My apologies if I already have.
This happened about twelve years ago. I woke up one morning, walked out of my bedroom, and there was a wolf sitting on the couch.
(Zeke, my housemate’s German Shepherd, was sitting at the extreme opposite end of the couch. He was all, like, “so…what’s your sign?”)
The front door was open, and my housemate Stan was outside, watering the front yard. I went out the door.
“Stan,” I said, “there’s a wolf on the couch.”
“I know,” he said. “It just walked in.”
I may have made a cup of coffee at this point. After all, I had just woken up.
I noticed the wolf was wearing a collar with tags. I introduced myself to the wolf, and approached cautiously, reaching for the tags to take a look. The wolf made a low growl.
“Okay,” I said. “Maybe you’re hungry. I don’t really know what wolves eat, exactly – would dog food be okay?”
So I went to the store and got two cans of dog food – one for Zeke, one for the wolf. After the wolf had eaten, and drunk some water, I approached again, to look at the tags. This time she allowed me to do so.
So I called the phone number on the tag.
“This is such-and-such an agency, how may I help you?”
“Hi, I have a lost wolf sitting on my couch, and her tags said to call this number.”
“Okay, can you give me the numbers off the back?”
I gave them the numbers.
“That’s not a wolf,” they said, “that’s a husky.”
I looked over at the couch. Long nose…big ears…straight tail…slender build… – “Okay, it’s a husky.”
“I’ll call the owner, and give them your number.”
Fifteen minutes later, I get a call from a very excited man. As soon as he spoke to me, the wolf jumped up off the couch and started whining and capering.
“You found my wolf?!” he said.
“Yes, she just walked in our door this morning.”
“Okay, will you be there in half an hour? I gotta go get my wife and daughters! Where do you live?”
I told him.
Half an hour later, a minivan pulls up. Out tumble a very nice family – the man, his wife, and two beautiful little girls. They run up to the door. I let them in, and pandemonium ensues. The wolf is beside herself. Everyone is grinning madly. Everybody cries.
“Oh, my poor baby! You’re so skinny!” the mom says. The wolf is kissing everybody and running in circles and getting up on her hind legs to hug them.
The man takes out his wallet, and shows me a portrait they had taken at like a Sears portrait studio or something. It shows the wolf, and the two little girls dressed as Pocahontas.
So here’s what happened: The man works at a wolf rescue organization – they take in abused wolves and ones that people tried to raise as pets (and failed.) This particular wolf and he and his family had bonded, and eventually she came to live with them. Out of the goodness of their hearts, they had allowed the former owner to visit, and he somehow stole the wolf and vanished. The guy told me that he and the family used to drive around and around the area where they thought the guy lived, just looking for the wolf. Finally, with heavy hearts, they gave up.
When did the wolf go missing?
“About a year ago.”
On the way out the door, the guy slipped me fifty bucks. (The timing was awesome; as it happened, I was pretty short that week.)
Why did the wolf pick my house, out of all the houses in Oakland, to just walk right in that day? I always figured it was because my son’s name is Wolfgang – it means “Guardian of the Wolves.”
Wolfgang himself had spent the night at a friend’s house, and he missed the whole thing, alas.