Cheyenne the healing wolf

Cheyenne the healing wolf

Mark Johnson with one of the wolves

Mark Johnson with one of the wolves

Mark Johnson is the founder of The Rocky Mountain Wildlife Foundation. He founded the organization in February 2001 as a non-profit venture committed to the caring for and survival of wolves in as natural an environment as possible. His organization provides sanctuary and rehabilitation for wolves who have suffered from injuries or abuse, and a permanent sanctuary for those unable to be released back into the wild. They rely on financial and volunteer donations.

One of his wolves had healing capacities and got known throughtout the world. Her name was Cheyenne and she had started helping and healing people when she was only three months old. During her life, she helped many thousands of people who came to visit from around the world to heal emotional and physical problems.  She had detected and pinpointed cancer in 25 people, including Mark’s later wife. She helped countless others with other physical and/or emotional issues. She shows that animals are fully conscious sentinent beings that often try to help, support and even heal those that they surround.   

Mark Johnson states about his work: "The wolves were here before we were, and the Native Americans were here before we were. I've worked with many, many Native Americans, and I saw what their plight was, and I also saw the problems that the wolves had. I thought if I could start a program where I could help the wolves and help Native Americans reestablish their place in this country, that was going to be my goal."

The Rocky Mountain Wildlife Foundation encourages an interest in and understanding of wolves by providing opportunities for people of all ages to interact with wolves, to learn about wolves and living safely with wildlife, and to understand the important role we humans have in the continual survival of wolf populations.

To find more about their work, the wolves and possible donations please go to their website


When did Cheyenne enter your life?

I purchased Cheyenne when she was four weeks old from a sanctuary in Arizona.  At the time I owned an art gallery and I had 26 documented Native American artists that I was representing.  The wolf has a special place in the hearts of many tribes and one of the artists told me where I could purchase a wolf pup; he had just bought one himself.  This was at a time in my life where I had finally gotten to be back in the mountains and out of the big city life.  I had been living in Denver, Colorado.  I get my energy from the mountains and being surrounded by nature.  Cities have too much negative energy for me to live comfortably.  I currently live 2 miles out of a small town of 30 +/- people named Guffey in the mountains of Colorado.

When did you first notice that Cheyenne had healing powers?

I first started noticing the healing powers of Cheyenne when she was 3 months old.  Some people would come into my store and not be in the greatest of moods or even be in a depressed state of mind, but after meeting Cheyenne they would leave with genuine smiles on their faces and all excited about the experience they just had.

What kind of healing did the wolf do?

I cannot count the number of emotional healings that I’ve witnessed and I still hear today about the many physical healings Cheyenne was involved in.  We would give people some of Cheyenne’s fur for them to carry with them or to place somewhere on an alter or a place of special meaning to the person.  We have sent her fur all over the world to people who request it, the last of it recently to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.  We are out of her fur but do have some of her ashes that we now send out.  People have come from all over the world to see and meet with Cheyenne; recently the longest distance traveled has been from Denmark, Iraq and Germany.  Many of Cheyenne’s visitors had no idea that they had a problem.  If Cheyenne removed some clothing from a person’s body and would lick, lightly nibble, hit with her nose or paw on a certain part of their body, I then knew there was something wrong in that area.  Some people already knew, others did not, and some did not want to know.  Cheyenne was right each time.  She detected cancer in about 25 people including my late wife and I can’t tell you how many other physical problems she detected.

How did Cheyenne help your wife?

In the case of my late wife after her colon cancer had been removed the doctors gave her a maximum of two months to live as the cancer had transferred to her liver.  She lived for 3.5 years even going back to work without doing any drugs or chemo.   She just played with Cheyenne and our other wolves.  Unfortunately the last 6 months of her life she just gave up and passed away.

How did people get to know about Cheyenne?

Most people have learned about Cheyenne by word-of-mouth, from our website and from many postings on Facebook and U-Tube.  Over the years Cheyenne met about 22,000 people from all over the world and she would not travel.  People had to come to see her.  I currently have a 6 year old wolf, Apache, who has met over 40,000 people but he travels with me to schools, churches, prisons, juvenile facilities, powwows and all other kinds of events.  He too has been involved in healings.

Do all wolves have healing abilities?

Several of my wolves have been involved in both physical and emotional healings, but even combined, nowhere to the degree of Cheyenne.  For whatever reason, from the Creative Source, we humans were given dominion over all of the animals.  We were assigned to care for, protect and respect them and for that we had the opportunity to learn from them.  But instead man has condemned many of the animals and in the process is destroying the balance of nature.  Man who claims to be superior and who supposedly knows best, whether it be out of fear, ignorance or just plain greed, has now put this world in peril.  Like a parasite we are destroying all the life giving support our world provides to us.  And like a predator with an uncontrollable appetite, we have brought our world to its knees.  Other than to learn from it, there is nothing we can do about our history and the wrongs of yesterday, but together we can work today to provide Mother Earth and all of her creatures, with a new and beneficial to all, beginning.  Man needs to recognize the importance and power of animals.

What did you learn from working with the wolves?

The one thing I have learned from the wolves is that we humans need to listen to all of Mother Nature and her animals and to learn from them, and if we do, then so many of today’s problems could be solved.  Even though I accept this, the hardest thing to do is to get adults to accept it.  We are now working with children and through them we are finally getting the message through to the adults.

What are some of the negative stereotypes that you are often confronted with?

Most people fear wolves, thinking they are frightful beasts hiding in the darkest corners of the forest waiting for an unsuspecting victim.  However, no other mammal shows a more spirited devotion to its family, organization or social group than the wolf.  In others words, they teach us balance in life and a respect for authority and democracy.  As humans we need not fear the wolf and we have much to learn from them.

In many indigenous traditions the wolf is also a spirit animal. Do you know what the wolf represents as a spiritual guide?

The spirit of the wolf is teaching skill, loyalty, interdependence, perseverance and success.  They teach us the importance of family and respect for others.  Knowing that their future survival is with the young, they have education, parenting, protection and mentoring as first priorities.  They also know the importance of efficient teamwork, playfulness and rest.  As a spirit guide the wolf has much to teach us.

Please tell us a little bit about the work that you do?

We provide a sanctuary, rehabilitation and environmentally natural housing for captive-born wolves and wolfdogs who have suffered from injuries, neglect or abuse.  We are a no-kill facility and a forever home for these animals.  We encourage an interest in and understanding of wolves by providing opportunities for people of all ages to interact with and learn about wolves, learn how to safely live with wildlife and to understand the important role we humans have in the continual survival of wolf populations.

Can people visit the wolves?

People come and visit with us throughout the year.  We allow interaction with many of our animals and as you sit in their pens you will encounter the love, wisdom and caring that each of the animals so willingly gives.  Your eyes that now see will lead you to your heart that becomes open to the truth.  All tours are private and admission is free.

How can people support your work?

People can go to our website,, and donate if they desire.  We also take interns from all over the world from mid-May through mid-September.  We provide housing and meals.