The internet loves dogs. Any and all content featuring canines—be it videos of them being goofballs or adorable pictures of them dressed up in funny costumes—are always hits online, no matter how many similar posts we’ve seen before. This Tumblr post, however, is truly one of a kind. Shared by someone with the username gallusrostromegalus, it tells the story of the time their parents adopted a dog named Mazel who, despite turning out to be an unusual pet, became an essential member of the family.
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gallusrostromegalus begins her “Family Lore” by prefacing that her mom “grew up in a house with pets such as Picket the one-eyed tomcat, Tweety the Bald canary, Dummy the cat, Stupid Son of Dummy, Spooky Garbage Dog, Chiquita the Tarantula and Gerta the Saint Bernard.” So when she got married to the original poster’s father after six years of dating, the duo decided to get a dog together. “Mom and dad had just moved in together (my parents dated for six years and were engaged for 13 days, driving everyone on both sides insane), and unfortunately, my mother’s German Shepherd, Cops, has just passed away due to bone cancer. After mourning for a bit, mom and dad decided to get a dog together, as a couple,” the OP wrote.
“So they go to the Palo Alto Animal shelter to adopt. The year was 1987, and at the time, Palo Alto was… not a great place. Lots of drugs, gangs and poor civic management. Mom told me that she learned to identify different types of gunfire while living there. They get there, and mom explains that she’s always had a preference for big dogs, and the guy’s face lights up. ‘Oh yes,’ he says, ‘We have a big dog… For experienced owners, yep, adoptable today, here we’ll give you a discount even’ Somehow my parents were not suspicious about this,” the post continues.
“They were shown to the animal in question, a gorgeous blue-sable beastie with pretty golden eyes who immediately pressed herself against the fence and gave them the best PUH-LEEEEEEASE TAKE ME HOME puppy eyes 100lbs of canine can do. Mom and dad fall in love instantly. They sign all the paperwork and take her home for $10, and name her ‘Mazel’ as in ‘Mazel Tov.’ Within the hour, it becomes clear that something is amiss,” gallusrostromegalus shared. Mazel turned out to be a particularly smart cookie who quickly figured out how to open doors and get to the kibble. “Most dogs bark at or chase squirrels. Mazel stalked and caught one the second day, presenting it to my mother like an offering. Mazel knew all her commands but would clearly stop to consider before obeying, and trained my dad to give her good treats within a week. The locks on the side-yard gate were undone, and she took a stroll around the neighborhood, but always returned home for dinner,” OP revealed.
“After a week of gradually realizing that Mazel was smarter than most of the professors my mom worked with, they took her to the vet for a routine checkup. Dr. Hamada walked into the exam room, dropped the clipboard and said ‘Where the HELL did you get a wolf?’ After a bit of prodding and a very-angry-dr.hamada-calling-the-pound, they determined Mazel was a high-content hybrid, probably with a husky, but was going to be a lil shit her entire life. ‘OK,’ said Hamada, ‘I don’t like destroying animals and you’ve got a lot of experience with dogs, so I’m okay with letting you keep her, but you should keep her away from small children because her prey drive could kick in,” the post continues. “Two years later, mom got pregnant with me.”
Fortunately, Mazel accepted the new baby as her own tiny puppy and assumed the responsibility of taking care of her. “Mazel turned into the most aggressively maternal being I’ve ever met. Playing with me on the blanket, sitting under my chair at meals (I was a messy eater), sleeping under my crib, teaching me to walk by letting me hang onto her fur and shuffle around. Dr. Hamada thought mom was a madwoman until he saw me holding Mazel’s mouth open and sticking my face in so I could look at her teeth. He gave up when my mom announced she was pregnant with my sister,” gallusrostromegalus wrote.
The OP warns that while the post makes “living with a Wolfdog sound awesome,” it did have some drawbacks:
On the other hand, in this one extremely unique case of it being the early 1990s and the OP’s mom having a lifetime of experience with canines, gallusrostromegalus also experienced some benefits of growing up with a wolfdog:
Mazel lived until she was 19.5 years old. “Except for some minor arthritis, [she was] remarkably hale until the day she passed away in her hole in the back yard while taking a nap. I maintain that Death had to wait until she was sleeping to get a crack at her, or she would’ve taken his scythe for a chew toy,” gallusrostromegalus concluded. I’m sure Mazel is still making good use of her “I-own-this” strut and “murder-stare” up there in doggy heaven.