What do you get when you mix a 3/4 wolf with 1/4 of malamute?
Meet KIMO – 180 lbs of AWESOMENESS!
In the early winter of 1983 a neighbor’s malamute/wolf mix had puppies, and I decided to go check them out. I was real good friends with their son. When I got there, the ugliest and littlest (the runt of the litter) waddled right up to me and just plopped down right in front of me and just stared at me right in the eyes, with his tail slowly wagging. I had my eyes on a different puppy, but that changed when the first puppy seemed to pick me instead. I never saw his mother or father, but I saw the papers – his mother was a malamute/wolf mix and his father was a full-blooded wolf, but I do not know the rest of the story, nor did I really care at the time. But, now I wish I knew more, for obvious reasons.
I went home and talked to my mother about him, and she talked to my father and they ok’d me to get him! So, I went back and picked him up, and took him home that night. He was to be 1 of my Christmas presents that year. My mother asked me what I wanted to name him, but I hadn’t thought about it yet. She suggested the name “KIMO” because he was 3/4 wolf & 1/4 malamute, and I knew what she was getting at – wolves are usually associated with snowy regions, malamutes are usually associated with sled dogs which are associated with Eskimos – hence KIMO got his name!
Over the next 9 months or so, KIMO grew like a raging wild-fire – his paws and head were HUGE when he was just 5 months old. He would eventually become the biggest & most beautiful of the entire litter (unfortunately I no longer have photo’s of him – they got destroyed). You can see his markings were not the typical malamute style. As a puppy, he was such a klutz but as an adult, he was full of grace as he walked – as if he floated on air or flowed like water.
He was also learning his name and my voice so quickly. We knew then that there was something special about him. From that point forward my family and I really became interested in wolves. I read numerous books and studied many videos of them, and just became so fascinated with them, all because of KIMO. We collected trinkets, posters, plates and figurines of wolves because of him. But this story doesn’t stop there.
He was such a mild-mannered dog (unless you messed with me, and then he’d warn you with a very low-keyed growl), and highly intelligent. Eventually we could not even spell certain words, because somehow he learned how to spell. He was so much different from any other dog I’d ever had and ever known. He never needed a leash to walk because he wouldn’t leave too far from my side. He was pretty quiet compared to most dogs his size. I took him everywhere with me. The entire town absolutely loved him. Little kids would ask to take him for walks, or take him to community pet contests, and he’d always win, which would make the kids days!
Neighbors would bring him their meat left overs and any bones they had, (we eventually had to put him on a diet). He also had a way with other animals. He showed that he was the dominant male around other dogs, that was for certain. Plus, he tolerated cats as they climbed all over him, but he became very attached to Lucy aka Lucifer the cat. He treated that cat as if it were his cat not ours. BTW, that cat was huge too!
He just had this aura about him and the way he acted. He’d let you know what he wanted 1 way, or another. When he’d eat, he ate with 1 eye on his surroundings – but he was also gentle enough to take his food away without so much as a whimper. As you can tell from his photo above, he was a very large and strong dog. Imagine him jumping up on to a single bed and laying down at your head – yes I had to use him as a pillow, but it never seemed to bother him. In fact, I think he liked it more than I realized! But he grew so quickly that he developed hip dysplasia and was slowly going lame in his hips. (see note titled this is a true story about not giving up).
But he was such an awesome dog, with the heart of a wolf. For example; if something was wrong, I truly believe it was his wolf instincts that took over. It was obvious in the way he acted. Once, while we were all asleep, he just started barking and growling so furiously at the backdoor, that he actually sounded exactly like an angry wolf. As stated before, he was such a mild-mannered and quiet dog. So I got up, went down stairs and turned on the outside light and to my surprise he actually had caught 2 guys on our back porch trying to steal our grill. He jumped up and they could see him standing on his hind legs beside me, and took off running.
Another time, he was with me as I stopped into the fire hall 1 night (late at night) and he just started howling like crazy at something I could not see. As I turned on the light, there was a garbage can full of rake and broom handles sticking out of it, less than 3 feet in front of me, I had almost run right into it. If he could hear me but not see me, he’d go nuts looking for me. So, I’d play hide and seek with him all the time. He never lost. My mother took him to my football games, and 1 time, he got loose and wandered right up to me with no problem.
When I joined the military in ’84 I tried to get enlisted as an MP and take him with me, but was informed that would not work out. When I would come home on leave, he’d go absolutely nuts, and so would I. Not to mention that he was very tolerant of kids playing with him (climbing on him), and tiny kittens climbing all over him, and so much more. Yeah, I admit most dogs are like that, but if you knew him, you’d also know he was a special once in a lifetime kind of dog! Because, while he wasn’t an aggressive dog to begin with, he was so mild-mannered and usually very happy and content. He was also a very protective dog as well. He wasn’t hard to break of any habit except for sleeping on the chair or couch when we weren’t home, no matter what we did, he figured out how to get his way every time. That showed he was highly intelligent as well. Mom & dad were very fond of him and he’d obey them, until he heard my voice. He knew who was boss. He couldn’t run very fast but boy was he powerful!
He was spoiled by our neighbors with meat scraps and bones. No one except me could approach him while he was eating. He would lay down in the living room and stare us down while we were eating. Sometimes dad would toss him table scraps and he’d gobble them up without blinking. So many people have had huskies but they were nowhere near as “polite” as he was!
Anyhow, when I became familiar with the internet, I’d spend so much time researching everything I could think of and/or find about wolves. All because of KIMO. When he was alive, I swore I could see and feel the spirit of a wolf in him. Now when I see pictures/videos of wolves, I swear I can see and feel HIS spirit in them!
He is the reason why I love wolves so much!