RENO, NV - A crowd typically gathers when Steve Trudell goes on campus at the University of Nevada, Reno with his friend Thunder.
A timber wolf/Malamute mix, Steve has had the hybrid for about five years. He took Thunder to his first Wolf Pack football game at Mackay Stadium when Thunder was about eight months old.
“We get a lot of love, and then after 3 hours he gets pooped. We go home and then I come back to the game,” says Trudell.
Trudell has been in the company of wolves for years.
A 1986 car accident left him with a closed head injury and on disability. The animals, he says, are like no other.
"I have never had a wife, any kids, so my wolf is my family,” says Trudell.
Trudell admits Thunder and his predecessors get him out to meet people. Every home game, you'll see him and his wolf circulating through tailgate parties, meeting people and getting their pictures taken. Thunder even made a brief appearance on ESPN.
He hopes Thunder lifts everyone's spirits before the game, and reminds them about Wolf Pack Pride.
“Don't worry, Wolf Pack, we are going to win every game because we've got Thunder,” says Trudell.