Born: May 19, 2009
Rescued From: Washington
Given Sanctuary: July 18, 2015
Returned to Spirit: May 16, 2020
Not much is known about Ahote’s early life. He was adopted by a military couple in Texas, presumably from a breeder. The couple moved to Washington State and was living in an apartment that was totally inadequate for a young wolf dog. The family was desperate to find a new home for Ahote and they advertised him on Craig’s List. A woman, experienced with wolf dogs, saw the ad and knew that it was dangerous to advertise an animal, especially a wolf dog, on Craig’s list. Because private ownership of a wolf dog is a huge commitment, the woman knew that an inexperienced owner might be a disaster for Ahote.
The woman made the decision to adopt Ahote and she gave him a very good life for five years. When she learned that the property where Ahote lived was being sold, she started a desperate search to find him a home at a Sanctuary. W.O.L.F. heard about Ahote from another Sanctuary and was immediately interested. He was about the same age as Kaileah and he was shy around new people. He was not food aggressive and he loved to play with other animals. Ahote seemed like a perfect match for Kaileah so W.O.L.F. made the arrangements to adopt the handsome boy.
On a sunny Friday in July, W.O.L.F. staff and volunteers made the long drive to bring Ahote home. Ahote’s first stop was at W.O.L.F.’s Vet in Wellington. He was in very good health, but he was terrified of being touched. It was an ordeal to get him settled and finally get him to the Sanctuary. Ahote was quite shy for his first few days at W.O.L.F., and he did not want any staff contact or much food. After a few days, he was introduced to Kaileah. The pair did several “drive by” walks before even looking at each other. Because of Ahote’s extreme shyness and anxiety, staff gave him a homeopathic remedy for soothing anxiety which did the trick. Within a day, his anxiety seemed to disappear and he was following staff around the enclosure and bonding with Kaileah. They formed a beautiful bond that was broken when Kaileah passed in late 2018.
Ahote grieved for Kaileah and when his grief began to subside, W.O.L.F. started the search for a new companion for the shy boy. We were were able to rescue Ember (formerly Texas Red.) She was saved by our rescue colleagues Lockwood Animal Rescue Center (LARC) from a notorious fur farm in Minnesota that was finally shuttered. W.O.L.F.’s transport team made the long journey to California to pick up Ember at LARC. Once at the Sanctuary, Ember and Ahote slowly formed a bond. After months together, the two shy animals are often seen together on the side of the mountain or side-by-side in their lower habitat.
Over time, the relationship between Ahote and Ember began to blossom. They began playing on the mountainside together and thoroughly enjoyed the company of one another. However, in the summer of 2019, caretakers began noticing strange diarrhea from Ahote. When this continued for an extended period of time, staff made arrangements to take Ahote into the vet for diagnostics. In September of 2019, an ultrasound revealed a massive malignant islet tumor on Ahote’s pancreas. Unfortunately, after an exploratory surgery to determine whether or not the tumor could be removed, veterinarians determined that it was inoperable. The veterinary team delivered a poor prognosis, expecting that Ahote would pass within weeks.
Ahote’s caretakers began giving him special meals that included a pancreatic enzyme since Ahote’s pancreas was no longer functional. He continued to eat well, and staff monitored him closely for changes in his attitude and physical state. However, to everyone’s amazement, weeks turned to months. Throughout the winter, Ahote flourished, roughhousing with Ember and seeming to enjoy his days. No one had expected that Ahote would live through the end of 2019, but he continued to thrive into the spring of 2020. He grew progressively thinner and began losing muscle, but his spirit remained strong until the beginning of May. At that time, Ahote began to experience increasing difficulty in getting to his feet and showed disinterest in eating. His caretakers knew that his time had come. Just three days short of his eleventh birthday, staff helped Ahote pass on May 16th. While it was devastating to lose Ahote, we all felt blessed to have had eight months with him after his initial diagnosis. His will to live astounded everyone, and we take comfort in knowing that he is back with Kaileah, the love of his life.