Wolves are some of the most beautiful creatures on Earth. They’re strong and intelligent animals that move in packs and are fiercely loyal to their companions. It’s hard to find a more fascinating creature.

But everyone knows they are dangerous predators that should be avoided whenever possible — for their protection and ours. It’s just the respectful and safe thing to do.

But in 2004, Alaskan wildlife photographer Nick Jans and his dog Dakotah crossed paths with one of these animals outside their Juneau home… and sparked a chain of events that would change their lives forever.

Nick Jans was sitting on his back porch with his dog, when a wild wolf emerged from the forest. Without warning, and before he could do anything, his dog ran out to meet the strange animal.