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 owners 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 stories and connect with the magical being each of them is. 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 wolfie that touches your heart in a special way by adopting them and enjoying special one-on-one time with your special friend.
Both an English and a Hebrew name, the name Anora in English means “Light” which is appropriate for her. When Anora presents herself, one has the opportunity to see the exquisite light shining through her eyes. Upon her arrival, Anora has proven to be lithe and youthful in spirit. Anora is partnered with Wolf Connection’s infamous, Malo, known for his giant spirit and heart. Malo is showing how to give and receive love from his human caregivers and, slowly, Anora’s trust and curiosity is peeking through.
“Little One” in Cheyenne, Ayasha is one of our main program animals and loves to interact with people. She survived the snowy mountains of Northern California for 2 weeks alone before animal control was able to lure her with a piece of pizza! Being the sweetheart that she is, she won the hearts of the shelter employees there who, making every attempt to save her life, found Wolf Connection®. Small but mighty, Ayasha’s lesson is authentic self-expression. She has a big voice that can’t be ignored and captivates her audience when she howls!
Beau is our gentle giant, who displays behavior of an Omega. He is 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 that experienced difficulty in giving him what he needed to be a healthy, happy wolf dog. No longer feeling they were able to care for him, they called Wolf Connection®. When the team arrived to pick up Beau he was emaciated and had a neck wound as a result of having been tied to a tree with a wire. Needless to say, he was extremely timid, but when the team opened the 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 incredible beauty he is now.
Buddy arrived with his packmates, Mia and Theo, early 2019 at eight years old. The trio were owned by a man who loved them very much. So much so that he attempted to hide their existence when animal control caught wind of 3 high content wolfdogs living in a residential neighborhood in Los Angeles County. Fearful of their discovery and confiscation, he eventually rescinded the three to Wolf Connection where their safety is solidified. Buddy’s presence connotes a wise, grounded and somewhat reserved confidence when observed in his habitat. However, while out on enrichment walks, this confident male will roll around on plants and bushes, laying like a puppy, while softly chewing on the greenery. Buddy chooses to connect with his handler by showing great strength in being vulnerable.
Charlee and her siblings were found with 15 wolfdogs being bred on a fur farm in Illinois. When the State of Illinois closed the fur farm down for animal cruelty, Charlee and her pack were slotted for euthanization. Rescues and zoos from across the nation came together to place these 15 feral wolfdogs, but Charlee and her siblings, Bella and Annie, were left with no home. With no socialization, Wolf Connection® has undertaken a long process of physical, mental and emotional rehabilitation for Charlee and her sisters. She has proven to be the most thoughtful and patient of the 3. Charlee was lucky enough to learn the ways of the wolf by watching Maya, who was our Alpha female before she passed.
Daisy found her way to Wolf Connection through a loving couple that had gotten her from a silent auction where she was labeled as a ‘male Shepard-mix puppy’. They came to discover that she is actually a female, high content wolfdog and she was just 4 or 5 weeks old at the time. They immediately knew that Daisy would need a sanctuary to thrive as a wolfdog, and so their search began. Wolf Connection was thrilled to be chosen as their preferred sanctuary and forever home for Daisy! When the couple brought Daisy to Wolf Connection, their love for her was evident and beautiful to witness. Daisy is growing fast and learning from our resident “Nanny” Nova, “big sister” Luna, and “elder uncle” Wyoh. They are supporting her growth and socialization along with our human pack.
Since settling in and getting to know her, Gemma has shown that she has a natural, tranquil and grounded presence. Her youthful energy and love of making friends makes it so that she enjoys her socialization hikes. Within the first month of arriving at Wolf Connection, Gemma began “training” with the current pack nannies, Nova and Luna. Her demeanor and sweetness make her open to supporting other animals who could benefit from her natural poise, so she is learning these skills from the nannies of the pack. Gemma, like many of the young program students, seems to call for boundaries, structure and guidance to support her in finding her own path and voice.
Hoven was rescued as a puppy from a poor breeding situation in Southern California in 2017. Being a very smart, curious, social wolfdog who was alone in a big yard, Hoven began escaping frequently to find new playmates and was eventually picked up by animal control. Hoven’s original rescuer reached out to Wolf Connection in desperation to get him to safety. Wolf Connection was thrilled to give Hoven a second chance at his new life! His original rescuer is an avid follower of Wolf Connection’s work and was overjoyed that her beloved Hoven was joining the pack of her favorite wolf and wolfdog rescue! Hoven arrived in 2019 with a boisterous and active personality and is learning how to be calm and quiet in his own space. The lesson he gives to program participants is that sometimes observing and listening is the best medicine for the self and others.
Koda was raised at a roadside attraction in Alaska. In his young years, Koda only knew life with a chain around his neck, the constant barrage of strange humans in loud cars, and the inability to hide and protect himself. When the roadside attraction was exposed and prosecuted, a rescue mission involving the efforts of multiple wolf rescues saved Koda and his pack mates from euthanization by helicoptering the entire pack to Southern California where they all now live in sanctuary. Wolf Connection was honored to receive Koda and his older brother, Chance, in 2012 as part of this rescue. After the loss of his brother in December 2016, Koda has learned how to meet other wolves and has continued to individuate in a way that has reflected his brother Chance’s way of being beautifully. The process of moving on, subsequent to significant life change, is the path of surrender. Koda adds a flavor of demonstrative wolf style which resembles great love and affection in human terms. Wolf Connection staff was fortunate to have witnessed the incredible bond between brothers Chance and Koda. It will never be forgotten.
Leo is cool and calm, almost too “cool” to adequately describe. He has a way of looking at team members as if he already knows what is happening and what will happen next, so nothing can or will surprise him. Leo reminds us of a lion and a bold one at that as he investigates team members with ease. He is aptly named since Leonardo means “bold lion”. Thanks to his calm, open demeanor, Leo will be invited leash train before his travel mates from Minnesota, Anora, Ozma and Rafa. He is partnered with the beautiful Willow, known for her strong boundaries, who is calmly guiding Leo to build trusting relationships with his human caregivers.
Malo is a very energetic pack member. At the owner’s dying request, a hospice worker agreed to adopt him. Though well loved, Malo challenged the neighborhood with his howling and escapades. After Malo escaped to chase a few chickens and threats came in from the local community, the owners feared for his safety and found Wolf Connection®. When he first arrived, Malo assisted with the training of new volunteers since he liked to block them from leaving his kennel. Because his previous owner had encouraged him to wrestle, it was a challenge to sufficiently ignore his poor behavior so he would lose interest and they could easily exit the kennel. Ultimately, Malo teaches about wanting to “connect” and the opportunity to explore the ways in which one might choose to express that connection. Learning balance with connection and boundaries is a great place to start.
Mazi was born and purchased in 2018 by a Californian man as a puppy from a breeder in Oregon. Once the owner brought the puppy back to his Topanga neighborhood, neighbors caught wind that an exotic canine was nearby and called animal control. After months of hopping from place to place to avoid his capture, they discovered Wolf Connection. Finally, at 9 months, Mazi landed in his forever home. Mazi is still a puppy and enjoys playing and making friends with the other wolfdogs, which is helping bridge his relationship with his human pack even more.
Mia arrived with her packmates, Buddy and Theo, early 2019 at six years old. The trio were owned by a man who loved them very much. So much so that he attempted to hide their existence when animal control caught wind of 3 high content wolfdogs living in a residential neighborhood in Los Angeles County. Fearful of their discovery and confiscation, he eventually rescinded the three to Wolf Connection where their safety is solidified. Mia is a gentle female who is very precise with her focus and attention. With an overall fierce presence, getting to know Mia is a process taken slowly with patience and respect for sacred timing. Once she is bonded, she melts her body next to her handler. Mia shares her playful spirit in subtle ways like being witnessed laying in the creek with her mouth open and allowing water to rush in and out as she splashes around.
Neo was found in a shopping cart by an eighteen year old boy who begged his parents to be allowed to keep him. Neo is shy, curious and full of energy. Mostly, Neo likes to have friends. Neo kept escaping from the young man’s house and yard and would run over to play with the neighbor’s German Shepherds! Finally, tired of the complaints, the parents told their son to get rid of Neo. When they tried to turn him over to the local shelter, luckily for Neo, the woman working at the shelter knew that he would soon be euthanized, so she asked the family to keep him until she could locate a sanctuary for him. Wolf Connection® is happy to have Neo! He is becoming more accustomed to working with the public. And yes, he already has a few friends with which he plays and snuggles with like a true pup of the pack.
Nova is gentle, shy and skittish, and yet warmly sweet and playful as you get to know her through patience and bonding. She lives with Luna & Wyoh and is also a well-trained and beloved ambassador of Wolf Connection®. Nova teaches guests to respect boundaries because though she is well-trained, her shyness warrants allowing her the space that she needs. When she is ready, she will approach to interact with such curiosity, and even some silly wiggling and play pounces…usually when one least expects it.
Ozma is a Scandinavian name meaning “protection”. The team decided on this name for Ozma because, although she is very young and not quite settled, when she stands in stillness one gets the sense that she is a shield of protection and golden presence. She is also well known as a “flyer” because of the way she can leap with grace and ease to very high heights with little effort. How will Ozma present once she has fully acclimated into both her new home and into herself? We anticipate feeling even more honored than we do now. Ozma’s name is also made in tribute to Ancestor Alpha Maya and Ancestor Ozzy who passed away in April 2018, shortly before Ozma’s arrival.
Rafael, a Hebrew name, was also the name of the dearest friend of Wolf Connection’s founder. Rafa, a Shaman who passed away a few years prior, whose energy reminded team members of this new wolf arrival. It is an honor to see the energy of this wolf and, for those of us who knew Rafa, to be reminded of his presence. This gentle being peacefully moves around his space. When only a few people are nearby, Rafa is seen walking to the front of his habitat, seemingly with a smile on his face and a proud gait. The team holds much love in their hearts for Rafa and we look forward to learning the many lessons he will teach us. For now, we are learning patience, self-regulation and, despite the situation, remaining open to the mutuality of existence.
Ryder joined Wolf Connection® at the age of just a year old. A young woman adopted him after seeing a post on Facebook that someone was going to take him to the shelter. Knowing that he would be euthanized, the young woman took him despite warnings that she would not be able to contain him. Ryder escaped many times and walked the neighborhood until the neighbors began complaining. After threats from neighbors and complaints from Animal Control, the woman asked Wolf Connection® to take him in. Ryder is young and spunky. He has a very sweet way of gently jumping up and placing his paws on staff! He has a way of doing so without much impact and he gives sweet kisses. When he is not acting that way…he is generally pushing boundaries and inciting mayhem with his habitat-mate.
Shadow joined Wolf Connection® after her owner passed away and her caretaker searched for a home for she and her then pack mate, Sissy. Shadow is learning to trust people more and is will slowly open up and allow new people to interact with her through the fence. She is actively bonding with volunteers more and more each day. Shadow teaches stillness and healing by moving forward from the past, while discovering the authentic self.
Theo arrived with his packmates, Buddy and Mia, early 2019 at five years old. The trio were owned by a man who loved them very much. So much so that he attempted to hide their existence when animal control caught wind of 3 high content wolfdogs living in a residential neighborhood in Los Angeles County. Fearful of their discovery and confiscation, he eventually rescinded the three to Wolf Connection where their safety is solidified. Theo is an open and playful animal who trots around his habitat with a smile. He happily greets guests with relaxed ears and soft eyes. Sometimes at feeding time he seems to thank handlers with a softly audible howl. Theo enjoys his enrichment walks and is getting stronger and healthier on a regular basis.
In the summer of 2012 Willow accompanied several Wolf Connection® staff and wolves to attend a sacred council of the Thirteen Grandmothers in Lame Deer, Montana. The Cheyenne adored her and felt blessed by her presence. Looking into her eyes, one may be inspired to see pools of honey, dripping with purity and sweetness. Her presence is palpable and though it may require patience before she will allow new people to pet her and directly connect with her, the experience is well worth the effort. Evident of her high wolf content, she is shy and intelligent. Guests who allow the lesson of patience and respect have been rewarded with petting Willow and gazing into her eyes. She has the instinct of a tracker and the understanding of an Omega in that she knows how to keep peace.
Arriving with his name and loving spirit, Wolfee joined Wolf Connection® as a result of being confiscated during a sting operation: he was being traded by his owners for drugs. Ironically, his very first program hike participation was helping people overcoming substance abuse. Wolfee freely gives kisses and loving attention and loves being with people, especially kids, resulting in “Team Wolfee”! Wolfee teaches us about forgiveness. His open heart brings him so much love in return.