Taken down from the mountains, Pantoja was forced back into a human society he neither knew nor cared for. He took hospitality and construction jobs to survive, but said he always felt cheated and exploited by his employers.
His disappointing experience of the cold human world drove him to return to the mountains, to try and reintegrate with the canine family he left behind. But when he got there, it was not the same world he remembered. “It is not what it used to be,” he said, and the wolves no longer look at him the same. After all, he is not the wolf boy he once was. “I smell like people, I wear cologne,” he said.
His former companions refused to approach him, let alone welcome him home. “You can tell that they are right there, you hear them panting, it gives you goosebumps… but it’s not that easy to see them,” he said. “There are wolves and if I call out to them they are going to respond, but they are not going to approach me.”