Around 70 million stray animals roam the United States and of that number, only six to eight million of them reportedly end up in shelters. Not every stray animal is so lucky to end up in a shelter and when that is the case, their fates are unknowable and almost hopeless.
Such was the case for a young husky found roaming the streets of Houston. After a couple decided to take him in, they started to see the dog he really was.
A Stray Husky Was In Need Of A Home
One woman and her husband saw a friend’s Facebook post about a stray husky in her neighborhood during November of 2015. The friend took the dog in but asked if anyone would be able to give him a home.
The husband, who grew up with huskies, immediately obliged. The couple went to the friend’s house to meet the homeless husky, but when they got there, they noticed something that was quite odd.
The Husky Didn’t React Well To Males
“When we arrived, he immediately came up to me, but avoided my husband,” wrote the woman, who is known as StrategicallyPlacedBananas on Imgur. Soon they realized that it wasn’t just her husband that the husky was afraid of, but it was men in general.
“He was very wary around men and wouldn’t let them touch or pet him,” the woman added. But that wasn’t the only thing they noticed about this dog.
He Was Clearly In Terrible Shape
What was most apparent about the husky when the couple first met him was the terrible condition he was in. "As you can see, he’s in pretty bad shape in this photo. Notice the patchy fur and the visible ribs. He also had a large scar going across his ribs that might be hard to see at this angle," she wrote.
The husky’s condition paired with his fear of men led the couple to wonder what he had been through.
They Immediately Took Him To The Vet
Despite the dog’s condition, the couple ultimately decided to give him a home. Because he had no collar and no chip, there was no way of identifying the husky or his origins. The couple decided to name him Wulfgar.
They took him to the vet the same day that they picked him up from their friend’s house. The vets found that Wulfgar was severely underweight, which suggests he was malnourished for quite a while.
Wulfgar Had A Terrible Skin Condition
Though he somehow didn’t have any heartworms or fleas, Wulfgar’s diagnosis was actually pretty serious. "The vet did a scraping and found out he had demodectic mange. Huskies have two coats, so for his skin to be so red, dry, and patchy, he had to be infected for quite some time," the Imgur user wrote.
Wulfgar was given a shot for his immune system and put on antibiotics as the first step on his road to recovery.
No One Was Looking For Him
The couple took Wulfgar home got him a kennel to sleep in. Wulfgar went inside right away, which suggested to his new humans that he was previously crate trained. This led to more questions about Wulfgar’s origins.
"We checked lost & found boards online (dating back months) for the city of Houston an didn’t find any fitting his age or description. As far as we could tell, nobody was missing him," she wrote.
Wulfgar Likely Escaped
The couple came to the conclusion that Wulfgar escaped from a horrid situation, but only after they went through several possible theories.
“[Perhaps] he escaped on his own from an abusive/negligent owner which might explain the scar; he was purposely abandoned; he belonged to an unlicensed breeder and escaped. Huskies aren’t typically a breed you find wandering the streets, so we’re strongly leaning towards the “escaped” theory, especially considering his wariness around men,” the wife wrote.
It Took A Little Getting Used To
The first few nights in his new home, Wulfgar would spend them crying in his kennel. It took a while before he truly got used to his new home.
At first the couple had Wulfgar sleep separately from them, which is probably why he cried so much at first. "[Unfortuantely] due to his mange, we didn’t want him sleeping in our room with us because the bedrooms were carpeted," the wife wrote.
Wulfgar Slept A Lot
After Wulfgar started feeling more comfortable, the couple noticed that his primary activity was napping. Though nobody knows what Wulfgar had been through before he was found, he was likely incredibly tired from the entire ordeal which is why he slept so much once he was in a safe space.
"Now he primarily naps in his kennel or on a fluffy blanket in the living room," the wife wrote next to a photo of Wulfgar sleeping.
He Started Easing Into Things
As the weeks passed, the couple watched as Wulfgar started breaking out of his shell and displaying regular dog behavior. Wulfgar must have caught on that his new humans truly cared about him and it seemed he began to appreciate everything that came with that love.
The wife shared this photo of Wulfgar and added, “He’s staring at a treat in my hand; sometimes it’s the only way to get him to look at the camera.”
Wulfgar Blossomed At The Dog Park
Soon, the couple began taking Wulfgar out to the local dog park. On his first visit, he apparently had a great time and surprised his new owners by showing how friendly he could be with other dogs.
“I was worried about how he’d act around other dogs, but in typical husky fashion, he was friendly and playful right off the bat,” the wife wrote. It was clear that Wulfgar had started to let his guard down.
Wulfgar Isn’t An Aggressive Dog
Wulfgar had proven how friendly he could be, but doesn’t really react to dogs who don’t like him. The husky-shepard mix on the right wasn’t too pleased to see Wulfgar.
“He plays well with most other dogs, provided they’re also friendly. Since then we’ve encountered dogs that are aggressive or bark at him. He’s very quiet as far as huskies go, so he never barks back. He mostly stares in confusion,” writes the wife.
He Wasn’t Alone In The Family
Despite the trauma he suffered in the past, the couple was relieved to see that Wulfgar had left it all behind and started opening up in his new life. In fact, he seemed eager to interact with other dogs, especially when they’re fellow huskies!
“Wulfgar tries to engage my in-laws’ senior husky. Notice how sparse his tail is in this picture,” writes the wife. But soon, the couple noticed that things were started to change.
Things Started Changing In Wulfgar
There were some habits that Wulfgar held onto for a while, such as his penchant for sleeping. Still, the couple noticed rapid changes that happened once Wulfgar was settled into his new life.
“We noticed that as he grew in new hair, it began to change color. When we first got him, his coat was a distinct red color. Here… it’s more of a grey color, and even darker in the sunlight,” writes the wife.
Wulfgar Loves Going For A Ride
As Wulfgar started to change, the couple noticed a lot more things about Wulfgar’s personality. It was almost immediately apparent that Wulfgar absolutely loved car rides. “Now he loves car rides!” writes the wife.
She adds, “At this point, he’s put on a few pounds, though you can still tell he’s pretty scrawny.” Wulfgar’s developments were a sign of relief. They got him when he was extremely malnourished, but soon, he would be a completely different dog.
Soon Wulfgar Started Sleeping With Ease
When they first got Wulfgar, the couple noted how often he’d whine and whimper into the night. He must have felt incredibly lonely and afraid at first, especially since he was in an unfamiliar place.
But soon it became apparent that this couple was there to nurture Wulfgar, instead of inflict whatever unthinkable pain he’d previously suffered. It wasn’t long before he felt safe enough to sleep peacefully, like he is in this photo.
Wulfgar Grew New Fur And Gained Authority
Wulfgar began looking like a brand new dog within three months of living with his new humans. They got him in early November, but by mid-January his healing had begun to show physically.
“You can see his neck fur starting to thicken. He loves going into the backyard. He likes to sit and observe the other people in the neighborhood. When people walk to close he’d bark. We liked this protective aspect,” the wife writes.
Wulfgar Did Have Some Quirky Traits
“I COULD stand like a normal dog but… meh,” the wife captioned this photo. As Wulfgar began displaying new changes, the couple noticed a lot of little oddities in his behavior as well.
Perhaps Wulfgar’s preference for perching, as seen in this photo, shows that he does like to have a moment to chill out. But that wasn’t the only new thing the couple noticed about Wulfgar. They were still in for more surprises!
He Wasn’t The Dog They Thought They Had Adopted
By the time February rolled around, the most surprising change in Wulfgar came to light. As his fur started growing back, the couple realized they’d made a misconception about their new dog. A lot of Wulfgar’s identity was literally stripped away from him, but now it was growing back.
“You can really see how his coat darkened in this picture. I’m hoping this is just a winter coat, because I loved his red coloring before,” the wife writes.
Wulfgar Is Living His Best Life
Wulfgar had become a completely different dog within a few short months of living in his new forever home, but his story didn’t end there. These days, Wulfgar is out there living his best life.
After treating every day like a new adventure, Wulfgar comes home and splays out on the cool tiles to take a nap, as you see here. As the couple continued to love him, Wulfgar continued to grow in amazing ways.
Wulfgar’s Amusement Park-Level Excitement For Car Rides
As you can see, Wulfgar is filled with pure joy and elation as he settles in the car for the day’s next adventure. If you recall, he was once a timid dog that was afraid in the presence of certain humans, but this does not look like that dog at all.
This is the new Wulfgar, who lives with so much joie de vivre that every car ride feels like the beginning of a roller coaster.
He Loves To Stick His Head Out The Window
It’s clear that Wulfgar loves going for a drive, and it probably helps that his humans roll down the windows for him. With the windows down, Wulfgar gets to enjoy the full experience and will even stick his head out on occassion.
We’ve all seen dogs on the road that do this as they’re cruisin’ down the highway. With the wind blowing across their furry faces, they look like they’re in a state of pure bliss.
Wulfgar Knows The Route To The Park
Wulfgar’s new human mom soon caught on that he knew whenever they were headed to the dog park. “He’s actually memorized the route. As we get closer he starts whining and hopping around in the back seat out of excitement,” wrote the wife of the couple.
In this picture, he’s looking at his human as if to say, Enough pictures already! Let’s get out there and play! On this day, he came out of the car looking brand new.
Even Wulfgar’s Tail Was Coming Back
Wulfgar started looking like his real canine-self in no time. If you recall, just as he started opening up, his tail was still sparse. But soon, it had grown into the beautifully bushy tail that huskies are generally known for.
“Remember how wispy his tail was before?” the wife wrote with this picture. “This picture was taken last weekend. This shows how much fur he’s grown back from December to now.”
Wulfgar Has A Brand New Appetite
Sometimes Wulfgar sticks his curious nose in places he shouldn’t be. What might this delicious smell be up here, he must be wondering. But his human mom assures that Wulfgar doesn’t get people food. Still, you can’t blame a dog for tying.
You also might notice how incredibly healthy Wulfgar started looking over time. In the earlier photos he looked incredibly emaciated, but look at him here! He obviously has a whole new appetite.
The Icy Blue Windows Into Wulfgang’s Soul
“That husky stare though,” the wife of the couple captioned this photo. There’s something mystical about a husky’s eyes, especially those that have piercing blue ones. Blue eyes are a common trait in Siberian huskies, which might suggest Wulfgar’s heritage.
Studies have found that their eyes aren’t actually blue. Their eyes appear blue because of the way light enters and exits them due to a lack of pigment. Blue-eyed dogs have a gene mutation that causes this.
Wulfgar Has Shown The Power Of Pet Adoption
“He’s now a happy, healthy, spoiled dog, and we love him and all the fur he leaves on our clothes,” the wife of the couple concludes. In just a few short months, they took in and rehabilitated Wulfgar until he was a completely new dog.
The wife urged readers of her post to adopt or volunteer at local shelters if they are able to. There are plenty of animals there who can only dream of a life like Wulfgar’s.