MAXIMUS aka “MAX”
Max was a gift from a father to his 19 year old son. Having no experience with wolf dogs, the son did what he could to train him, but Max was a handful. Max is extremely wolfy in behavior: shy and skittish, intelligent, high-energy and always getting into mischief. Before he knew it, Max was digging dens all over the back yard, tearing down the exterior of the house – leaving only framing and fiberglass exposed, jumping through pane-glass doors to get inside – it was too much.
Finally, WC came to the rescue but with only one condition: that they were a package deal. We would take Max but we would also expect the young man to become a volunteer and continue to contribute to Max’s and the rest of the pack’s well-being. Well, he couldn’t have been more thrilled at being given the opportunity and continues to be a volunteer to this day, learning and growing with Wolf Connection.
Max is two years old and a Mid Content Wolfdog mixed with Akita.
MOONSHADOW (14 years old)
(LOW-CONTENT WOLFDOG MIXED WITH SHEPHERD)
Moonshadow is a true lover always up for a snuggle. He’s one of the original 16 who were rescued from Grandmother’s Rescue in the Mojave Desert. An Alpha in his own mind, he’s always peacocking for the ladies in the pack and challenging the other males like an old cowboy ready for a gun fight.
Fortunately for them, all of his canine teeth have been warn down so they’d only get gummed – if he could move fast enough to catch them!
Lucas came from San Francisco from an owner who thought it would be a good idea to own a wolf in a one bedroom apartment. That didn’t last long and he ended up in the care of Tia Torres (of Pitbulls and Parolees) where he was trained to be a movie wolf.
Lucas may now be retired, but he still loves the spotlight and is now on his way to becoming one of our active youth ambassadors. Lucas is very friendly and a bit of a trickster, snatching anything he can get his teeth on and claiming it as his own. He’s also very sensitive, able to read the slightest change of energy and reacting accordingly.
(While living at VillaLobos, it became a rite of passage for the new parolees to wrestle with Lucas to prove their manhood. Lucas became aggressive due to the wrestling. When he came to us, Teo had to enter his kennel with leather arm guards on to protect himself from Lucas’ bites. With consistent work and a lot of patience from the team, Lucas has learned to trust his human pack, knowing he’s always safe.
That, in itself, has allowed him to be calm and gentle. He’s incredibly intelligent and intuitive – able to respond to a thought.) Native Americans consider the wolf with blue-grey eyes powerful medicine and call upon him in times of sickness or injury. Lucas is 13 years old and a High Content Wolfdog.
LOGAN (14 years old)
(MID-HIGH WOLFDOG MIXED WITH MALAMUTE)
Very gentle and well-balanced, Logan is an absolute sweetheart who loves to snuggle. He’s happy to let Lucas have the spotlight. It’s only at dinner time that he’s outspoken! Logan was under the care of Tia Torres (of Pitbulls and Parolees) and has been Lucas’ pack mate for many years. She felt they would be happy with WC’s pack and she was right!
“Ozzy” – in reference to finding his way home and named by the woman who discovered him at the Agoura Hills shelter and contacted us to rescue him. We’ve been developing relationships with local shelters to ensure that Wolfdogs picked up are not euthanized, which is required by law.
A resident of an Agoura Hills trailer park witnessed a car drive by, open the door, and push Ozzy out of the car. Not knowing what to do, they took him to the shelter. Ozzy came to us extremely malnourished and with skin infections, but is now the strong, handsome creature he is meant to be with his new holistic diet and care. He’s incredibly intelligent and insightful and always excited to snuggle. He’ll capture your heart once you gaze into his dreamy green/golden eyes. He’s very people and Wolfdog friendly with lots of promise as one of our program animals.
Ozzy is around 10 years old, and a Low-Mid Content Wolfdog.
Rezzie came to us from a couple. The woman was entering hospice and the man was consumed with her care so they needed to find Rezzie a home.
When they found WC, the first thing they said was, “She’s very old. She won’t be much trouble. She probably won’t be around that long.” thinking that would be points in her favor. Well, of course we weren’t concerned with that and two years later, Rezzie is still chugging! She’s even earned the nickname “The Bulldozer” because she uses all her might to try and push through the gate of her kennel and hobble to freedom!
Our golden girl has also started dating a younger man – Moonshadow (who’s 14)! We don’t think she has any intention of going anywhere any time soon! Rezzie is nineteen years old and a Low Content Wolfdog mixed with Malamute.
Shade was brought to Wolf Connection by a local family who rescued him from another family in Texas. Their college-age son thought it would be cool to own a wolf dog so he found a breeder in Canada, brought him down, and kept him in his dorm room on campus.
After destroying the dorm, the boy sent him to be cared for by his parents. Having no idea how to handle the feisty animal and being afraid of him, they searched for someone to take him and finally found the CA couple on Facebook.
The son drove him out and he became part of yet another family. Being incredibly sensitive to energy (as all wolves and wolf dogs are), Shade couldn’t help but react negatively to the new family’s rowdy grandchildren. The family recognized Shade’s discomfort and unpredictability and thought he would be happiest at the WC ranch with a pack of his own.
Shade is finally settling in to his new home and quite happy and grounded. He’s a very loving, loyal pup who loves to run on hikes with an endless supply of energy. He is Four years old, and a Mid-High Content Wolfdog.
Taboo is incredibly sweet and playful but can be very shy which is a common wolf trait.
She was rescued from a family who was dealing with family emergencies and could no longer care for her. They originally purchased her from a breeder in Florida and flew her back to CA. Not knowing how to handle her, her owners kept her tied to a tree in their back yard for the first year of her life, resulting in very little socialization or training.
Taboo joined WC a year ago and with constant training and socialization has grown by leaps and bounds.
(The husband lost his job and their house went into foreclosure. They had to move to an apartment complex which didn’t allow pets so they tried to find her a home. Exhausting all options and running out of time, they were starting to think that she was going to have to go to a shelter where she would be euthanized. A neighbor heard about us and called us to help, which we did – to the owner’s relief. Taboo is two years old and a Mid Content Wolfdog Mixed with Malamois.
Tala was the very first Ambassador founder Teo Alfero received, and the first link on a long chain of events that resulted in the creation of Wolf Connection.
Tala literally transformed Teo’s life. If it wasn’t for this little fire cracker none of us wold be here. To read all the detailed events CLICK HERE.
Tala is to this day one of the main program animals and had lightened the hearts of countless children and families. She is six years old and a Low Content Wolfdog mixed with Malamute.
Wyoh and his sister Shadow were rescued from the South Central LA animal shelter at the age of six months by a local dog rescue center.
When Teo found them at the age of one they were literally out of their minds with anxiety to the point that it was very difficult to get into their kennel to clean and feed without being seriously scratched all over.
Soon after that Shadow suddenly died of a heart attack while being walked, that precipitated Teo to take Wyoh home and adopt him as his second personal Wolfdog and Tala’s playmate. Today Wyoh is one of the best trained Ambassadors, a main program animal and one of the most gentle and loving members of the pack. He is three years old and a mid Content Wolfdog.
WILLOW and SAGE
These gals were both owned by a woman who loved and took good care of them. Unfortunately, because of several unfortunate life changes, she could no longer care for them.
Being a responsible Wolfdog owner, and loving her girls, she comes to visit regularly and helps with their care.
She has since become very active in the organization and is helping us grow. Willow is 2 years old and a High Content Wolfdog, Sage is 6 years old and Mid Content.
ZIMBA and ROCKY
Zimba and Rocky are litter mates. They were originally owned by an old woman who couldn’t keep up with their rambunctiousness.
They boys loved to spend the day escaping from the back yard, running around the neighborhood, scratching at the front door to be let in, then immediately scratching at the back door to be let out, only to repeat the routine again and again.
They are part of the original pack that was rescued from Grandmother’s Rescue in the Mojave Desert once the owner passed away.
and wolf ambassadors as they have a strong love of people. However, as they’ve gotten a little older, they are both dealing with some health issues that have them temporarily “retired” as they recover.
Not too long ago, Zimba began having pain in his abdominal region. He was taken to the vet and with x-rays, we discovered that his organs are positioned backwards causing digestive issues. He’s since been placed on a gentle diet which is helping tremendously.
Rocky is dealing with elbow dysplasia causing him to limp. Along with gentle exercise, he’s on a strict treatment plan that has done wonders for his mobility. Hopefully they’ll be ready to join the team again soon. Zimba and Rocky are eight years old and Mid-High Content Wolfdogs.