BIO ~ Nakota was a neutered male high-content wolf-dog. We rescued him in February of 2007 when he was just under 5 years old.He joined the Big Pack in the Sky on April 25th, 2018 due to old age.

PERSONALITY ~ Nakota had the very common personality of a high-content wolf-dog, which means he acted more like a wolf than a dog. He still preferred to keep his distance and defend certain areas of his habitat, like his water bucket. Nakota also liked to test his new caretakers by darting at their legs to see if they would be fearful or stand their ground. When he realized they knew what they were doing, he warmed up and happily accepted pets and scratches.

RELATIONSHIP ~ Nakota lived with his longtime love, Lani and then with high-content female wolf-dog Silva. Although she was older, smaller, and even missing one of her front legs, she was definitely an alpha female. Silva was the boss, and Nakota was wise to do as she said, but they truly cared for each other. Nakota mourn-howled for days after she passed in September of 2017.

LIKES ~ Nakota liked “washing” his caretaker’s hands with licks, scent-rolling on meaty bones, and seeing if he could sneak up on new caretakers. He preferred female caretakers to male, although he liked beards.

DISlIKES ~ Nakota did not like anyone going near his water bucket. He was also oddly territorial about the tree under which he liked to sleep.

FUN FACTS ~ Nakota enjoyed scent-rolling on men’s beards. While that may sound cute, he was a big guy, and it was certainly less cute to be on the receiving end, especially if you weren’t expecting it!

NAKOTA’S HISTORY ~ While Wild Spirit’s staff was preparing for the trip to Oregon to bring home the remaining arctic wolves, Sierra, Yukon, and Axel, a woman named Missy began persistently contacting us. Missy was an animal rescuer who was desperate to find a home for a pair of wolf-dogs that were also in Oregon: a male named Lakota and his female companion, Kaelani.

Missy had cared for Lakota in the past, and she was still taking care of his brother and several other wolf-dogs. As is the case with many wolf-dogs, Lakota had been unsuccessfully placed in several different homes throughout his life, and now he found himself in need of a new home yet again. He had ended up in a county in Oregon where it was illegal to own a wolf-dog and many problems had brought him to the attention of local authorities. Consequently, his current owner was given a week to either find Lakota new placement or have him euthanized. Missy had stepped in to help, and her persistence, passion, and cooperativeness inspired us. It also touched our hearts that Missy was intent on keeping Kaelani and Lakota together, since they truly loved one another. In the end, our director, Leyton, couldn’t turn the pair away. He agreed that if someone would bring the inseparable couple to where we were picking up Sierra, Yukon and Axel, they could join the Wild Spirit family as well.

All went well, and Lakota and Kaelani met up with us in Oregon. All the rescues were placed safely in travel kennels and secured in the van. WSWS staff made the 20-hour trek from Oregon to New Mexico non-stop with a van full of wolves. They left Oregon on Sunday morning and by Monday morning, Lakota, Yukon, and Axel were being neutered at a vet’s office in Gallup.

Because we rescue many animals who were at one time someone’s pet, the animals already have names. We typically continue to call them by their given names, but in this case, we had a small problem. If everyone kept his original name, our Sanctuary would be home to canines Lakota, Lakota, and Lakota, plus a human named Lakota, too! So, the first wolf-dog Lakota kept his name, we shortened the next one to “Kota”, and the one that arrived with Kaelani became “Nakota”. Over time, Kaelani also changed, to become simply “Lani”.

Nakota lost his love, ‘Lani, in 2012 when she was 11 years old. He was alone for a while, but when Silva and Jaeger went through a break-up, we saw an opportunity for love. High-content wolf-dog Silva turned out to be a wonderful match for Nakota and years later, they’ve proven to be one of our most successful pairings.