Peek Into The Pack Blog

The Zenith of Zeppelin

Article by Paul Koch

May 28, 2024

Those of you who follow Wild Spirit on social media should readily recognize this dashing boy: Zeppelin. However, what you may not know is the incredible progress this fellow has made in our care, due to the inspiring work of our Caretakers.

Zeppelin proving he is the most handsome boy of them all, March 18th, 2024

Let’s begin with a little bit about Zeppelin’s past. In January of 2022, Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary was contacted about Zeppelin, a 7-year-old high-content wolfdog that was living as a privately-owned pet in the state of Texas.
Since he was just a pup, Zeppelin was loved and well cared for by his owner, who shared each of her big life experiences with him including a move to a new home (with a bigger and better enclosure for Z), and the addition of a new “parent” when his owner got married. Initially, Zeppelin welcomed his new “mom” into his life with slobbery kisses and a wagging tail, but unfortunately, as time went on his behaviors toward his new owner began to shift in an unexpected and aggressive way.

Hoping he may be experiencing seasonal behavioral changes rather than a permanent shift in personality (as is common for high-content wolfdogs, specifically during the winter breeding season), Zeppelin’s owners waited several months to see if his reactions toward his new owner might return to normal. Sadly, they never did, so Wild Spirit was contacted for potential placement.

Fortunately, we had the space available to take Zeppelin in, and made the trip from New Mexico to Texas to retrieve him. Once there, we could clearly see how bonded he still was to his first owner, who was able to give him tons of pets and kisses before we loaded him into our rescue van for the long trip home.

Zeppelin with his cartoon eyes, January 4th, 2024

Since his arrival at Wild Spirit, Zeppelin has presented a mostly calm, shy demeanor. He would approach us for treats and enrichment, but showed little interest in pets. Thankfully, any aggressive displays he has shown us have been limited so far, and for the most part, he seemed to be just testing our boundaries (as wolfdogs often tend to do).

It has only been recently that Zeppelin has made incredible progress, due to the dedication of his current Caretaker, Rachel! They have put in countless hours to build a relationship with Zeppelin through trust, respect and a mutual love of food, allowing them to even pet Zeppelin when he is in a social mood. It is fair to say that Zeppelin has reached the peak of comfortability in our care, and has embraced Wild Spirit as his forever home. We are excited to see what the future holds for Mr. Zeppelin; perhaps he will completely shatter our expectations and become even more social! No one knows what is around the corner, but for now, we are ever grateful that he has opened himself up to even just one of our wonderful Caretakers. 

 If Zeppelin and Rachel’s story touched your heart and you want to help us provide more delicious treats for our handsome boy, please consider sponsoring Zeppelin by clicking here!


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