A Very Victorious Valentines Day

By Jennifer Stoeckl, MAT - Dire Wolf Project CEO, April 7, 2023
Sea Monsters Litter1
Sea Monster Litter

Yesterday, we had a wonderful young couple from North Dakota, Alex and Caitlin, visit us at the Dire Wolf Project headquarters here in eastern Washington state. They are the kind of people, filled with a certain charisma, walking a path with all of life’s possibilities ahead of them.

They drove out from Seattle on an epic fantasy adventure.

What a wonderful treat to meet them and talk about all our dogs.

For many of our young adult American Dirus dogs, it was the first time they had ever met a person other than Jay and me.

I was super curious how each of them would take to the “strangers”.

Alex and Caitlin were great about allowing the dogs to come to them on their own terms.

Appropriately for Valentine’s Day, almost all of our big lugs enjoyed getting loves, snuggles, and pets.

Stanley hugged on them like a big cat, pressing his body onto theirs in a big furry embrace. He is just starting to shed, so I am sure Caitlin and Alex took home some mementos from their trip… haha.

Regina thought she had died and gone to doggie heaven! She was so happy to see them. It was like they were here long-lost friends come home from a year’s European vacation. What a lush Regina was. She would sit nicely for pets, then get overwhelmed by her excitement and flitter away around the pen. Then, back to sit next to them for more pets. And, of course, looking up at them adoringly with her yellow eyes. Yeah… I think it was love at first sight.

Dreamer was not a fan of the strangers in her midst. She is our least confident dog, so she hung back and watched from behind me; her yellow eyes full of mystery and uncertainty. She came to me for comfort and support, so I gave her reassurance that she was loved.

Vlad (Regina’s brother) was enthralled with the visitors. He wanted to be so intimate that he jumped up on Caitlin’s shoulders for a kiss on the lips!

Oops! You better get down right now, buddy! It’s not polite to accost our guests. (He was taller than Caitlin, too!)

Clementine, ever the lady, came and sat down in front with her tongue hanging to the side. She could have stayed all day getting loves from her new friends. Even though she is small by our breed’s standards, she sure is a looker. Clementine knows how to move and show off all her good sides.

Essex took a second to make sure they were okay people, but then, he was right by their side. His massive frame almost touching their waste lines. He beckoned them to run their fingers through his lush coat. They obliged and his tail wagged gently as he leaned in for a more intimate moment.

Jesse walked over to Caitlin first and sat down in front of her for some loves. Her bright yellow eyes looked longingly up at Caitlin as she relished the long, gentle strokes. Nothing better in the world for Jesse than to be adored for her good looks.

Baluster was a big slobbery gentle giant. He reared up like a pony at one point, but heard a sharp reminder from me (who learned after Vlad’s intimate kiss). He got down on all fours and stood with his tongue to the side. A wide smile appeared as they pet him from end to end. Valentine’s bliss.

Black Opal (our 50/50 Lab/German Shepherd cross) was true to her nature. She wanted to get pets and pets and more pets. Then she would dart off in a circle hardly able to contain herself. Flying in for a landing, she sat right in front looking up, willing them to pet her more. Scoot… scoot… scoot. Can she get even an inch closer? No, but she tried.

Monstro, ever the suave debonaire, came up softly, but with just as much love oozing out of his big, ol’ heart made of gold. Monstro is his father, Essex’s, son to a T. This is one of the reasons we kept him for breeding. Such a soft-hearted, easy going boy with lots of kindness to give anyone he meets. This gentle soul captures every person’s soul who meets him. His bright yellow slanted eyes help, too. They penetrate to your very core.

Albreta was next. Just like her mother Cotton Candy, Albreta loves affection. She is a tad bit more confident than Cotton Candy, but just as open to snuggles by the fire. She stays close and leans in for the most hugs she can get. Her thick fur has a roughness to it, but a soft interior. Such a luxurious feeling to bury your head in her long furry mane.

Cookie Monster held back and watched. He wanted to come over so badly to get loves, but he could not will himself to take the chance. Such a softie, he is. He gave a little lick of Alex’s hand in a quick brave moment, but then came back toward me for more comfort. Still a baby at heart, he isn’t quite convinced strangers are his cup of tea.

Cotton Candy took a second, just like her half-brother, Essex. But after that, she was right by their side, leaning and hugging with her long, thick white furry coat.

Trixie initially came to get pet, but then was no longer interested in the new people. She is much too independent to care one way or the other. Trixie only has eyes for her beau, Jay. She does not stray from the one she loves. Her sweetheart. Her chosen. A very loyal, devoted one-person dog. But once she loves you, it is with her whole heart and soul.

Meriwether was not interested in getting to know the strangers, but was okay with them looking at her brood from a few feet away. Mothers have to protect their babies from the unknown, you know. She was kind and willing to walk by them after coming in from outside, but her eyes watched them with curiosity.

Narissa wagged her tail gently from her den, but did not move from her babies’ sides. Ever the devoted new mom, she knew where her heart really belonged… only for her little ones.

With the exception from a couple less confident ones who chose to remain at a safe distance, most of our American Dirus dogs were happy to accept affection from the new people.

ParadePets.com recently posted an article including our dogs claiming, “A relatively newer breed, the American [Dirus] has been around since 1988. These pups must be socialized well from a young age and though they can take a while to warm up to strangers, they're not exactly the best guard dogs.

This article was probably written by AI… but even if it wasn’t (which it probably was), the information in it is flat out wrong. (Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet, for goodness sake!)

Even our 3.5-month-old puppies from the Sea Monsters Litter were happy to greet the young couple from North Dakota.

Sedna and Syrenka among them.

No fear.

No shyness.

Just brave curiosity and joy upon meeting them.

It was such a wonderful time sharing an afternoon with this lovely couple. They obviously did their homework on the breed and thoroughly researched our work. We were able to spend several hours with them, answering questions and enjoying all the love from our furry companions.

These gentle giants are sweet, kind, respectful, and loving.

Aloof, but not shy.

Initially cautious, but not fearful.

Brave and loyal.

And when an American Dirus claims you for their Valentine, no other person will have their heart as deeply.

Dont forget, even though the new puppies are cute and squishy and fluffy, we do have puppies from the Sea Monsters litter for sale.

If you have a hankering for puppy love this Valentine’s Day, there is no wait.

They are ready to go home right now.

Jay and I are hoping to leave out on the next DireWolf Express trip the first week of March.

You could have a new puppy home next month!

We aren’t going to wait, though.

We have another DireWolf Express trip in April for these most recent puppies. We don’t want to butt up against that trip, so we need to get the March trip done as early as possible.

Let us know right away if you are interested in a Sea Monsters litter puppy.

Three girls. Two with ears erect and stunning silver sable coats.

Here is the link to find out more about them.


On this Valentine’s Day, I want wish you the kind of love that we know each and every day from our wonderful companion dogs. It’s a deeply devoted, unconditional and penetrating love unmatched by any human. May you find such a love in your life.

Jennifer Stoeckl is the co-founder of the Dire Wolf Project, founder of the DireWolf Guardians American Dirus Dog Training Program, and owner/operator of DireWolf Dogs of Vallecito. She lives in the beautiful inland northwest among the Ponderosa pine forests with her pack of American Dirus dogs.