This touching story of a wolf-dog just might bring you to tears. Meet Castiel, a stray who was first found wandering through a Los Angeles suburb, lonely and scared. At the time of his discovery, Castiel was underweight, infested with parasites, and losing lumps of fur due to mange. A local shelter was soon contacted.
The shelter realized that Castiel was not a normal “dog”. In fact, the pointy-eared, gray-furred canine was actually a wolf-dog hybrid. That meant he had special needs and couldn’t stay in the shelter.
Shelters can’t keep wild animals. If they couldn’t find “New Boy” (his name at the time) a home, the dog would have to be put down.
Wolf-dogs are complicated animals since they have the needs of dogs as well as wolves. Thankfully, organizations like W.O.L.F. Sanctuary in Colorado know just how to look after these beautiful creatures. W.O.L.F. stands for “Wolves Offered Life and Friendship,” and they take in wolves and hybrids too.
When he was first found, Castiel was thought to be a normal dog. He was even wearing some kind of makeshift collar, which made his rescuers think he was kept as a pet at some point in his life. However, his skittish behavior and undernourishment brought them to a conclusion that he didn’t get a whole lot of love from his previous home.
After being taken to a local shelter, it was determined that Castiel was around a year old, and actually part wolf. That meant he had to be placed into a special facility as soon as possible, else, he would be euthanized.
There was no room for Castiel in California sanctuaries, so, W.O.L.F Sanctuary took charge and brought him to Colorado.
Castiel was terrified and refused to leave a particular corner of the infirmary. No matter what the rescuers did, he wouldn’t budge.
But thankfully, after much coaxing, the rescuers were somehow able to bathe and treat him. He was in desperate need of both since he was covered with parasites and mange.
W.O.L.F. held a naming contest for him and “Castiel” was the winning name. The name refers to a character in the show “Supernatural”, who is an angel of resurrection. Seeing how the wolf-dog transformed from a malnourished and mangy creature to a happy and healthy animal, the name is pretty apt.
Castiel’s fur grew back, his infections went away, and he gained a healthy weight too.
Now, he looks like a different animal all together!
It was finally time for him to meet his new friends. However, since he had been alone for so long, and possibly even neglected or abused before that, the poor thing was very, very shy. He didn’t really know how to form connections with other wolves and wolf-dogs.
However, he was really enjoying the outdoors.
According to W.O.L.F. staff, he was also growing increasingly interested in the other animals. He wasn’t yet approaching them, but they could tell from his interest that he was trying to be social.
The staff decided that Castiel needed what all of us need – a little love.
They introduced him to a few female wolves; and finally, he met Tenali, an outgoing female wolf-dog. Tenali is a three year old rescue from Wisconsin.
Tenali is very sweet and energetic, so Castiel got a little overwhelmed initially! However, his new friend didn’t mind.
According to Michelle Proulx, director of animal care at W.O.L.F, Castiel started warming up to Tenali even though he was a initially shy.
“After a couple of days, he started to realize that she wasn’t going to hurt him,” she said. According to her, they duo has been playing and spending more time together.
“He went from not having much and being alone for who knows how long to having this girl,” Proulx says.
It took a special friend to heal Castiel’s wounds, and he is slowly opening up.
You can find more on the pair in W.O.L.F.’s website. You can also donate to help keep the wolves and wolf-dogs there safe and happy.
Castiel and Tenali’s bond is getting stronger each day, and he seems happier and healthier than before.
Please SHARE Castiel’s story to your family and friends as well!