A small wolf pup named Beldaran was just five pounds when she was born at the Kisma Preserve in Mt Desert, Maine in 2009. After she was rejected by her parents, staff at the preserve looked for an appropriate surrogate for her. She ended up with an unlikely friend - a 150 pound Rottweiler named Ulrok. Ulrock had been rescued at 18 months old after his family could not care for him.
When the pair met, they immediately bonded. Beldaran was just 8-weeks-old and Ulrok 18 months old.
They began to sleep together, howl together and do just about everything together. Preserve director Heather Grierson, 49, said: "It's a true love story that has touched the hearts of everyone who visits the preserve. You just can't be in a bad mood when these two are around. It's impossible to look at them and not feel good."
The reserve rescues exotic, wild and domestic animals. Beldaran was born from two young wolves. Staff believe her parents had been snatched from the wild for purposes of breeding hybrid dogs. The trend is one that Heather says causes many problems."It's purely for fashion and people don't realize the difficulties of caring for these wild breeds. Then they either dump them or hand them over to us."
For the sanctuary it was quite a shock when Beldaran was born. She was removed from her parents when it became clear the young wolves did not know how to care for her.
In an effort to get the pup some maternal care, staff placed Beldaran with another dog at the centre - a Yorkshire Terrier who had just finished raising her own litter of pups. But the Yorkie did not take to the wolf pup and avoided her. "That's when Ulrok stepped up," said Heather.
Heather said the Rottweiler has been extremely curious of the new pup. "Ever since Beldaran's arrival he had been trying to get involved in everything. He would clean her and when she was making her puppy whimpering he would bound over to investigate."
As he was so interested in looking after her, staff decided to bottle feed the wolf, and let Ulrok take on the paternal care.
Ulrok has taken to his fatherly role and enjoys spending his days eating, sleeping, and playing with his wolf pup. Eventually, Beldaran was introduced to other adult wolves at the park, so as to be among her own kind.
Heather said of Ulrok, "At 18 months he is still a puppy in his head and he also needed a companion to play with. It was a perfect match. We'll eventually move Beldaran in with the other wolves in phases but I'm sure her bond with Ulrok will always be there. After all this time together they will never forget each other."
via Daily Mail