Abandoned animals often have trouble settling into shelter life when they are first brought in off the streets. To an animal who has lived a life of isolation, abuse, and mistreatment, shelters can be a very scary place full of strange noises and different smells. Because of this, it often takes time for newly rescued animals to feel comfortable in such a different environment.
Such was the case when a stray dog was brought to a shelter in LA after he was found aimlessly wandering the streets. The poor pooch was of a nervous disposition, and he was so scared when he first arrived at the shelter that he would cower in the corner of his kennel whenever someone came to visit him.
The pup was so nervous that the staff was worried that he would live a life of isolation. But everything changed when someone had the brilliant idea of introducing him to another dog. They instantly became BFFs – and the rest is history!
Castiel the stray had clearly been alone for quite some time. When rescuers first discovered him out on the streets of LA, he was skinny, weak, and riddled with parasites. Castiel had some wolf-like features, and it wasn’t long before a surprising discovery was made. He was a wolf-dog hybrid, meaning that he was part wolf, part dog.
As many shelters only accept dogs, it was going to be a struggle to find somewhere who would take in the nervous pooch.
Luckily, a sanctuary in Colorado was more than happy to take in the one-year-old pup. The shelter, named W.O.L.F. Sanctuary, rescues wolves and wolf dogs, so Castiel would fit in perfectly there.
Before his trip to Colorado, Castiel was treated at a veterinary center to make sure that he was fit to travel. The poor dog was so terrified that he was often seen cowering in corners in an attempt to keep away from all of the nurses.
He simply didn’t trust anybody.
But while Castiel had little faith in people, workers soon began to notice something positive: his keen interest in other dogs.
“The infirmary was located at her house and we noticed him getting really, really interested in other dogs.” Michelle Proulx, director of animal care at W.O.L.F. Sanctuary, told The Dodo. “So we knew he was starting to get lonely for canine companionship and wanted to find a companion for him.”
The answer came to the shelter workers almost immediately.
Castiel was clearly wary towards people, so it made perfect sense to offer him some kind of socialization in the form of a canine companion. W.O.L.F. immediately reached out to a number of sanctuaries that care for wolves and wolf dogs to try and find the perfect companion for Castiel.
“We got a hit almost immediately,” Michelle said. “This is an indicative of the problem that’s out there, that there’s so many of them in need of homes.”
W.O.L.F eventually decided on 3-year-old Tenali, who was brought over from the Gray Wolf Wolfdog Rescue.
“They said she was really sweet and that there isn’t an animal she doesn’t get along with,” Michelle said. “We thought that would be great for Cas, who needs that friendship. We didn’t want to have him, while he’s not feeling well, feel like he has to defend or protect himself from an animal that isn’t quite a good match.”
Sociable Tenali seemed like an ideal match for quiet and reserved Castiel. On the day that they met, Tenali was a complete ball of energy, and she slowly helped bring her new friend out of his shell.
“When we first put them in together, she (Tenali) just wanted to play and Castiel was just a little bit overwhelmed with the attention,” Michelle said. “He went from not having much and being alone for who knows how long to having this girl.”
Tenali was a smart pup, and she could always sense when Castiel needed some time to himself. Whenever she noticed him becoming more reserved, she would give him the space that he needed.
“After a couple of days, he started to realize that she wasn’t going to hurt him,” Michelle said. “He started to feel more confident in himself and we’ve been seeing progressively, within the last week or two, that their playing together has become more frequent and more involved.”
Thanks to Tenali’s love and patience, Castiel is now no longer the frightened, antisocial dog he was when he first arrived at the shelter. To support the amazing work that W.O.L.F Sanctuary is doing, consider making a donation here.
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