Saturday, June 13, 2009

Full Moon Farm, Black Mountain

A small cemetery for the wolfdogs sits at the entrance to the farm.

Last weekend I attended my first Howl-In at Full Moon Wolfdog Sanctuary (they have Howl-ins several times during the warmer months). Tours of the farm are given during the afternoon and then everyone gathers for a potluck supper under the shelter.

Volunteers, supporters and people interested in wolfdogs bring picnic foods and visit surrounded by the wolfdog habitats. Later after dark the fire pit is glowing and music and tales are shared.

Banjo and Yetti pacing in anticipation of visitors.

Banjo enthusiastically greeting Nancy who has taken care of him since he was a tiny puppy.

When I arrived, things were still getting set up. I wandered into the gift shop perusing the t-shirts, photos, cards and other items sold to support the farm. Nancy arrived and the tour began - she took us from wolfdog to wolfdog habitat explaining about wolddogs in general and about each one in particular.

What is a Wolfdog - it's a dog with recent wolf heritage - a pure wolf ancestor within the last five generations. Dogs are actually viewed by taxonomists as a domestic variant of the gray wolf - even your tiny Chihuahua.

Zodiac, a German Shepherd wolf mix, sleeping through it all. His penmate was a coyote dog mix and she let me pet her. Very soft fur and kind eyes.

Most wolfdogs are mixed with German Shepherd, Alaskan Malamute or Siberian Husky but here they have some strange variations - wolves mixed with Border Collie and Great Pyrenees - not breeds that would work well with wolves since they are bred to protect livestock from wolves! People do strange things.

The one in front is a Border Collie wolf mix. Both were very vocal and friendly.

People actually breed wolfdogs to sell as an exotic breed. The ethical ones keep accurate records, take care in breeding good lines and evaluate and educate potential buyers. Most breeders ar not like this and wolfdogs end up abandoned, abused or worse.

Wolfdogs are not wild animals - they are domestic animals with special needs. They were created by humans and depend on humans for food, care and companionship. They are not aggressive - most wolves are timid around humans and so is your typical wolfdog. They will be hiding when an intruder breaks in. Wolfdogs have a very high prey drive and should not be around small animals and children unless they have been raised with them.

I was able to pet this guy - he was very gentle and sweet. One of the wolfdogs began howling and they all took to letting it rip - what a sound - very eerie and wild to hear this many wolfdogs howling. Not all dogs can howl so some sounded like they were yodeling rather than howling. Pretty impressive!

This wolfdog had lost her mate recently and was alone in her pen.

Full Moon Farm is non profit rescue and sanctuary for wolddogs. They rely solely on donations for survival - money, time or supplies. They rescue wolfdogs in peril, educate the public about wolfdogs and provide a safe healthy and loving environment in which to live out their lives if they are not adoptable.

The farm has 76 wolfdogs at the moment - some are kept away from the public due to severe abuse before they were rescued and their fear of humans. No wolfdogs are bred at the farm - there are too many already in the world and not enough good homes for all.

If you would like more information about wolfdogs, wish to donate or volunteer or even adopt - please contact Nancy at

For more Camera Critters posts around the globe click on the picture here

Camera Critters

Now for a more light hearted turn here is info on the Pay It Forward - a for fun version:

I won Pay It Forward when JC from Lilacs and Cats randomly pulled my number.

This is how it goes -

Two winners will receive a sweet little prize of local handmade items that will come in the mail. All that’s required is that you have to be willing to Pay It Forward.

Here’s how to play: I’m going to take the commentors from this post and randomly select one of them. That winner has to be willing to Pay It Forward by doing the same on their site.

I just got my Pay It Forward gift in the mail on Friday this week.

I had run some errands and came home - walking right by the package. The mailman left it bagged in plastic (we have had torrential afternoon storms) on the edge of my driveway. Don't know why he didn't put it on the porch!

I opened the box and took a photo of the lovely items inside from Oregon - handmade lavender soap, a sweet votive candle holder with several tea candles, a veggie theme cotton dish towel, an organic refillable catnip cat toy which my cats loved, a set funky colorful nail files and some sand dollars from her beach which got a bit smushed in the mail - one did make it here intact!

So, now it's my turn to Pay It Forward. If you want to possibly get some spiffy gifts from a far away place or not so far....please put a yes or a I'm in or what ever you would like ... in the comments section of this post.

I will select one name and contact you when I have chosen. So, tell your blog friends about this little giveaway! You need to have a blog to join in.

Just remember, you have to be willing to do the same if you are selected ...

Good Luck!

This contest will end on Sunday night June 21st at midnight Eastern Standard time. I will count the 'Yes, I'm in ' comments on Monday and I will randomly pick one lucky winner. I'll let you know that day.

To get a better idea of what you like, I will look at your blog to see what you might need or want or what I might think you might like. If you have pets, then I will put in a little something for them too!

So, comment away ... !!!!


i beati said...

wonderful post about a special place Sandy

Me and my puppies said...

Great place for these often misunderstood animals.

Joy said...

Thank you for the informative post about wolfdogs. Bless their hearts. I'm glad they have a place to be safe at.

JunieRose2005 said...

This was wonderful to read-and all new for me!



April said...

I'm not sure what happened to my first comment, but I'll try again. I probably pressed the wrong key.

Wonderful piece on the wolfdog sanctuary! This is new to me as well. I've heard coyotes howling but not wolves. It's both eerie and beautiful. Great photos - I love the last one!

It sounds like fun, but I think I will have to "pass" on the Pay It Forward contest. Just too busy right now. The package you received looks really nice.

Julie said...

I had a half wolf half Shepard before this dog. She was such a great dog but very protective of us and had some strange but endearing ways. She saved my son's life so always will hold a special place in my heart. We still miss her. Thanks for the great photo's.

Pop and Ice said...

It's always sad to see animals penned up that have no permanent loving home, even wolfdogs, and I'd never even heard of them until this post. We've adopted all of our pets from shelters and we've got one that still hides out under the bed 80% of the day. You have to wonder what makes them so afraid of people.

A lovely sanctuary and a great way to inform the public about inapppropriate breeding. I hope it succeeds in bringing down the population of wolfdogs that end up abandoned.

Naturegirl said...

Cheri: This post saddened me reading "People actually breed wolfdogs to sell as an exotic breeds " I can only imagine the abuse these animals endure..I am happy to see a santuary for these wolfdogs.Sometimes I wonder about the human race. Always tampering with the laws if nature...argh!!
Thank you for posting and bring this to our attention!

Webster said...

The wolf sanctuary is great! If I were closer I'd visit it in a second! So sad about that lovely white wolf who lost her mate. Give her a neck rub for me.

Count me in for Pay It Forward. It's nice to meet a new blog!

lv2scpbk said...

They are beautiful animals.

Nancy Brown said...

Thanks for the great write up! Guenny, the "widow" has a new love named Sundance. Our next Howl In will be August 8th, then September 5th, October 3rd is our last for the year. Please check our merchandise at and thank you for the kind words and your time to visit. Nancy - (who rarely gets much computer time, and just found this.)


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