I have displayed animalistic behavior since I was a child. I recall wanting to continuously wear tails or gloves with claws on them from costumes meant for Halloween as young as 4. My mom always told me "you are not an animal," and I always found that hard to believe, even as a kid. Around this same period, I had an obsession with canines, specifically dogs; this was noted on a doctors report that I still own to this day.
When I had reached my elementary school years, I began questioning my animal side. In 2005 I saw a documentary on TV that featured a segment on "therians." Upon seeing the segment, I instantly knew that that's what I was, and ran to a computer to do more research. I stumbled upon The Werelist and everything took off from there. I began questioning all sorts of animals; from squirrels and frogs, to horses and all sorts of birds. This soul-searching lasted me quite a few years, until everything led up to me realizing I am a wolf.
I remained inactive in the therianthropy community upon reaching my teen years out of fear of my close-minded mom finding out, which vaguely happened but I continued to cover it up as something else.
Now an adult, I've learned to hide and cope with being more animal than everyone else. Although, things slip through the cracks sometimes. In fact, recently a friend of mine caught me sniffing the air as they made hamburgers, which, was very embarrassing.
My partner, being the understanding person he is, allows me to express my true self when I need to, which can be a huge relief sometimes. Honestly, I just feel like a wolf pretending to be human to please everyone else constantly. I truly feel a disconnect from my outer self and inner self regarding appearance, and although I promise I am aware I am physically human, sometimes I will walk past a mirror and have to do a double take because seeing my human face often surprises me because I expect to see what I feel like.
One way I've found to express my non-human experience is by comparing it to the wolves of Wolf's Rain (cheesy, I know); the wolves are still wolves, but can disguise themselves as human- although to some, it's still obvious that they're wolves. This is expressed in the anime and the manga in the image of a wolf and human overlapping eachother, I have provided a picture I took from the first volume to give a better idea since i am not the best at explaining.
I feel as though this image accurately represents what I experience as a non-human identifier, except the human is the physical one. I am interested in knowing if anyone relates to this image as well.
I honestly very much appreciate dogs, as they feel like creatures I can relate to more closely than humans, and since I understand their behavior (I am an aspiring dog trainer), I can replicate it and cause them to interact with me as if I am another canine. But since I identify as a wolf, I do understand that wolves and dogs behave very differently; two types of behaviors which I consider myself very familiar with and can adapt to.
I often question if I may be a wolfdog due to some personal things, but that idea has just never fully clicked with who I am.
Since I discovered the therianthropy community in the 2000's, I still do like to refer to myself as a were/werewolf, although I do use the term therianthrope often.