Wolfdog in the House: He has a Name and a Tummy Ache

Kainan homeLet the trumpets sound, let the chorus sing…Jim and I finally agreed on a name for our wolfdog. It is either the most perfect name in the world, or we just grew very tired of thinking about it.

His name is (drum roll…and if you don’t like it PLEASE don’t tell us…there is no turning back. Seriously. Have mercy): Kainan.

Why Kainan? Well, yesterday (yes, just yesterday) Jim was watching the movie Outlander and the hero in the movie is Kainan.

Haven’t seen it? Well, it came out in 2008 and it’s about a spaceship that crashes on earth during the time of the Vikings, say around 709 AD. Apparently one soldier, Kainan, was the only survivor of the crash. Well, there was also an alien monster stowaway known as a Moorwen who went off on a reign of terror turning the Viking tribes against one another and almost costing Kainan his life because everyone initially blamed Kainan for the death and destruction. Ok Viking guys…do you really think one dude from outer space could do THAT much damage on his own? Clearly the work of an alien monster/dragon thingy.

So anywho, Kainan proves what a great, loyal, good-at-everything guy he is—it helped that he killed a giant, ferocious bear that was about to munch on the lead Viking guy—and is accepted by one of the Viking clans. I didn’t watch whole movie, but I am fairly sure that Kainan went on to face near-death, slay the alien dragon, and win the heart of the fair maiden. What wolfdog wouldn’t want to be named after this guy?

In reality, we didn’t so much name Big-Bad after movie version Kainan as much as we said, “Hey, cool name,” but I felt the need to tell you how we got there after all these days of uncertainty.

So then I Googled Kainan to see what other meanings it had out there. You know, you want to be sure there was never a mass-murderer named Kainan. Alien-dragon-slaying-space-traveler-soldier Kainan? Yes. Psycho mass-murderer Kainan? Absolutely no.

Ok, there were no “100 unmarked graves in the vegetable gardern” Kainan headlines. Whew.

It is the name of a restaurant in Virginia Beach. The restaurant gets good reviews—especially for their 25¢ lumpias. For the record, I don’t have a clue what a lumpia is, but I feel certain that wolfdog Kainan would be more than happy to tear through the buffet of “his” restaurant. We’re good with this use of his name.

Kainan is also the name of a city in Japan and the name of a university in Taiwan. Interesting note here, despite the fact that the city of Kainan was founded in 1934 and played some role in World War 2, and Kainan U was established in 1917, These two Kainans come up after Kainan the restaurant and Kainan the space-traveling hero in a Google search. Our priorities according to Google are: Food and entertainment followed by history and higher education.

Finally, I visited the “name the baby” websites to see what meanings the name held. Kainan means beautiful (yes, he is!), honor, and tribute. Well that sounds lovely. It is also a name that describes someone who is dynamic, of good energy, and one who holds freedom dear. As long as he doesn’t take that freedom thing too seriously, all of the meanings seem very nice and fitting.

For those of you who are still snickering about the fact that it took us more than two weeks to come up with a name for our wolfdog, I want you to know that I blame my parents. It’s a genetic defect.

I know this because it took my parents eight days to come up with a name for me after I popped into this world. Yep. Eight days. They—in a pre-ultra-sound era—were somehow 100% convinced I would be a boy. This after having previously produced two daughters. They were so convinced that the only name they had pre-selected was Jeffrey.

Well didn’t I just ruin their plans by not having a stem on the old apple? This was back in the day when hospitals didn’t cut the umbilical cord and toss new parents out to fend for themselves within a day or two of experiencing the miracle of birth. My mom was in nooooooo hurry. She kicked back and let the nurses take care of her…and me. It was a sweet deal. This meant that they were also in no hurry to figure out what the heck to call me. Baby Girl Gallimore suited them just fine and dandy. Finally a family friend said, “Oh good grief, just name her Nancy.”

A poetic start to life, don’t you think?

Ok…you’re really here for an update on Big-Bad…ummm…Kainan. He is doing well. He has settled into our home and into our hearts with amazing ease.


His feet at about 10 days of healing and now.

The sores on each of his big pads that caused him initial lameness have almost completely healed. He has gone from an emaciated 38 pounds to a respectably scrawny 54 pounds. In another 15 to 20 pounds he’ll just be slender. We look forward to hitting that goal.

He continues to play extremely well with our dogs and he gives the grumpy older guys their space. He is so very appropriate in his interactions with his canine cousins. While we will not take him for granted, we do not feel the need to monitor his every move at this point. He is really just a big sweetheart.

Mealtime is still a huge deal for him, starvation will do that to a carnivore. Initially he showed a few signs of resource guarding over the old food bowl. I’m happy to report that with some simple training and patience (I outlined that in a previous post), he now allows me to pet him while he is eating without any signs of concern, even wagging his tail as I wish him bon appetit.

The only true problem we have been having has nothing to do with behavior. Kainan’s tummy has been in a bit of an uproar since his rescue from the wild and wooly streets of Tulsa, OK. It’s not surprising. When we found him he was burdened with a load of hookworms.

Add to that the fact that he obviously had not been enjoying many good meals as a nomadic wolfdog in the city. I’m not entirely sure he inherited any of the mad hunting skills of his wild ancestors. This is likely good news for the squirrels, bunnies, and other small furry creatures that crossed his path. Frankly, with the temperament he has displayed to this point, I think he might actually enjoy having a kitten of his own to cuddle.

After a couple weeks of non-stop diarrhea (sorry…I have warned you in the past that you probably don’t want to risk reading my posts while trying to enjoy a meal), non-stop dialogue with our veterinarians, and input from our friends at Freedom Song Wolf Rescue, we may finally be on the path to getting Mr. Touchy Tummy under control.

Things came to a head last Thursday night when Kaine (see…it has a great shorter nickname version too) gave us a bit of a scare. He had experienced several bouts of bad diarrhea and he was lethargic, uncomfortable, and actually had a fever of at least a couple of degrees.

We took him to the veterinarian the next morning for blood work and to rule out niggling concerns that he might have some sort of foreign body hanging out in his stomach or intestines.

His blood work came back normal (yay!) and the vet did not suspect any foreign body or obstruction (double yay!).

We decided to approach his stomach issues from a twofold approach, change his diet and give him medications prescribed by our trusted veterinarians to sooth his stomach. Based on recommendations from the Freedom Song experts, we have pulled kibble dog food from Kaine’s diet. Even though we feed our dogs high quality kibbles from Fromm (Gold and Four Star varieties) and Wellness (their limited ingredient Simple formula), apparently some wolfdogs do not tolerate commercial dog food diets.

Kainan’s menu was initially switched to some cooked chicken we had on hand (two paws up on the Kaine scale) and we have been gradually introducing a raw diet (an enthusiastic four paws up). At this point we are using prepared frozen raw diets from  the Nature’s Variety Instinct line of dog food. These diets have been well researched, offer a complete diet, are easy for us to use, and get great ratings on the Dog Food Advisor ranking system (if you want to see how your dog food measures up visit www.dogfoodadvisor.com). As we move forward, we will likely also give him some raw turkey necks and chicken parts so he can have the benefit of chewing up some raw bones.

Don’t panic here…cooked bones splinter and are dangerous, raw bones (though never pork) can be chewed and digested well and provide many benefits. Yes, raw diets can be controversial, but I’m not going to debate that here and now. It’s really something each individual must research. There is a lot of good information out there about raw diets and right now it appears the best route to take for the welfare of our wolfdog.

I’m pleased to report that our new regime is having great effects. Kainan’s “output” is starting to firm up and look much better (why yes, I AM a poop expert). He is feeling much, much better too. He is bright, happy, and frisky. We saw him lope across the yard in playful pursuit of foster puppy Piper yesterday. That was a beautiful sight to see.

10628313_10204848789243189_794661893457081233_nKainan’s body is healing. He has energy. He is relaxed and happy. He finally has a name. It appears he also has a home.

Welcome home, Kainan. We love you, big guy.

3 thoughts on “Wolfdog in the House: He has a Name and a Tummy Ache

  1. Beautiful name for a beautiful animal! I actually lived for sixteen years with a midcontent wolfdog and he thrived on a raw diet. I am glad that they now have prepared raw diets available but I still do it the “old school” way for my two “regular” canines. I am sure going to be looking forward to hearing about Kainan as he settles in. They are incredible animals but definitely not for everyone or every situation. I would love to live with another one one day but I could not do it in my current living situation.


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