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They say that the best things in life are free. So, when this one young man got to bring home a handsome, nice bred puppy for nothing at all, his happiness knew no boundaries. But as soon as he tried to bond with him, he realized that he had made a huge mistake.

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A teenage boy was walking down his neighborhood one evening when he saw a poster on the wall of a house. The poster read, “FREE PUPPY”, and being a dog lover he thought of enquiring about it. For him, it was love at first sight. So, he decided to take the cute pup home. But he had no idea what was to follow!

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The boy was very happy as this little pup was one of the cutest- with pointy ears and sparkling amber eyes. He named his new friend “Neo”, and started to train him. While the boy was excited to have found his new best friend, Neo seemed less than eager to interact with him. Naturally, the boy was worried if something was troubling the little fellow…

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The boy tried to play with Neo but he always seemed too nervous. Moreover, even potty training him was a hellish task in itself. He would never listen to his owner, instead, he would defecate and urinate wherever he liked. His favorite loo spot was his new owner’s car. But that wasn’t it.

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He had to take Neo wherever he went. Leaving him alone was next to impossible as Neo didn’t like being tied up and wanted his attention all the time. But how could a college student who also had a full-time job be there to play with him at all times? So, the boy decided to build a fence and let Neo roam around in the yard in his absence. But Neo wanted more freedom…

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Neo was too mischievous to stay in one place and having a fence around the yard did no good. Neo would either jump the fence or dig his way out to go and play with the neighbor’s dogs. When the owner found out, he built a higher fence but even that wasn’t enough. Neo would chew up the fence and still escape out of the yard.

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Luckily, the boy’s neighbors were friendly and did not mind Neo’s frequent surprise visits to their place. But when they told the boy what Neo did in their house, he couldn’t believe it. Neo was not there to make friends. He was there to hide. But what was he hiding from?

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According to the neighbors, Neo would never play with the other dogs or any humans. He would simply avoid all eye contacts and go hide in the bathroom. Nobody understood why Neo was acting this way. But the neighbors had had enough so they talked to the owner and took one harsh step.

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One evening when Neo visited them again, the neighbors took him straight to the “Humane Society of Southern Arizona” They thought that Neo had some kind of problem and the people at animal welfare could help. But what they discovered there shocked them.

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Maureen O’Neill, former CEO of the Humane Society of South Arizona walked over to the couple as they entered the facility. He told them that Neo was not a dog. He was a wolf-dog! And, she told them that the shelter would not be able to take in Neo as the Arizona State Law doesn’t permit to own a wolf-hybrid unless you are a Native American.

Now the question was- Was O’Neill right about Neo?

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When interviewed later, O’Neill said, “I saw a couple walking a long-legged canine to the front door. It wasn’t his body composition that made me notice, but his behavior. Neo was completely avoidant of human interaction. The couple walking him seemed, as best as I can describe it, perplexed.”

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And, as it turned out, Neo was, in fact, a high-content wolf-dog. He had distinct amber eyes, pointy ears, lanky legs, and a long body- all the tell-tale signs of being a part wolf. O’Neill also explained that Neo wasn’t trying to hide from anything. Instead, he was trying to find his pack among other dogs.

O’Neill now wanted to talk to the real owner.

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The neighbors gave the boy’s contact information to O’Neill and soon enough her staff contacted him to break the news. The boy, too, had a hard time believing it, but eventually, he did and also agreed to hand over Neo to the Wolf Connection- a California Rescue Organization that takes care of wolves at its education sanctuary. He thought he was doing the right thing now.

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Neo had a sudden change in his behavior at the sanctuary. He seemed happier and keen to make friends, as he had finally found his pack. His excitement didn’t last long because the officials at the sanctuary could not allow him to stay until he cleared all the medical tests. So, they decided to keep him isolated. But, as always Neo decided to escape!

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However, this time Neo didn’t escape but returned to his pack instead. He didn’t like being kept apart from his pack. So, he went straight to the Wolf Connection’s alpha female, Maya. Soon enough Neo started taking part in the nightly howl because at last, he knew that he belonged there.

But Neo’s story didn’t end here.

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Giulia Cappelli, a volunteer at the Wolf Connection said that many people want to own wolfdogs because they think it’s cool. If Neo had not ended up at the Sanctuary, chances are he would have been euthanized by the authorities sooner or later. But then she said something that hit hard, “Why do you want to have an animal that probably doesn’t belong in a home? My advice would be check your ego,” she continued.