We have a new member to our ever-growing pack! She is a one-year-old, jet black, high-content wolfdog with piercing gold eyes and her name is Taboo!. She is beautiful, friendly, filled with energy and fascinated with everyone and everything. But the story of how we found her is also very fascinating so Teo asked me to share it with you.
Tuesday morning I was working with Teo on the new Wolf Connection site and he mentioned to me that he had gotten a call from a friend ours, Chris, saying he had heard that a wolf had been sent to a pound in Northridge and was going to be euthanized. Chris and Glen and a few other staff members called every pound in the area to no avail.
As you probably know, if a wolfdog goes to the pound they don't usually last more than a day or two before they put them to sleep. So Paula (my wife) decided to help and do some more research on the source of the information. She called Chris and left a message.
The next day while sitting in traffic at 8am on the 405, Paula was driving me to the chiropractor because I hurt my back the day before doing construction on the new site. That's when she got the call. It was Chris. I was trying to make sense of what they were talking about because as she talked on her bluetooth I could only hear on side of the conversation. Now it seemed the wolf was tied to a tree and left in the backyard of an abandoned house and was not in the pound at all. I kept trying to interject and ask questions only to be shushed. "I'll tell you in a minute." she said, "Hold on." But what house? Where? Who told him? My back was killing me, the traffic was awful, and I was starting to think that someone was messing with us. Finally Paula got of the phone and the story got even more convoluted. Chris had a aunt who lived out-of-state and she had a friend who lived on a street called Community Street in Northridge. Apparently her friend knew a family that had a wolf and they had moved and left the wolf tied to a tree in the backyard. But the woman would not say which house, and would not give her name or number, and Chris's aunt would not tell us who this lady was. I know what you're thinking because I was thinking the same thing: This is bull%$%#.!!! Are we sure there even is a wolf? How do we know the wolf is there? No one has reported it. Apparently this lady had not even seen the wolf in the yard. She had just heard about it. For all we knew they took it with the
We both sat there in traffic. I saw the look in Paula's eyes. What if it was true and we didn't do anything about it? "Ok." I said, "Turn around. Let's go." "Community is supposed to be a very short street. We can just knock on a few doors or look for an abandoned house." Paula said. Turns out Community Street is miles of short strips of streets with a lot of empty houses. Chris was kind enough to drive out and meet us. He had called his aunt again but could get no more info from her. We had no idea where to start so we started at one end and worked our way down, asking neighbor after neighbor and telling them our crazy story. We called all the agents that had for-sale signs in the front yards. I have always believed that people are inherently good, but the people in this neighborhood really proved that to me. Everyone we met tried to help.They listened to our crazy story and even though we had no evidence to back it up, they got together and helped us anyway. It was actually a really wonderful journey. We met an 85 year old Cherokee man named Paul who taught us how to shake hands with people "the right way" he said, so you can feel the other person's pulse. Again, I know what your thinking, "A couple on a journey to find a wolf and they meet a native American? Come on! Really?" But it is true. Paula met a lady who told us about everyone in the neighborhood. And boy she knew a lot - more than we needed to know, in fact! But no wolf, so we moved on.
You have to bear in mind that we were both just out of bed and on our way to the chiropractor. We had just thrown on some sweats, were both dressed completely in black, I was unshaven in black knit cap, and I was shuffling around because of my back - not the most approachable couple in the hood. So when I hobbled over to Heather, a young athletic lady who was jogging with her two dogs and talking business on her bluetooth, she looked at me like, "What the hell!" But again, when Paula and I told her our story, she was on it. She called her friend Sani who came right over to help. Heather said that Sani knew everyone. If there is a wolf, she will know and she did. She pointed us to a house that was just off Community St. She said she had seen a dog that looked like a black wolf jumping up at the fence when she passed and the people who lived there were moving out. We found the house and Paula bravely walked up to the door and knocked. We half-expected to find some evil family that abused animals but what we found were Robert and Diane, a very sweet couple who had several kids.They had been forced to move, like so many others because of the economy, into a smaller place where Taboo, their black wolfdog who they loved very much, was not allowed. So our story was only half true. Yes, there was a wolf tied to a tree in a backyard of a house that was almost empty. But they had no intention of leaving her. They had been trying very hard to find a place for her and it seems we arrived just in time.
We did not have a truck with us that day so Taboo came with us to Wolf Connection in the back of my black Mustang. Very fitting. She looked cool! Not a lot of room for a 100 pound wolf in that backseat, but she snuggled with Paula the whole way. She was filled with lots of excitement, a whole bunch of drool, and a little bit of gas, but we all made it back safe and sound.
Paula and I and the whole Wolf Connection crew would like to say thank you to all the amazing people on Community St.
Steve Wastell and Paula Ficara