Behind the Name

The sanctuary was named in loving memory of a wolfdog named Mi Dawns Indigo





12/1987 - 1/1998

Indigo was never a resident of Indigo Mountain, however, she was the driving force behind the creation of the sanctuary. It is only fitting that she is honored here.

Indigo was bred by an individual and sold to a small wolfdog breeder in Colorado. She produced several litters and was used for light commercial work such as photo models. "Indy" was most well-known as the model for David Merrick's famous painting "Indigo".

In 1993 her owners met with a tragic death and Indigo and her mate were relocated to an animal refuge in Colorado. This is where we first met.

Many of the founding members of Indigo Mountain were volunteers at the refuge. It was at that facility that Indy began to teach many of us the ways of "wolf". She was a beautiful agouti gray animal with intense, amber eyes and an attitude to match. She put us through our paces daily. She had an "alphatude". She dominated her mate, Jake and then later kept an upper paw on Phantom.

Indigo taught us how to handle the more difficult alpha temperaments, and how to avoid or sidestep tests and challenges especially during the winter months when she exhibited severe seasonal aggression. We owe a great deal of our wolfdog behavior and handling knowledge to the years we spent working with Indigo.

One afternoon in January 1998 Indigo and Sierra began grumbling at one another through the chain link. During breeding season intensity levels often rose in the intact females. Fortunately, the males were neutered. Indigo and Sierra were the dominant females of their respective packs that resided side by side divided by only a shared 9 gauge chainlink fence. As the aggression increased in intensity Indigo reared up on her hind legs to place her paws on the fence. Sierra was able to grab hold of one of her paws and pull it through the chain link. In only seconds the rest of the pack had done so much damage that Indy's leg was held on by only a thin strip of skin. Indigo's mate was frantically trying to pull her away from the fence to no avail.

In the end, Indigo's injuries were so severe she had to be euthanized. We lost a teacher that day, but her last lesson is deeply ingrained in our minds. No two wolves or wolfdogs should ever be allowed to share a common fence. We have gone to great lengths to ensure fence fighting will never be an issue at Indigo Mountain.


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