|Happy Fall! As the changing of the seasons is upon us, I am reminded how change is constant. In the 11 plus years that I have been at the helm of Full Moon Farm, I have observed much change, both within the organization and within the wolfdog rescue world. In the Spring of 2002 when I became interested in helping wolfdogs and starting the rescue, I reached out to numerous folks in the wolfdog community. Here in the Fall of 2013, I reflect and reminisce. Many of the people who helped me have passed away, closed their organizations, or were shut down, retired and/or moved into private lives. Of the NH rescue that started Full Moon Farm, I am the only person still operating as the original owner/founder! I still have two animals remaining from that rescue of 16, and I have watched them age gracefully. I hope the years have been as good to me as it appears to have been for them. :-) |
Change within the organization has been with people and with animals. The Board of Directors and Officers have changed over the years, but they are the driving force behind me, and this organization. I am grateful TO them and FOR them, as my heart and drive is with the animals. My strength is working with the animals, with education, and with keeping the facility in shape. Their strength is running this business. The names and faces may change, but the Mission is always the same. Full Moon Farm is a rescue and sanctuary for the 'abused and refused' wolfdogs, as well as a portal for education for the 'myth-understood' canine, known as the wolfdog. I am looking forward to the 12th Anniversary!
As we head into the winter months, I am reminded that there are more than 20 animals here that are in the winter of their lives, and there will be a change of worlds for a lot of them. I am thankful to each and every animal that has passed through this gate for the love and the lessons they have brought to me. They will transition from this earthly world to the next, and I will grieve, and then rejoice, as 'change' has been good for them.
Change is good.
|Full Moon Farm Raft Trip |
An Aquatic Extravaganza
By Denise Wilson
Before man conquered his fear of water, he amused himself with sports such as pushing boulders off cliffs, wrestling tumbleweeds, and falling in the dust. Forgoing filth for clean aquatic action, on Sept 7th ten brave souls donned life jackets, helmets, grabbed a paddle and hopped in a giant rubber raft with an expert navigation specialist (aka tawdry river guide) for a convivial float down section 9 of the French Broad River.
The journey started off innocently enough, floating thru the serendipitous fluffy ripples of the “friendly” French Broad, paddling away, trading stories and all the things people do when confined to a small space armed with paddle mallets and wondering if they’re going to die. Roughly 2 miles downriver, the expert crew has triumphantly conquered those class I & II rapids like a duckie in a bathtub. Turning the corner into Pillow rapid, a mean class III with a penchant for danger, the boat successfully skirted the “Pillow” at which point an angry rock rose up, grabbed the rubber vessel and hugged it like a mother finding her lost child. Oh my.
Water rushing in the boat, four terrified water-nauts saw their lives rush before their eyes, and wondered why they even got out of bed that day. Some voluntarily swam to safety others remained on the evil rock assisting in dislodging the giant raft. With the help of a superhuman kayaker (also FBRZ photographer Morgan Martin), some random boaters, and the guides we eventually resumed our safe and relatively calm float down the river, all participants unscathed and with a little Xanax, emotionally intact. OK, now that I have your attention, back to reality…
Most river trips consist of a happy, fluffy whitewater float. Before every trip a safety talk is given to scare the crap out of you, at least that’s what most people think, until something happens and then you know what? That stuff actually works. But really now, 99% of all river trips, nothing happens, we just got lucky. Affectionately referred to as the “Friendly French Broad”, the river hosts rapid riders ages 8 – 100 cruising through some of the most venerable white waters in the country, from the rafting novice to the thrill-seeking experienced rafter, the free flowing French Broad River is fun for everyone!
While the aforementioned event did occur (slightly exaggerated) we had a fabulous day on the river with perfect weather and great company. Nancy enjoyed a shaded deck talking, teaching and enlightening fellow adventurers about wolfdogs and Full Moon Farm. River (resident wolfdog representative and big sweetheart) glowed with all the attention and free pork butt from Doc Brown’s BBQ.
Big thanks to all the Full Moon Volunteers (who helped pull this thing together and market), French Broad Rafting and Ziplines (supplying equipment, transportation, accommodation and good cheer), the guides Denise & Michael (volunteer navigators) and everyone who came out to join us in this wonderful adventure. Mark your calendars (end Aug/beginning Sept) the adventure continues, bigger, better, wetter! We’ll keep you posted.
The River will change you.
“There is no rushing a river. When you go there, you are at the pace of the water and that pace ties you into a flow that is older than life on this planet. Acceptance of that pace, even for a day, changes us, reminds us of other rhythms beyond the sound of our own heartbeats.” ~Jeff Rennicke, River Days
|Reprinted from the Asheville Citizen Times, September 12, 2013 edition. Link to Article: http://tinyurl.com/jvggzbl |
Nancy Brown & the wolfdogs of Black Mountain's Full Moon Farm
Written by Hayley Benton Citizen-Times correspondent
IF YOU GO
What: Howl In potluck and information session. When: 3-6 p.m. Sept. 21 Where: Full Moon Farm, Black Mountain. How it works: Meats are available for $5 a plate; guests provide side dishes. Learn more: For directions and additional info, or to volunteer at the farm, contact Nancy Brown at664-9818 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
BLACK MOUNTAIN —When an unfamiliar vehicle emerges from around the bend, the wolfdogs begin to howl.
Sixty-five wild and haunting voices ring out across the mountain and echo in the still air as the vehicle makes its climb up the steep and rocky terrain.
The dogs pace back and forth anxiously in their habitats, signaling to one another that there is a visitor to their mountaintop home, and Nancy Brown, owner and proprietor of Full Moon Farm Wolfdog Sanctuary, walks from pen to pen tending to each animal, treating each with the same love and tenderness most people reserve for house
Brown makes her rounds up the hill, calling out to each animal by name. Many of the dogs eagerly meet her at the fence, accepting belly rubs and a playful petting. Out of the 65 wolfdogs housed on the 17-acre sanctuary, there are only “three or so” that do not like Brown; others she bottle-fed as pups.
“I’m the one that had to catch and manhandle (them),” Brown explained of the few who came to her sanctuary as troublesome adult animals. “So to them, I’m the bad guy.”
Full Moon Farm is the last resort for “abused and refused” wolfdogs, as its website puts it, providing “a safe haven for animals that cannot be placed into homes for the rest of their lives.” The dogs —each of which has some degree of wolf ancestry —may come from animal control agencies, closed-down breeders, distressed owners or other sources. The farm’s goal “is to enrich the lives of the residents,” the website explains.
In 2006, Full Moon Farm was the largest wolfdog sanctuary in the country, housing 90 rescued animals across its hilly, shaded premises, but that number has been falling as the initial animals Brown saved in the early 2000s, around the time the sanctuary opened in 2002, grow old and pass away.
At this point, Brown has 23 animals age 10 and older, which is “ancient” in wolfdog terms, she said.
Last month, Full Moon Farm lost a 14-year-old dog, Autumn, to old age.
“She did not like me,” Brown said, looking up at the now-empty enclosure. “I’ve got three on site that just hate me because of what I’ve had to do. She would charge up to the fence and growl at me.”
But on Autumn’s last day, an old back injury kept her from approaching Brown.
“That dog hated me so much, and she could only lay there and snarl,” she continued, emotion growing in her eyes and voice. “But I did get to hold her and love her after she was gone.”
Her heart was 'stolen'
Brown’s interest in wolfdogs began in the early 1990s after witnessing first-hand the health hazards associated with purebred animals. Back then she was a real estate agent, and she still has an active license today, managing properties for her income.
“In 1994, we lost my ex-husband’s doberman a week before his seventh birthday,” Brown said. “What they’ve done to the pure breed dogs is just a travesty. So I got a wolfdog for a wedding present for Bill....
“So we had a couple, and we bred a few litters —pet-quality, low content,” she added, explaining that “low content” means the animal contains very little wolf ancestry. “If I knew then what I know now —but we didn’t know anything. I think running the sanctuary is in part to make up for the mistakes I made.”
Originally working with horses for friends’ businesses in Ohio and Florida, animals were always a huge part of Brown’s life.
“I grew up with dogs,” she said. “My mom was country, and my dad was city. But I grew up with all these dogs and got my first horse when I was 16 in Toledo, Ohio.
“I originally thought it would be horses —that I’d start a nonprofit for horses, but my heart was stolen by a wolfdog.”
Brown opened Full Moon Farm in 2002, after having a life-changing experience that taught her to see the world from a different perspective.“ In 1999, my husband and I split up,” Brown said, mentally placing her crisis on a timeline. “And in 2000, there used to be these big apple trees on my property. I was going to have a big brush fire right here (to burn downed apple tree limbs). ... When I went to light the brush pile, it wouldn’t light, so I doused some more of what I thought was kerosene on it, and it exploded.
“I had second and third degree burns from my waist up,” she continued. “It was a life-changing experience. Basically I feel like a walking miracle. And that’s when I realized there was a higher purpose to life than just working for the dollar.”
'Not the easiest person' Though Brown may be a firm believer in helping others —mentioning that her astrological sign points to a destiny in service —she admitted her strong, no-nonsense personality makes her a bit of a difficult person to work with at times.
“I’ve lost quite a few volunteers,” she said. “I’m not an easy person, to be perfectly honest. I’ve been told that I have more than my fair share of common sense. ... I’m half Italian, and I’ll lose my temper in a heartbeat, but I always apologize. I admit I’m not the easiest person in the world, and that will take its toll.”
Weidrich explained that it takes an “alpha” personality to manage Full Moon Farm’s often overwhelmingly large wolfpack.
“They pick up on your self-confidence,” she said. “I have had to work on that myself because I’m not very assertive. It’s really helped me build my confidence and helped me learn to be more assertive to people. ... But Nancy just exudes that.
“She’s a very strong personality, very self-confident,” Weidrich continued. “Also very dedicated. I have a lot of respect for her. She’s taught me so much.”
For two and a half years, Nathaniel Tingle, 21, lived on-site at the sanctuary as the dogs’ full-time caretaker to help Brown manage her pack.“ I came here for a Howl In and started volunteering,” Tingle said, mentioning Full Moon Farm’s monthly open house and potluck events. “Nancy needed my help so I came back to be the full-time caretaker. Lately it’s mostly just been us two doing the work.”
Tingle left his job at Full Moon Farm last month. (“He needs to go have a life,” Brown said, smiling.)
“She is different than a lot of other people,” Tingle said of Brown. “She, like she said, comes off harsh with people, but she has her reasons for it. She’s a good person, but she’s had to deal with some people here lately that stress her out really bad. She deals with that all the time and takes the bulk of the work.”
Tingle isn’t done with wolfdogs. “I’m still going to come up and volunteer,” he said. “That’s what I used to do before I was the caretaker. I’m still young, and I need to start getting things together and plan for the rest of my life.”
Brown and her board of directors frequently plan events and fundraisers to benefit the dogs at the sanctuary, often bringing along River, “the ambassadog,” for meet-and-greets.
The farm hosted its seventh annual “Pawty” on Aug. 31, a gathering for people interested in wolves and wolfdogs to meet Brown’s dogs and discuss issues within the wolf community. The next Howl In is Sept. 21 (see box).
Brown relies on her board of directors to help out with organizational skills and to handle the business-aspect of Full Moon Farm. She admits she doesn’t know much about how to run a functioning nonprofit herself.
“I don’t have the business down,” she said. “I have the animals down. So we’re looking for people to help move this from a backyard hobby to a viable organization.”
“She could be a little bit more organized,” Weidrich jokingly half-whispered, with a smile. “We make up for that for her. She’s got so much going on. She has her hands in so many different things, juggling all the aspects of running the sanctuary, and we help her keep going.”
With Tingle gone, Full Moon Farm also needs volunteers more than ever. Brown can only do so much on her own —though if she had to, she’d do it all herself. With fewer than 10 reliable volunteers, each workday promises a packed schedule.
“Volunteer-wise it’s hard because it’s 45 minutes from Asheville, and people just don’t want to come out,” she said. “I have volunteers from Lenoir, Morganton and Waynesville, and none from Asheville. I need help taking care of the animals, doing work around the land, helping us at fundraisers. Every organization needs volunteers.”
Whatever the future holds for Full Moon Farm, Brown will be there for her dogs.
“I’d like to think I could retire,” Brown said, gazing over her acreage to the wolfdog enclosures up the hill. “I’d have to hand it over to someone else.
“I measure my life in life before wolfdogs and life after wolfdogs,” she continued. “But the truth is, there is no life after wolfdogs.”
|We would like to thank Metro Wines in Asheville, NC for sponsoring a Wine Tasting event benefitting our sanctuary and its wolfdogs. Your support of our mission here at the sanctuary is much appreciated! If you all haven't checked them out yet please take a look at their website or stop by their store! http://metrowinesasheville.com/ They are also on Facebook, if you are on there please look them up and "Like" their page!|
Also coming up soon we will be presenting Full Moon Farm Wines available for purchase online. We will provide you with more details when they are available. Keep a look out!
|Honorary and In Memory Sponsorships|
|The holidays are right around the corner and with that comes the thought of what to get for who and doing special things for special people. We all have animal lovers in our lives and all have those who just have everything and do not need anything else but yet you still want to get them "something" but what? Many of us have loved ones who have passed that we would like to remember at the holidays in a special way but aren't sure what to do or how. We have your perfect answer for you! You can make them an Honorary Sponsorship of one of the wolfdogs or an In Memory of Sponsorship of one of the wolfdogs. You can email email@example.com for more information and details if you are interested.|
Honorary or In Memory Sponsorships are $50 with an emailed PDF of the certificate created especially for your sponsorship purchase. If you would like the certificate mailed to you or the recipient with a holiday card from Full Moon Farm and the wolfdogs AND an acknowledgement of your honorary/in memory sponsorship on our Facebook page and here in our Newsletter in the January edition (we don't want to ruin any surprises) there is an additional $15 charge ($65 total for the complete Honorary/In Memory Sponsorship package).
|You can find back issues of the Howl from the Mountain here. ||
Halloween Fudge, get your order in today! Those fun Halloween candy corns in a delicious chocolate homemade fudge make our yummy Halloween Fudge! Order yours today, a pound is $15 (includes shipping). Orders must be received by October 22, 2013 to ensure delivery by Halloween. To place an order please visit http://halloweefudge.weebly.com/ (if you want to order it without the Halloween candy please place your order and then submit a contact form from the site requesting that your fudge be made without the candy included and we will put in a special order request to the candy maker to make your batch plain). Sale proceeds benefit Full Moon Farm, Inc. and the wolfdogs who depend on us each day! Satisfy that sweet tooth and help the wolfdogs, what could be better than that! Thank you for your continued support of our mission in taking care of these much deserving animals, we couldn’t do it without each of you!
|Woofer Spotlight! Meet Sheba!|
Sheba came to us in August of 2013 through The Lexus Project, via another rescue. Sheba got loose and attacked a smaller animal, as northern breeds will often do. The owners paid for the medical care of the smaller dog, and the Lexus Project, a group of attorneys, saved her life. They originally placed her with a dog rehab facility, with the hope of her being adopted into another home, but unhappy alone, she made her displeasure known, and Full Moon Farm was contacted about sanctuary for her. We are happy to have her, and she is known as 'Wolfdog Lite', as she is a very low content animal.
Hi, I'm Sheba. I think I am Queen Sheba, and am very demanding of my servants. If I have my preference, I wish to be fed first, petted first, scooped first and walked first. Since I am the Queen, I would love to have more sponsors than anyone else! Will you help me be the Queen? My picture will show my royal stature.
Join our Kindle Challenge! For details and to purchase your Challenge ticket for a chance to win a Kindle Fire HDX 7” Tablet, please visit http://kindlechallenge.weebly.com/
The ticket sales proceeds go to Full Moon Farm, Inc. to help provide the care for the wolfdogs who call the sanctuary home. Tickets are $5 each, each ticket is one chance to win! The deadline for tickets is November 15, 2013, winners will be announced on November 16, 2013.
We have a few of our 2014 Full Moon Farm Wolfdog Calendars remaining in stock, please get yours today before we run out! Purchase them for $27 each including shipping at:
"Full Moon Farm, A Very Special Place"
by Sheri Paulk
|This was my first time visiting Full Moon Farm, I was not sure what to expect. Sarah had told me about the sanctuary but it was so much more than words can express. I was introduced to Nancy Brown and many of the other volunteers. Each had their own story and true love for the wolfdogs . It was very easy to see that this was a very special place. I was honored to meet River, the "Ambassadog", along with many others.|
Walking around and meeting some of the beautiful wolfdogs gave me a new respect for them as well as a love and admiration that I had not had before my visit. It was easy to see that the wolfdogs are well cared for and happy; everyone there wants only the best for them.
I had a chance to visit Guenny’s Gift Den. As I was looking at the treasures and unique gifts related to the wolfdogs, I was able to connect with even more people and learn their stories. We even checked out the new hoodie pullovers that had just come in! So many beautiful colors!
This is a place I will visit many more times. Everyone showed me what their love and passion was for the wolfdogs, an experience I will never forget.
|If you missed our Tastefully Simple or want to order more, check out the product site at the below link to place your order today! Link valid through 10/30/2013. Tastefully Simple offers a wonderful line of products from spices and dip mixes to bread and dessert mixes. They have several gluten free items as well as some bake ware products that have proven to be great choices! Link: http://tinyurl.com/l7b8ms3 |
|The Jewelry Artisan has offered a $5 donation per piece sold through during the month of October! Check it out, great choices available. Necklace, Earrings and a Bracelet, don't miss out! Offer valid through end of October only! Check it out today! http://tinyurl.com/ksu3rh7 |
|Scentsy: Back by Popular Demand|
Scentsy has released their new scents for the fall season! We all love fall scents, check them out and pick up a new warmer for your wax tarts. The products smell wonderful and will make your home smell GREAT! Proceeds go to help the wolfdogs and Full Moon Farm. Link valid through 10/30/2013. Place your order today, don't miss the new scents!
Link to shop: http://tinyurl.com/lb3qu27
|Proceeds of sales goes to help the wolfdogs! Even if you do not use the Avon products, they offer a variety of unique and cute decoration options in the fundraiser that may be of interest, please take a look! Link: http://tinyurl.com/l43d7qq (good through end of October)|
|Full Moon Farm Board of Directors|
|Upcoming Events and Fundraisers|
|October 19th: Howl In at the Sanctuary, begins at 3pm! Please join us if you are able to. We would love to have you.|
October 26th: Black Mountain Halloween Parade at 3pm in Black Mountain, NC. We will have a table and walk in the parade, come see us and support us if you are around!
November 16th: Howl for the Holidays at the Sanctuary starting at 1pm! Join us for some holiday cheer and enjoy the company of friends, meet new people, and spend time with the wolfdogs. Who could ask for more!
December 6th: Black Mountain, NC "Holly Jolly" River and crew will attend to meet new and old friends, provide some shopping options and spread some holiday cheer!
December 7th: Black Mountain, NC Christmas Parade. River and crew will be walking in the Parade, come out and see us if you are able to! Would love to see you!
We have a few planned fundraisers that will be coming your way soon to include one with Becky’s Ceramics, Silpada silver jewelry, FMF labeled Wines, Bricks for Woofer Paths, a new and improved auction event, and others as the details become finalized. Don’t forget about the Bissell Partners for Pets, Antlerz and BarkBox programs that help to raise donations for Full Moon Farm as well as iGive and GoodSearch (Shop, Search and Play Games to earn donations to the sanctuary) We have some exciting opportunities for you all coming up!
If you would like to be notified of new fundraisers as they are ongoing or would like more details on any particular one or event please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
At our August Howl In we had a special guest, Stone Man, who enlightened us with native story telling. Even through the rain the event was a worthwhile trip for those who could make it!