Written by Zélia da Silva
Professional photography by Strike a Pose Photography
I decided to adopt Gino back in 2013 as a companion dog to my then Husky-German Shepherd female. Although I was ready for a second dog, I knew I didn’t have time for a puppy and decided on adopting an adult.
I had my eye on a couple of Huskies up for adoption through Husky Rescue SA (HRSA), but when Joanne van Niekerk (from HRSA) notified me of Gino, who was at Hermanus Animal Welfare, I immediately knew he was Our Dog. And a whole new love story began.
Not much was known from his past other than that he was left behind when his owners moved house, leaving the neighbour to throw scraps of food for him over the wall. We soon picked up that he was also probably abused and didn’t trust men, toys, brooms... the list goes on. The abuse also showed physically in his six missing front teeth, cuts in his ears, and his low weight. Soon after adopting him, Gino became severely ill and was diagnosed with Spirocerca Lupi but, fortunately, recovered.
He really had such a rough start, but he’s overcome so much in the time that we’ve had him, and his confidence and soft nature are evident to everyone he meets.
When our Husky-Shepherd girl passed away, Gino became notably sad and listless. So, we adopted Gemma shortly after as a friend for him – and they got along instantly. He’s fiercely protective, smart and loyal, and his journey with me has been one of trust and love. He brings about a calmness and is both strong and soft. With all of his imperfections, he truly is the perfect dog for me. Always reminding and teaching me that love saves lives.
We constantly get asked about what breed/mix he is because he’s such a large and handsome dog. He weighs 40kg and towers over my female Husky. Often people think he looks like a wolf, from those who’ve owned wolves in the past and even his own vet.
Gino’s MuttMix Results
Level 2 German Shepherd Dog
Level 3 Siberian Husky
Level 4 Alaskan Malamute
Level 5 Chinese Shar‐Pei
I assumed his top three DNA results. Never did I expect Sharpei!
When I learned about the Northern Inuit and Tamaskan breeds, I always thought he looked like them – and still do, so I’ll always consider him an unofficial Northern Inuit. Interestingly, these “wolf-lookalike” breeds were created by mixing German Shepherds, Alaskan Malamutes and Siberian Huskies – just like Gino. I’m happy to know I was pretty on point with those, and even though he might not have actual wolf in him, he definitely looks like one.
He really is the most gorgeous dog in my eyes and even more so in his beautiful nature.
Dominque of MuttMix adds…
This combination of breeds would produce a friendly, familial and dependable dog, highly intelligent with a need for stimulation and “pack” instincts, so having another dog as a friend would definitely be beneficial. Gino tested negative for Wolf Hybrid DNA.