Vivacious Varga


Varga’s new owner, Charlie Newcombe, tells us more about her history: 

Varga’s story started on a farm north of Cape Town. After two months, her owner realised a choice had to be made for the safety of the other farm animals; the sheep and chickens were nothing more than prey. The only paperwork on her was an outdated vet book, listing her as a Timber Wolf. Her age is speculated at 18 months.

A friend got involved and Varga went to the Garden Route’s Wolf Sanctuary. Unfortunately, she was too tame and the Sanctuary wolves would have killed her, so she couldn’t stay. I was asked to foster Varga for a month and, having some free time on my hands, decided to drive up and fetch her myself. During the trip back, with her head in my lap, I just knew she would be staying.

Apart from a few barks, sniffing, and a growl here and there, my two Huskies accepted her and she them. They did, however, lay down the food rules very quickly.

Her original name did not reflect her character, so I asked a dear friend, Patti, from Sweden for a Swedish name. As she is believed to have a strong wolf presence, Patti came up with ‘varg’, Swedish for ‘wolf’. Adding the A on the end (Varga) gave a more complete sound for a name – it is, however, pronounced ‘VAIYA’.

After unexpectedly losing a very special Husky at the end of 2013, Varga filled that void. She has definitely found her new home. The Muttmix DNA test was really interesting where traceable DNA was only found from level 3 and I do see many of the traits of the DNA dogs in her.

Varga’s MuttMix results:

Level 3 Poodle

Level 4 Belgian Tervuren (a type of Belgian Shepherd Dog)

Level 4 Rottweiler

Level 4 Miniature Pinscher

Level 4 Chinese Shar-Pei

Many are surprised at Varga’s results, wondering why it doesn’t show any ‘wolf’ when she looks so very wolfish. Dominique from MuttMix explains that the test only detects dog DNA and not wolf. This is because there are many sub-species of wolf and their DNA is very diverse, varying from region to region, even differing significantly between wolves separated by only a few kilometres. The breeds tested for are based on breeds recognised by the American Kennel Club® (AKC). One of Varga’s top breeds is the Belgian Tervuren, which Varga closely resembles. This is an excellent example of the old saying that one cannot judge a book by its cover.