Rocky Mountain Wildlife Foundation
Drop Down Menu

The Rocky Mountain Wildlife Foundation

In Loving Memory of Cheyenne (1996-2009)

Cheyenne the Healing Wolf

Thank you Cheyenne for your friendship, your trust, and your wisdom, you will forever remain with us in our hearts. May the Great Spirit be with you!

Cheyenne, the Healing Wolf, Duchess of Goldhill and the first Ambassador for the Foundation, passed gently into the skyland on February 2, 2009 at the age of 12 years, 10 months. Cheyenne is now running with pack members Blessing, Kia, Wigglebutt, and all who went before her. Cheyenne loved her human visitors and brought comfort to so many during her lifetime. She will be fondly remembered and missed by the humans and wolves that had the good fortune to know her and be included in her ‘pack’. Cheyenne’s spirit and mission lives on in Apollo, Shoney, Ladyhawke, Merlin, Spirit, and Zoya, the pack on Goldhill, and those who work with and support them.


Notes, memories, and remembrances of Cheyenne

Our beautiful wolf Cheyenne made the journey across the Rainbow Bridge on Monday evening, Feb. 2, at age 12 years, 10 months, to join those who went before her. She was not doing well when we visited her last week in Guffey, CO. It is so hard to lose such a dear friend but she stole into a corner of my heart where she will remain forever. If it weren't for her, I would still have a bum knee and a trigger finger. She helped so many, but then she couldn't be helped by those of us that received her healing energy. She was loved and loving. The planet is a little less without her here. And the Universe is blessed with her soul and spirit among the stars.

She will be missed by many; as people from Europe and across the U.S. visited her, some came every year. Apollo, the male who will be 18 in April, is still being his sweet dear self but his hearing and eyesight are not as keen as they were. Apollo along with Ladyhawke and Shone - their offspring; Spirit and Merlin, and a recent addition, Zoya, a hybrid from Kansas, are the remaining Rocky Mountain Wildlife Foundation Sanctuary residents. They all hope to have more rescued wolves and hybrids (wolf dogs) residing with them soon.

I can see Cheyenne romping and playing with others of her pack that crossed the Rainbow Bridge before her - free from all pain - free to run free forever. Enjoy your freedom, dear Cheyenne.

Mary S, Strawberry AZ

Here is the book, Animals and the Afterlife by Kim Sheridan, that has helped me so much. I think it will help to comfort you, too.

We are so grateful to know Cheyenne. I say “know” because she still lives in heaven, healthy again, happy, and bonding once more with Wiggle-Butt.

The experience of being accepted by such a kind soul and making a connection – just having her look into our eyes and acknowledging us – just being allowed to spend time with her – made us look at things differently – Cheyenne truly awoke my love for wild animals and nature – she put things into perspective for me.

I will always remember her paws on my shoulder and her wolf drool all over me – Jerry will always cherish that “ first kiss of acceptance”. We will miss her so much until we all see her again – You and Chey are in our prayers – .
Take care – .

"Missouri" and Jerry, MO

Hello Mark,

Meeting Cheyenne was without question one of the most wonderful experiences of my entire life. I had waited over 2 years to fulfill this dream and I am so grateful that I got the opportunity before her passing.

Cheyenne's gentle and loving demeanor were such a joy to behold. Her eyes were as kind as an angel. I am VERY proud to say I was number 1,699 who can smile and say she accepted me into her pack!!! What an absolute honor and blessing!! Chey let me love on her, she pulled my hand toward her if it moved away, she kissed me like crazy and she ever-so-gently nibbled on my teeth and lips. Those huge teeth were as gentle as if she were using only her gums. I really can't put into words the incredible feeling it gave me to be accepted and loved by this magnificent & astonishingly beautiful lady. I cried, I laughed and I fell in love!

Thank you, Cheyenne, you touched my life and heart forever and I will always remember that blessed day I spent with you and all the other wonderful wolves at Rocky Mt. Wildlife. Run free, beautiful girl, until we meet again!!

Lori Mc, CO

How fortunate I have been to know Chey for almost 12 years!

It was an incredible experience the first time we met. I received Cheyenne kisses and more kisses all over my face and she nibbled on my nose and my chin and then she put her head on the top of mine and started rubbing. She liked me! She really liked me!

I have so many wonderful memories of Cheyenne. Like the time I visited and she had been stung by bees in her mouth and I fed her ice and she so gently took it from my hands. And the time she didn't want me to leave so she became a "lap" wolf. The times I came to her and told her of my troubles and sadness and she helped me deal with those problems. I thank you Chey for all the gifts that you gave me. There is nothing to compare and I will treasure them always. I miss you my furry faced friend. Until we met again you remain forever and always in my heart.

your Auntie Helen, Frankton CO

We first met Cheyenne in December, 2004. We recall her size, beauty, grace & those amazing wolf eyes. She was a bit shy of Vince (so typically wolf), but after a short time Chey came around behind me, put her paws on my shoulders & began rubbing against my head, vigorously! Having worked with wolves many years ago & having owned a wolf hybrid, this behavior didn't surprise me. I never told Mark my secret - perfume! Wolves love interesting smells & I made sure to put my perfume on during the drive over.

We are very glad we decided to bring Vince's niece, Lauren & her friend Kathryn, to meet Cheyenne this past Christmas holiday, or we would not have seen Chey again before she left our earthly realm.

Mark, along with the rest of the Goldhill pack, will carry on Cheyenne's legacy. These beautiful animals have much to teach us about the natural order of things. To have looked into Cheyenne's eyes is a journey into time & spirit; into other levels of being.

If every one who met Cheyenne would spread just a portion of her healing love, her mission will live on.

Arlene & Vince, Fairplay, CO

Dear Mark,

When I think of Chey, I see a beautiful white wolf floating in the sky, flipping my tennis shoes and continuing to force me to grow and change. Meeting her will always be one of my most special memories. She has done so much for so many, and now, I’m sure she is on another assignment to help the world. We humans that met her were truly lucky and blessed. Thank you for your dedication to Cheyenne and the cause… and may it live on through your Rocky Mountain Foundation.

Wishing you Love & Blessings,

Natures Corner Tribute to Cheyenne

Maggie- Wright, Phoenix AZ

Oh there are no sweeter kisses...Cheyenne, you are so beloved. All who had the privilege to know you and the few who were kissed by you are truly lucky. You told me and showed me where my weaknesses were. You enlightened me to a new world of patience and acceptance. You enabled me to seek help for my sickness and pain. The Great Spirit is fortunate to have you back, but we miss you here. Wiggle-butt is happy to be reunited with his best friend. Look after us all and speak to the Father for us kindness and love and the ability to share that with all living creatures...we miss you!

Mark, our hearts ache for you. She was such a dominant part of your life. May your grief be short and your memories of her forever...
Much love and peace always,

Betsy and Rene, Jupiter, FL

Hi Mark,
It saddens me greatly to learn of Chey's passing. She was such an inspiration to all of us and I personally will always carry her in my heart.

PJ (Pamela)

My heart goes out to you, Mark. Cheyenne was a very special animal. I'm so glad to have met her last summer. Attached is a photo I took of the pups when my husband and I were there in June. You are welcome to use it in whatever way you wish.

Suzanne Miller

We met chey in silver plume Colorado and kept up with her where ever she and mark went. Chey had the best humor. it was a dry humor. her smile lit up the the day and made the night shine so brightly. you could see that spark in her eyes right before she stole something of yours and ran off with it laughing all the way!! she was a brilliant soul with loads of love but mostly she truly enjoyed taughting you with whatever she stole form you. I always looked upon her as a best friend who would try and make you laugh. She honestly enjoyed making a person laugh. She thought she had really funny humor. she was right. The more she licked and froliced about me the harder I would laugh, the harder I laughed, the stronger her smile, the stronger of her love blossomed about. I can just picture her pulling on ST. Frances robes, trying to steal them and getting ST. Frances to chase her.:) I decate to you my dear friend, Robbi Williams song :

"Angels" ..
I sit and wait
does an angel contemplate my fate
and do they know
the places where we go
when we're grey and old
'cos i've been told
that salvation lets their wings unfold
so when i'm lying in my bed
thoughts running through my head
and i feel that love is dead
i'm loving angels instead
and through it all she offers me protection
alot of love and affection
whether i'm right or wrong
and down the waterfall
wherever it may take me
i know life wont break me
when i come to call she wont forsake me
i'm loving angel instead
when i am feeling weak
and my pain walks down a one way street
i look above
and i know i'll always be blessed with love
and as the feeling grows
she breathes flesh to my bones
and when i think love is dead
i'm loving angels instead.

We love you Chey, Chey thanks for being one of thee best part of life. I will honor your wishes from our last chat and keep an eye on your dad whom you were fearful of leaving behind. We care mark, we r here for and with you as you need.
With much love and respect

Shaun Mc. and Hal, Denver CO

Mark, this is for you and perhaps for the website

Linda and I could not hold back our tears when the news arrived about the passing of Cheyenne. After getting to know her just recently and seeing how well you taking care of her in her old age and while she was suffering, our thoughts and prayers are with you in this difficult time. We know that the Lord has a special place for her in heaven and she will live on in my upcoming book for many more readers to learn about her and the wonderful task are you involved in.

Bernie and Linda, Fairplay, CO

I only spent time with Cheyenne on two occasions, once in 2006 and in 2008. But she has been with me since my first meeting in November, 2006. That was a challenging year for me. I sold the home in Texas in which I raised my children. I cared for my sister who had ovarian cancer. (She recovered!) My children experienced devastating personal crises. My husband broke his neck. (He, too, recovered!)

In the midst of this I had come to the end of my tolerance of ankle pain resulting from orthopedic problems caused by a reaction to rabies vaccine at the age of three (after being bitten by a rabid skunk). I had consulted an orthopedic surgeon in hopes that ankle replacement surgery would be an option. To emphasize the extent of my pain (over the previous ten years), I told the surgeon that if the surgery failed I was not opposed to amputation. The doctor said "no" to ankle replacement for me and offered a couple of less invasive remedies to try. I left the office to give thought to those options. I was discouraged and pretty depleated emotionally.

A week later I happened on Cheyenne while visiting a dog sanctuary in the mountains of Arizona. Her human dad, Mark, introduced me to her. I thought she would recognize the pain I carried with me in my ankle. But she just licked my face and sat with me. I gave her a garment of mine hoping she would not claim something I was wearing at the time! I had heard of her reputation for that.

Mark gave me a package of Cheyenne's fur, as he does for most visitors. I immediately started to wear some of it in my shoe. I still keep some of it in my car and beside my bed and in my medicine bag.

Since my first visit 2 1/5 years ago, I have had no significant pain in that ankle. I have not been back to a doctor about it and did not have any of the suggested treatments. I don't really know why the pain is gone, but I am comfortable giving credit to my connection with Cheyenne. I was #1556.

L. Ann Alexander, CGW

On a trip to Colorado where I was blessed to have the opportunity to strengthen family ties and inner roots, my amazing uncle and aunt took my friend and I to visit the wolf sanctuary and Cheyenne. Being from Texas, I had never even thought about the prospect of meeting a real wolf or being face to face with an animal that is so strong. Being able to feel the magnificent power of these epic creatures and the overwhelming presence of the picturesque mountains was by far one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Cheyenne was calm and shy, but even in the midst of her silence and docility, she did so much for all of us. This vacation was one of the most life changing experiences of my life, and a great part of that was due to my extended family, but much of it was because of Cheyenne and Mark's sanctuary. I feel blessed to have been able to meet her when I did, and I feel very lucky to have family and family friends who dedicate so much of their lives to wolves.

Thank you Mark for what you do and for the opportunity you give all of us to be close to these animals.

--Lauren Samuels, Houston, Texas

Hey, Mark,
I am so sorry to hear about the passing of Cheyenne. Although I only saw her the one time over at your other place in Christopher Ranch, I know what a wonderful influence she was on so many people. Surely there is a heaven for animals such as she.


Although I couldn't predict what event would happen on Feb 2, I just knew that when I called Mark on Jan 21 that I needed to come and see Mark and his beautiful pack as soon as possible. Mark, as kind as you are, you were willing to allow my mother-in-law and I (and my son) to come visit with you just before you were going to go out of town. I thought, WOW, he's so generous to schedule a meeting with us at the last minute - and for the very next day! Something told me I had to go right then and there. I am grateful that you took the time for us Mark, and will never, ever forget the experiences you allowed us to share with you and all of the wolves. While Cheyenne didn't particularly take to me very much, I thought it was such a privilege to be there with her, in the stage that she was, and the fact that she allowed me to absorb her energy was unbelievable. She was and is, amazing just to look at.....words just don't explain well enough what was felt that day. I will cherish your words and her fur forever. Oh how I wished I could have gave her the help that she has offered so many in her lifetime. But to see what you've done for this group of incredible animals Mark, is remarkable. Cheyenne will forever be with you and each and every one of us who have been blessed to meet her. I am left to wonder if I was the last "stranger become friend" that came to visit with her. Here's our picture, it comes with so many thanks to you and all who've helped you take such good care of these incredible creatures. We will be back to see you all very soon. And we'll bring hotdogs.

Tara D

My brother called Tuesday to tell us about Cheyenne. It hit us hard. We'd only gotten to see Cheyenne a couple of times, but just one visit with her would stick with you for life. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. We'll always remember and love her!

Dawn & Bertha

Hi Mark,
I tried to add something to Cheyenne's memorial page but it said that something was not set up right. Here are some pictures of her and I from our visit in July. I will miss her dearly. Being around her always helped me to think clearer and forget the small things that were bothering me, she had a gift.


I first met Cheyenne in 1997, in Silver Plume, CO. I was never more scared to approach such an animal and she knew this. As I stood behind my friend (I was nervous) Chey came to me, from the side, with her head down and brushed against my leg. I remember Mark telling me that she was being submissive in her way. I don’t remember what number visitor I was, but it is a very low number.

The very next time I saw Cheyenne, Mark told me, and I quote, “stand against the fence” – even though I was confused, I obliged. Now here I stood, at 5’5”, maybe 5’6” at best, looking up at BIG teeth, paws on my shoulders, and tasting her saliva. That is when I lost my heart to Cheyenne. (And learned to keep my mouth and eyes shut tight when licked)!

Through the years, I visited her often (in the beginning). But then I moved back to IL and lost touch for a few years. I began visiting again back in 2004. We were like 2 old lost souls that found each other once again. Like no years went by. And through the years, I brought several people with me to meet Cheyenne and Mark, who is just as amazing, and the rest of the pack. Not one person can believe the magic they felt.

My last visit was early 2008. She had just lost part of her front paw from a benign tumor. We were the first out of town visitors. Amazingly, she started using that paw when I was there. It felt good to lay with her, console her.

I will always remember how she loved to take and bury clothing; how she loved her treats; how close she let me be; how she would lay with me, paw me to lay with her if I wasn’t already. I will always remember Cheyenne.
You are missed, loved and in my heart always, sweet friend, Cheyenne.

Staci M, Illinois

Hey Mark,

When I read about Cheyenne in the newsletter my heart sank. I completely collapsed and cried my heart and soul out for hours. I truly was inconsolable. I have been carrying the medicine pouch with some of Chey’s fur in it since I met her. And holding that little bag made me cry even harder.

At that point I truly hated myself for not being able to keep my promise to Cheyenne; saying I’d come back to see her as soon as I could. Saying I’d spend some more time with her. Much more time. But I wasn’t able to keep that promise. Why does France have to be so far away?

When my tears were dry, I hardly spoke for a day. People understood. They understood that Cheyenne was like a sister to me. The one I called my second soul mate. They mourned with me.

And somehow I felt it coming. The day she died, I kept thinking of her. Without knowing why. But she was on my mind non stop. And now, I still think so much of her. The pain is still very vivid but now I have a smile on my face. Because I know that this wasn’t a farewell. Just a goodbye until our paths meet again. And when the sun shines like it does today and when the wind whispers like it does today; I know that Cheyenne is right next to me. That she’ll never be very far when I’ll need her the most. Like she always was.

I wasn’t able to keep my promise to you, Sister. But hear me now: I will walk where you once did. I’ll come back Mark, I promise.

Run wild, beautiful Sister, we will meet again.

Jessica, Paris, France

Bob and I are very sorry we have lost our friend Cheyenne. She will be missed and yes I want to share my fondest memory of Cheyenne. We brought our sister-in-law Shannon to meet Cheyenne. It had been a year since we had been out. Shannon and I went in with Chey and sat down. She came over and let Shannon pet her. But when I reached out for her she quickly moved away, every time. So I told Cheyenne, “Well, if you aren’t going to let me pet you I am leaving”. So I got up and headed for the gate. But Cheyenne ran over in front of the gate and would not let us out. So I said, “Well if you don’t want me to leave, you better come over and let me pet you”. So I went over and sat down. And she came right over and gave me a kiss and laid her head in my lap and everything was fine. I carry her picture with me everywhere I go. I tell everyone that I have a beautiful friend that is a wolf.

So sorry about your loss dear Mark. Keep in touch.

Your Kansas City , Kansas friends, Joyce and Bob

Oh Mark ... We are so terribly sorry and, as are you I'm sure, broken hearted. What a wonderful journey the two of you made together - she was there with you through some of the hardest times in your life, I believe, based on the little you shared with us. I don't know if your grief will be aided by the tons of people who met and knew Cheyenne and who will mourn her loss, sharing with you the huge hole in your heart, just as we do.

Our hearts go out to you, my dear; we know full well that there are no words, no touch - just nothing that will take away the pain. Perhaps in time, coping will be easier, but for now loss and hurt are your companions. Wishing you many moments of comfort in the memories that you have, not only for what she meant to/for you, but in the myriad of other lives she touched and changed by her presence.

Bless you, we will be thinking of you and praying for you and remembering your beloved Cheyenne right along with you.

Jaqui and Gary Jacobs

I received your email a few weeks ago and I was so very sad to hear of Cheyenne's passing . The time I had with her was something I will never forget. I think of it so often and I see the pictures on the wall of my family room with the 2 of us on the top of the rock, with her head on my lap, and I see the little container of her hair hanging down from the frame. . It was surely was one of the most wonderful experiences I have ever had,and I will cherish it always.

Ann Brockman

I was blessed to first meet Cheyenne in 1998. There were many visits with Chey thereafter but that first meeting -- and that first slimy lick on my face -- unforgettable. As a minister I preach quite a bit and I'd like to share this excerpt from one of my sermons:

"I grew up in a Christian home. I was baptized when I was 26 days old. I learned about God's promises from the get go. And I believed God's promises. I knew I belonged to God and nothing could separate me from God's love. But I don't think I ever experienced this promise until I met Cheyenne.

Nearly ten years ago I drove into the Rocky Mountains to an old mining town called Silver Plume. I went there to meet Cheyenne. She supposedly had this knack for intuitively knowing folk's needs and reaching out to them. I was living and working in Denver and struggling in a rough vocational situation filled with emotional abuse. Any friendship was welcome. Therefore I set out to meet Cheyenne.

She was behind an art gallery sitting in the cool shade. With some hesitation and nervousness, I approached her and extended my hand. Cheyenne stood, looked me in the eye and nuzzled my hand.

Cheyenne is a wolf. An amazing animal of fur and fangs. Over the next hour, Cheyenne rubbed against me and licked me in the face, making me a member of her pack, her family. She also stretched out next to me in the shade, rested her enormous head on my thigh and fell asleep. As I stroked her ears, a wolf took a snooze on my lap.

As I drove back down the mountain, I tried to understand why I was grinning and crying at the same time. Yes, experiencing a relationship with a wolf (and living to tell about it) is in and of itself too amazing for words but there was more. As I spent more time with Cheyenne I gradually and then suddenly realized what role she had taken in my life. God was fleshing out a promise through Cheyenne that I had heard and believed since I was toddler. I had heard it, I had believed it but not until I met Cheyenne had I experienced God's promise to love and protect me no matter what. I could never be wrenched from God's arms of grace.

Threaten me in any way, shape or form and Cheyenne will probably offer a low growl as a warning. Keep coming at me and Chey will probably flatten her ears, show some teeth and give a good snarl. Persist and Cheyenne will look you in the eye and then devour you.

All in all, her actions will declare, 'Back off. This one's with me. Don't touch her, don't mess with her. She's a member of my pack. She's family and I refuse to let anything come between us.'

And I know it's true. And once I internalized that, once I internalized her love, her acceptance, her vulnerability -- all based on nothing but a lick in the face and a nuzzled hand -- I felt free because I felt so safe. No threat would go unanswered. No accusation would be ignored. No danger would be neglected. And all I had to do was believe it. Cheyenne didn't interview me, she didn't check my references, she never asked what I would give her. She simply sensed my need and jumped in. And it is simply beautiful. She is an expression of grace from God to me. God worked through her to invade my heart and allowed me to truly feel God's love and promises. God worked through her to make his promises fresh and new. A wolf is my reminder that I am not my own but am owned. I belong to God. A wolf is my reminder that nothing can separate me from my Savior's love. With Cheyenne at my side, with God at my side, this world is a perfectly safe place for me to be.

With fierceness like wolf, with tenacity like a wolf, God looks any and every possible enemy or threat I may face and declares, 'Back off. This one's with me. Don't touch her, don't mess with her. She's a member of my family. She's my child and I refuse to let anything come between us.'"

Cheyenne, thank you for making me a member of your pack and in doing so allowing me to truly experience my identity as God's precious child and to feel safe. I will continue to speak of my priceless experiences with you. And I will continue to grin and cry when I remember our times together.

Rev. Marcia Wallinga,Grand Haven, Michigan

Hi Mark,
Read your email about cheyenne passing... so so sorry to hear this news. How are you doing, it must be very difficult, for you and for the family. I’m pretty sure my health is intact now, due to her healing. It was a tremendous good you've been doing all her life, caring for her and the pack, and making sure that people had access to her, I am very grateful, and I'm sure so many are, I was only one of so many.

Best, Kathleen

I am in the planning stage of my trip to Colorado from The Woodlands, Texas. One of my first stops was to be with Cheyenne. Great sadness flowed over me when I read of her death in February of this year. I feel a piece of me is gone. I was #1035 the end of October 1998 in Silver Plume.

Nancy Bickle

Dear Mark,
I'm sorry to say I never even met Cheyenne, nor did I ever have any knowledge of such the sanctuary you provided for wolves in Colorado, but I came across this webpage quite by accident, and wanted to keep reading more and more about your beloved inspirational, wolf friend. I am truly sorry for your loss. I cried and cried when I read all she's done and how many she's touched. She is and was truly special! Her goodness, her smile, her sense of humor, I was captured!
I recently lost two beloved animals (cats) in a little over a three month span. You might say that Cheyenne is still doing her work because as I kept reading about Cheyenne and viewing the pictures of her, she helped me mourn for my beloved pet family. Something I've been only able to do in small doses, like peeling off a bandage - little by little. She still works magic, and I'm sure I would have loved and admired her, as so many others do, and I think she would have befriended and healed and comforted me too.
Dear Cheyenne, you can now be young again, and free from discomforting pain, rest well, and if I can't find a piece of clothing, I think I'll know the culprit. You've done so much good here, and you've touched so many with your gentleness, healing and love, and if you see my beloved cats, please befriend and comfort them, and let them know I'll be with them - in time - Over the Rainbow Bridge.

Dolores L - NYC

It was destiny the day my husband and I visited Silver Plume, CO. It was there that Cheyenne and I bonded and she became a very important part of my live. At six months old, she literally stole my heart and became my guardian angel. Over the years, I was fortunate to be able to visit with her and Mark, and each time was amazed at the sense of peace and tranquility she gave me. Cheyenne was so special that I wear a locket with some of her fur in it everyday to give me strength and wolf courage.

Cheyenne, you may not be on this earth but you will be with me forever.

Dalyne Mooney


Join Our Email List

Site built, maintained and hosted by
3 Peaks Photography & Design