Hello to Full Moon Farm's Extended Pack!
Happy "Love Month"!
We missed the actual Valentine's Day, but February is dedicated to "Love" around here, and the volunteers wanted to share some of the "Beauty and the Beast" stories that make Full Moon Farm the special place that it is. So, I'll make my note short and sweet.
Many of you know the story of The Farm, but for those who do not, Full Moon Farm was born from the love I have for wolfdogs, the "MYTHrepresented and MYTHunderstood canine. My love for these special Beings started in 1994 when I bought my first one as a gift. I learned more about them and bred a few litters BEFORE I knew what the situation was with many needing rescue. In 1997 I rescued my first wolfdog locally. In 2000, I joined the internet community, and the rest is history. In April of 2002, I helped out with a large rescue in New Hampshire, by agreeing to take in one animal. I ended up with 16... Two of the three Organizations involved with that rescue, are now out of business. We will have our 10th anniversary in September, and a CELEBRATION is in the works! Stay tuned.
I hope you will enjoy the stories by my volunteers, and maybe share some of your love with the animals in the form of a sponsorship, memorial, gift or donation. We need YOUR help to continue to LOVE and support the residents, help owners in crisis and educate the public about these wonderful, but mythunderstood canines.
Joyous Howlz from the Mountain!
~Nancy Brown, President and Founder~
Full Moon Farm
Valentine Love Stories
by Lily Cascio
The newsletter this month is filled with special love stories written by dedicated volunteers about their relationships with their favorite wolfdogs. They tell how both humans and wolfdogs have been healed by love. If you have visited our Sanctuary you know the feeling of awe we experience in the presence of the wolfdogs. You may have noticed how they seem to look right into your soul or watched as they express their humorous side with their endearing antics to win your affection. There is a continual flow of energy between humans and wolfdogs at the Sanctuary. The wolfdogs make us feel special when they seek our love and affection; they give us pure, unconditional love.
Many of the wolfdogs at the farm were rescued from abusive situations, and it takes time for them to heal and allow humans back “in” again. The fact that so many do learn to love and trust again is nothing short of miraculous.
by Missy Shipley
“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened.” ~ Anatole France.
The day Shadow, now Shylo arrived at FMF he was so thin and frightened. He was pacing back and forth without rest. Shadow was the appropriate name for him then for that is what he was – a shadow of what he was meant to be. His little body was broken and frail, his fur ragged and dull, and his eyes frightened and untrusting, so really all he could muster was a shadow.
Shylo could not have possibly realized how much his life was about to change. He couldn’t have known there would be no more hunger, thirst, loneliness, or endless days and nights of languishing in rancid conditions. He couldn’t have known that he had just entered a realm consisting of small group of people who would love him so completely that his needs would be placed in a category of utmost importance.
My first visits with Shadow consisted of sitting outside is enclosure speaking softly to him and trying to familiarize him with my scent. In time he allowed me to enter his pen. I was just telling him over and over that he was safe and that the life he had been living was over. He would begin the transition to his new life and, little by little, would grow accustomed to the fact that there would consistently be fresh food and water in an enclosure free of rancid waste. I have heard it said many times that man wants to retain his dignity, even in the worst of circumstances. Well, Shylo had his dignity stolen from him and his spirit was wounded -- not broken, but definitely wounded. As the weeks progressed, I saw his spirit and his dignity returning. He held his head a little higher and would even dare to make eye contact on occasion. He was allowing touch and even began to seek it out on my visits with him. Then, one day, the breakthrough came. Shylo plopped himself in my lap, quite happily so. I could still feel the sharp edges of his skeleton in places and was reminded that his transition was far from complete. During one of those early visits, I took a snapshot of him, focusing primarily on his eyes. They are, after all, the windows to the soul and his spoke volumes. Although beautiful, they were haunted. It is an image that has become part of my soul – those eyes and the stories they held.
After many visits from all of us at Full Moon Farm, Shylo is now such a handsome guy. He came in five years old going on 20 and now he seems to have healed considerably and is a very spry five years old again! He is quite regal in appearance now and a sight to behold. When he casts his face towards the sun the light catches his eyes and the gold of his iris gleams and his beauty is breathtaking.
I am honored to know Shylo, to be allowed to be in his presence, to speak to him and to hold him. He is proof that what we do holds merit – and lots of it. Shylo is no longer a shadow any longer, casting a whispery image that only catches the corner of one’s eye in a corner of backyard or who emits lonely howls asking if this is all life holds. It takes courage to come from a place like he did and courage to allow one’s soul to be mended. I am so proud of him! He thanks all of us – everytime he approaches for love or howls into the wind, or shreds a toy… And we thank him for just being who he is…for awakening our hearts.
This is OUR love story with Shylo….all of us at Full Moon Farm.
To sponsor a wolfdog
Click on heart
by Allison Frady
Building bonds with the magnificent wolfdogs at Full Moon farm is an opportunity I treasure. I have ten wolfdogs that I have built trusting bonds with, even though I love them all!
Autumn and Mya are two residents that I have been close with ever since I first interacted with them. It is very rare for Mya or Autumn to build a relationship with others so I cherish the bond I have with them. The love I have for them is not something I can describe easily, it’s a bond built from love, trust and respect. I can tell them all my secrets and all my problems and I want to keep them safe from everything.
Nothing can duplicate the feeling I get when I see them, their loving reaction to seeing me is so humbling because it’s a pure and honest reaction. Autumn submits to me while peeing all over the place including herself most of the time and Mya will start crying as soon as she hears my voice, before I even come into her view. There is nothing that I wouldn’t do for either of these girls because I love them and they are family to me. They have stolen my heart forever!
by Donna Wiedrich
I chose Ozzy as my Valentine wolfdog because her story is one of love, compassion and hope. Ozzy is one of the first wolfdogs I met at Full Moon Farm. She had only been there a week or so when I visited the farm for the first time. When Nancy brought me to her enclosure all I could see was a shadow quivering inside a dog house. Ozzy was terrified of everyone. When I finally got a glimpse of her, my heart cried out in anger and frustration. She had lost most of her fur and she was extremely underweight. But the sadness in her eyes was even harder to take than her poor physical condition.
Ozzy is not young and the thought of the abuse and neglect that she endured for so long is heart wrenching. But Ozzy’s story has a happy ending.
Almost exactly one year after Ozzy came to Full Moon Farm I had the immense pleasure of walking in the Black Mountain Christmas parade with none other than Ozzy herself. It is hard to believe that this happy, friendly dog walking through downtown Black Mountain amongst hundreds of people was the same dog I’d seen cowering in her house a year ago, terrified of every noise.
Now Ozzy loves to go for walks and greets everyone with a happy bark and wag of her tail. It’s hard to believe that she was able to learn to trust and love humans but somehow she has and it is a beautiful testament to the sweet, sweet spirit that is Ozzy. I love you girly!
by Meg Ellis
My bond with Ramses began in April 2005. He was only 10 hours old when he came to Full Moon Farm with his brother, Sugar Bear. They were born in the shelter when their parents were seized for neglect. He was the sweetest baby ever! He was bottle-fed, gently raised and taken along to some of the farm’s outreach events to help educate people about wolfdogs.
As he got older, I came to the farm as often as possible. It was incredible to see that he remembered me from week to week! At one point, I was out of town for six months. When I came back to see him, it was so encouraging how excited he was to see me!
Now, every time he sees me at the sanctuary, he paces on the side of his pen I am closest to. He often shies away from people, so I know how lucky I am to have gained his trusts and respect. I love it when he gets a goofy grin on his face and kisses me all over!
Pam & Dave Michael
Many thanks to our Volunteers of the month, Pam and Dave Michael, for all their volunteer time and the beautiful name plaques they have made for our wolfdogs.
Pam and Dave came to Full Moon Farm when they retired and moved to North Carolina from California. In their "old" life, Pam was an elementary school secretary, and Dave worked for Apple, and they lived with two wolfdogs, one being a rescue.
With their love for wolfdogs and experience with their own, they chose to volunteer at Full Moon Farm. Most Thursdays you can find Pam and Dave scooping, playing and feeding the animals, then helping with building projects, or installing the name signs they custom make for each and every wolfdog at the farm.
You can find our back issues here.
We are funded by your generosity, and your tax deductible donation helps keep our animals fed and healthy!
Help us help the wolfdogs - "Paying it forward, one howl at a time." Thank you!
Our first Howl-In of 2012 will be Saturday, April 7th. Tours of the Farm start at 3:00 p.m.; potluck supper begins at 5:00 p.m. Bring a side dish and join the fun! For info and directions, please call 828-664-9818 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Our full Howl-In schedule is available here.
We are also looking for any grocery stores, restaurants or cafés that would like to become a Pack Patron by contributing the main entrée for 60 people for each month's Howl-In. For more information on that, please contact Sarah Hallback.
Lynda's Corner: Fun Facts About Wolfdogs
by Lynda Nichols
In celebration of Valentine’s Day, I want to write about canine love.
Just as there are many kinds of love between humans, there are many variations of canine love. The dynamics of bonding with a mate in the wild is different from the bonding that takes place between captive or domestic animals. Nevertheless, there can be no doubt that canines love and love deeply.
All canines -- from wolves, to wolfdogs, to domestic breeds -- are social animals. They don’t like to be alone and, when left to their own devices, they live in packs consisting mostly of extended families with some exceptions. When canines live in a pack or are part of a bonded pair, there is a hierarchy of dominance that keeps the group stable and allows individuals to function in sync. Communication, trust and mutual understanding is integral to their survival. In wild packs, one individual of each gender will be the alphas, or leaders, while others will be omegas -- the most submissive pack members. Other pack members fall in between these two extremes. Canines’ incredible ability to communicate, keeps them from wasting energy fighting amongst themselves. That doesn’t mean there aren’t squabbles, but once a hierarchy is established, packs are generally stable and able to work together extremely well.
Pack members reinforce their bonds by licking the alphas’ muzzles along with a whole slew of other submissive posturing. They often greet and reassure one another that all is well. The more dominant individuals place their mouths over the muzzles of less dominant members and this is accepted and well understood by all.
The exquisite social behavior demonstrated by canines reminds us that we too are members of a social species. They also teach us that love can transcend boundaries between species. We feel deeply honored when we receive their love and trust. Is there any question that canines love? Not for me. I have seen the great joy they have in each other’s company as well as the sadness they show when mourning the loss of canine friends. If that’s not love, what is?
by Daniel Wiedrich
My name is Daniel Wiedrich and I am 8 years old. My favorite animal is the gray wolf and my most favorite animal in the world is River, the wolfdog. River is the Ambassadog for Full Moon Farm. His job is to go to events and help educate the public about wolfdogs.
I love River because he is so sweet and cute and it makes me happy just being with him. Whenever I go to Full Moon Farm, I go straight to his enclosure and he always gives me kisses through the fence and tries to nibble on my shirt! River has a girlfriend named Guenny and she is a wolfdog too. River loves to lay on top of his dog house as if he were king of Full Moon Farm.
I love Full Moon Farm because they take good care of the wolfdogs and everyone is really nice. I love going to the Howl Ins with my Mom and buying stuff from the gift shop to hang by our fireplace. Full Moon Farm is one of my favorite places in the world!
By Allison Frady
Full Moon Farm is home to many wolfdog couples with special bonds. One that stands out is the bond between Roxie and Tatanka who are pen mates. Tatanka was rescued by Nancy in 2004 and transferred to another facility to be a "buddy" with a female wolfdog belonging to the owners in 2006.
In 2009, the other facility rescued Roxie, a High Content female. When the dynamics between Tatanka and the owners female shifted, Tatanka and Roxie were put together. It was love at first sight, and they bonded immediately. At one point, in the summer of 2010, Roxie came to live at Full Moon Farm. She hadn't been here long before Tatanka escaped to try to find her. Roxie was returned to the other facility, and Tatanka was caught that night, trying to get back into the enclosure. Never to be separated again, they were relocated to the Farm in the fall of 2010.
What sets Roxie and Tatanka apart from the rest of the bonded pairs, is the way they interact. If you take the time to watch them, you'll see that they actually move in synch; almost as if they were one soul dwelling in two bodies. I am lucky to be one of the humans they have accepted as family because I get to witness their unfailing love for one another up close and see the trust between them in action. They have made it absolutely clear that they want to be together forever, and they will.
Buddy & Zen
Miracles on the Mountain
By Allison Frady
Miracles are something we depend upon at Full Moon Farm. As for Buddy, a young male wolfdog here, his life story sounds like a fairytale, with a happy ending!
Buddy was a stray struggling to survive on his own in Madison County. People all across town noticed him and came together to make sure he was cared for rather than killed. In a world where so many stray wolfdogs are shot on sight, it was a miracle that he survived long enough to make his way to Full Moon Farm where he met Zen.
Buddy and Zen were a perfect match from the beginning. They were kenneled next to each other at first, then put together. The most amazing part of this miracle was the tremendous healing effect Zen had on Buddy. After becoming Zen's pen mate, the once shy and fearful Buddy was drawn out of his shell by Zen's loving and social personality.
Buddy is becoming less fearful of strangers by the day. His calm demeanor stands in sharp contrast to the fearful disposition he had when he arrived here, on the mountain.
It's amazing to witness miracles like this one at Full Moon Farm. When Buddy and Zen fell in love, Buddy was healed and their lives changed forever.
A big Group Howl of thanks to:
Fletcher Car Carefor their reduced rate on our numerous vehicle repairs! - We can't leave home without you!
Dianne Lee, Starwolf Weavings for her donations of the beautiful knitted wear. You can find her on Facebook too.
Thanks to Debbie DeMurray for her lovely jewelry donations.
Thanks to Lily Cascio for her beautiful jewelry and purse donations.
Thanks to Ryan Talbot, Dean Rhodes, Lynda Nichols, and Sharon Greene for the wonderful pictures they take and donated prints as well.
A very big "Thank You" to ALL our sponsors! Without them, we could not operate.
Thanks to Georgina Hricak & Digital Pathways Consulting, LLC for providing our website hosting and assistance.
Searching & Shopping Reminder
We'd also like to remind you to please consider using igive.com for your online shopping, and GoodSearch for your online searching!
Full Moon Farm
PO Box 1374
Black Mountain, NC 28711
A 501(c)3 organization