BIO ~ Rayne was a neutered male low-content wolf-dog. We originally rescued him, his mom and his siblings in 2009 when he was a few months old. We welcomed him back in 2015 after his adoption didn’t work out.  We helped him peacefully join the Big Pack in the Sky on April 10, 2018 after fighting a lengthy pancreatic condition and cancer.

PERSONALITY ~ Rayne was a low-content wolf-dog, so he mostly looked and acted like a domestic dog, but he had some wolf-like behaviors. Like all our rescues, his wild spirit sometimes made life as a pet confusing and uncomfortable. He was very goofy and playful with people he knew and liked, but he was painfully shy and very aloof with strangers.

RELATIONSHIP ~ After living without a canine friend for most of his life, Rayne had a fun-loving relationship with another low-content wolf-dog, Shasta II. She joined the Big Pack in the Sky in December of 2016. Rayne lived alone until we finally updated his habitat for a new friend and escape-artist, Flicker.

LIKES ~ Rayne’s favorite thing to do was go for leashed walks. We have many acres that he loved to explore while he was safely in his harness, which was specially ordered and fit just for him by his previous owner. He also liked barking loudly for his breakfast!

DISLIKES ~ Rayne disliked seeing everyone else receive their food while he was still waiting for his. He also didn’t like when a group of caretakers entered his habitat. He tried to get as far away from them as possible.

FUN FACTS ~ Rayne had two sisters who were successfully adopted out as very young puppies! They live much like Rayne did, in a large outdoor habitat at their owner’s home, in a very rural setting. We were happy to see them find a home with a loving owner where they can still live as the innately wild animals they are.

RAYNE’S HISTORY ~ We rescued Rayne, his mother, Kachina, and his two sisters Cheyenne and Moon Dance after our Executive Director, Leyton, received a call from a woman living on a reservation in the middle of the high desert. When Leyton arrived there was only a single tree in a mile radius, and double-chained to this tree was Rayne’s mother, Kachina. Her pups were isolated in a pen close by. There were four pups, all about four months old, but the woman only allowed us to rescue three, which included Rayne. Because Kachina and her pups were all low-content wolf-dogs, we hoped the puppies might do well with individual owners who were experienced with wolf-dogs and their unique challenges. Ideally, the puppies would be happy and well-cared for, and we would have more space for animals who needed us and sanctuary a bit more. The puppies were all eventually adopted out, and Rayne went home with Josh, a former WSWS volunteer.

Josh had formed a wonderful bond with Rayne while he was here at our sanctuary and had worked at other sanctuaries, too. He not only had the experience required, but he loved Rayne and the two were a great match. So, Rayne went home with Josh to build a life in the city.

Josh spent nearly 6 years with Rayne, and though he was only a low-content wolf-dog, he still inherited enough wild instincts to make him more challenging than a domestic dog. Like most wolves and wolf-dogs, Rayne was painfully shy of most people and new things, and he found it difficult to be truly comfortable in the uncontrolled environment of city life. He also had a strong desire to be free rather than contained in a yard or on a leash, but he couldn’t be counted on to listen to recall commands which limited his free time. So Josh would take him to the dog park on a daily basis for exercise and allow him to interact with other canines. He met dozens of dogs a day, some big and some small, without any issues. However, like most wild canids, Rayne also inherited a prey drive, and one day he grabbed and shook a small dog. The dog was unhurt, but Josh knew this was a larger problem.

In Josh’s own words, “I feared that the next time he got out, something worse was going to happen. Rayne, being scared of people, would probably be shot instead or terminated if he bit someone. One or more lives could be abruptly ended and I really don’t know how I’d handle all of that guilt and grief. The only choice that felt right was taking Rayne back to Wild Spirit.” Essentially, keeping Rayne safe meant eliminating his potential to injure others, even if without meaning to. So Rayne came back to Wild Spirit and soon settled right in. Although Rayne may look intimidating with his pitch black coat, piercing yellow eyes, and thunderous bark, he is one of the most gentle-hearted animals we have at our sanctuary.

In the summer of 2015, Rayne began to lose the beautiful luster in his thick, black coat and started to show extreme, rapid weight loss despite increased meal sizes. A visit to our vet revealed he was suffering from exocrine pancreatic insufficiency or E.P.I.; a gastrointestinal disorder that, if left untreated, is always fatal. Fortunately, there is a treatment for it, and Rayne has rebounded beautifully thanks to daily medication and a high-quality diet. His care is pricey though, and we are grateful for the supporters and sponsors who allow us to afford Rayne’s very important care, and in turn provide him with a happy, healthy life.