BIO ~ Nikki is a neutered male high-content wolf-dog. He came to live at Wild Spirit in 2006 when he was 3 years old.
PERSONALITY ~ Nikki has trouble drawing the line between play and aggression, and once he steps over the line, he can cause serious injuries. He has the habit of turning anything into a toy, whether it’s buckets, shovels, sweaters… you name it, he’ll destroy it! This has caused him and his caretakers trouble in the past, and now Nikki goes into his sub-enclosure when a caretaker needs to be in his habitat.
RELATIONSHIP ~ Nikki lived with a high-content wolf-dog named Maki until she peacefully joined The Big Pack in the Sky on March 17th, 2017. Nikki was introduced to Angel later that year, and the two got along very well until we helped Angel join the Big Pack in the Sky on September 8th, 2019. Nikki’s habitat is on the tour path, so be sure to say hello!
LIKES ~ Nikki likes playing rough, meaty bones, and getting scratches through the fence from people he knows and likes. He also enjoys making new volunteers nervous when they give him his med-ball – he snaps his jaws and lunges for the treat!
DISLIKES ~ Nikki isn’t afraid of people, but there aren’t many that he especially likes. Nikki is also extremely sensitive to changes in his routine and habitat, and he will make it very clear when he’s unhappy about something new.
FUN FACTS ~ Nikki used to be solid black, but as he’s aged, he’s turned to a beautiful silvery gray. A lot of people assume he’s female because of the way his name is spelled, but we don’t tell Nikki that!
WISH LIST ~ Like many of our senior rescues, Nikki receives great joint supplements twice a day to keep him comfortable in his older age. He greatly appreciates your help keeping it on hand!
NIKKI’S HISTORY ~ Our handsome high-content wolf-dog, Nikki, was originally adopted by a woman named Cecilia when he was only a few months old. Thankfully, the wild-spirited pup was loved and well-cared for by his new family. Cecilia and her children were able to develop quite a bond with Nikki, but they had to accommodate his wild-spirited personality and quirky preferences. Cecilia was Nikki’s primary caretaker and she quickly learned that Nikki had an odd issue with her clothing. She had to wear the same clothes into Nikki’s enclosure each time she went in to take care of him. If she wore anything unfamiliar to him, Nikki would rip and tear at it until he had removed it! Cecilia’s sixteen-year-old son was Nikki’s favorite playmate. They both enjoyed rough-housing together, and neither Nikki nor his human friend ever hurt each other. When Cecilia and her family had to move unexpectedly, they were unable to find a new place for their high-maintenance wolf-dog.
She called Wild Spirit for help. Because taking in new rescues is a huge commitment and responsibility, we devote serious time to deciding if it’s the right choice. Cecilia never gave up fighting for Nikki, and we finally agreed to take him when we thought he might be a good companion for one of our single females, Maki. Cecilia, her son, and two daughters drove him to Wild Spirit all the way from El Paso, Texas. They stayed overnight and the next day, hoping to make Nikki feel more comfortable with his difficult transition. They came to visit him several times after that.
Although Nikki was very happy with Maki, he never bonded with any of our staff and volunteers. He couldn’t truly trust any of us, and as a result, his naturally rough but playful behavior turned a bit aggressive. Eventually, Nikki sent our director to the hospital after an unexpected attack. Nikki’s human family had come to visit him, and Nikki was having a great time with them. Leyton stepped into the habitat in order to find one of Nikki’s toys. He thought he knew where Nikki had it stashed, and he thought he might want to play with it while his family was there. Without any indications that he was upset, Nikki suddenly rushed towards Leyton and started tearing at his legs. It was unclear what exactly Nikki was upset about, or why he had not displayed any warning signs. Everyone was too shocked to react at first, but finally, Nikki’s former owner grabbed Nikki by the hips to pull him away.
Leyton was able to get himself out of the habitat, and he was immediately rushed to the hospital. Thanks to the immense strength of Nikki’s bite, some of the wounds were bone-deep and took months to fully heal. Despite that day, we of course still treat Nikki with love and kindness, but at a respectful distance. Not only do we want to keep ourselves safe, but we don’t want to do anything that upsets Nikki so much. There’s no bad blood between Leyton and Nikki – they still visit through the fence, and Leyton is one of the only people who will go into Nikki’s habitat whenever necessary – but with great caution, of course. After Maki’s passing in 2017, Nikki lived alone. He was able to find a new friend in low-content rescue, Angel, who is also a senior.