Hi! I'm a taxidermist.
To me, Nature is God. Without it, we simply would not exist. Conserving the world’s natural spaces and the creatures that live there is paramount to the survival of humans as a species, and I have therefore dedicated my life to studying environmentalism in order to help people co-exist more successfully and sustainably with the natural world.

All natural materials I use in my creations are either sourced from roadkill, Fish and Game, secondhand sources such as fellow artists and estate sales, or are antique. In this way, I'm ensuring that no animals were needlessly killed for the sake of the artwork I produce. I fully believe that no part of any creature should go to waste if a purpose can be found for it, but I do NOT support trophy hunters or overseas fur farms by buying 'byproducts' like bones, skulls, or claws directly from them. The only exception I make for this rule is for parts from animals legally culled for population control programs approved by Fish and Wildlife.

As a photographer and wildlife enthusiast, I've been involved with many fantastic organizations such as Images4Life and Wild Tiger, as well as the Sierra Club and many smaller, local groups.
I've been published, interviewed, and even featured on Rainn Wilson (Dwight from “The Office”)'s personal networking website, SoulPancake.com.

I’ve also been blessed with the opportunity to visit many of the world’s most amazing wild places, like Komodo Island, Bali, Lombok, Malaysia, and the Cayman Islands, and have even documented entirely new species previously unknown to science.

Other interests include: Wilderness survival, primitive skills, backpacking, fishing, kayaking, boffing, airsoft, snowboarding, meandering around town, and caving.

 

Hunting Season

I recall ropes swings and poetry under the bridge; the smell of leather and sweaty, dust-streaked skin. A bonfire crackling as evening falls, its pops and hisses punctuated by an occasional loud slap as he or I suddenly whacks a feeding mosquito on our arms.

The dogs meanwhile, eyes glowing like wolves’, settle down in huckleberry thickets near the fire and doze, waiting for the first light of morning, when they will slip their chains and wander off into the forests to chase deer and elk, longing for blood on their lips. 

I have not longed for anything with that same ferocity for a long while. But now, I too feel the need to give chase - to shed my clothes and roll in the earth, covering myself in ashes to hide my scent. I feel the need to run, to break things, to wreak havoc.

To howl and scream and cry, rending the midnight silence so that all the animals in the forest stop their affairs and pause, terrified, then slink off to hide in their dens and burrows for fear of the strange creature which dares to break the unbreakable silence. 

In each and every one of us there is an animal. We tame it with the luxuries of wealth and comfort. It grows docile and weak within our hearts until soon, without our knowing, the animal is suddenly tame, unwilling to tread upon earthen ground or swim in swollen rivers. 

Remember - do not grow complacent. Do not become too comfortable in your mundane life. The animal in each and every one us needs to feed - on wanderlust and adventure and the dangers of this wild world. 

Badger fur coat for sale. Was originally listed at and sold on Etsy for $480.00 but when I went to ship it out, I discovered a tear in the lining. I immediately contacted the buyer, offering to pay for the repairs out of my own pocket, but never heard back from them.

The transaction was cancelled so now I’m still trying to figure out what to do with this beautiful coat. I need the money more than I need it, so on account of the damage, I’m offering to sell it for $300.00 shipped. If you want it, let me know! This is one stunning coat. Fits a little large on me and I typically sport a women’s medium, but I wore it anyway and felt like a total badass every time. 

Examples of “unusual” wolfdogs - these are all animals with verified lineage, ranging from low-content to upper-mid. Each threw a unique trait usually seen only in dogs, which has apparently caused some confusion for people attempting to phenotype them. This is a PSA that phenotyping is not always as easy as it seems, especially in unique circumstances wherein strange genetics come into play. 

Starting from top left: A pure white wolfdog with pink skin and pale green eyes. This is likely the closest thing to true leucism I have personally seen in a verified wolfdog. According to the owner, other pups from this same litter had liver coloration. These dilutes, while not uncommon among domestic breeds like German shepherds and huskies, are rare in wolfdogs. But even so, this pup has a very wolfy cheek ruff, somewhat wolfy ears, and, in other photos, a lanky body structure typical of low-content wolfdogs. 

Beside the white pup is a unique black-phase upper mid-content wolfdog with bi-colored eyes. One is brown, while the other is husky blue. Wolves do not carry the genetic markers to produce blue eyes, so this feature obviously comes from the animal’s dog ancestry. It is further proof that phenotyping wolfdogs is about much more than simply putting check marks next to a list of wolf vs. dog traits. If someone said “it’s impossible for wolfdogs to have blue eyes!” then the animal above would obviously not be a wolfdog. But looking past this one unique discrepancy, it’s obvious to see that there are still many wolfy characteristics in his color, build, and even movement (note that he is single-tracking as he walks!). 

The big blue beast below the bi-colored pup is actually Jude’s uncle (full brother to Jude’s mother, Kai). He is part of the Blue Bay Shepherd breeding stock, and is an upper mid-content wolfdog. Obviously, he carries the genetic markers for the blue dilute that Jude, and indeed, most BBSs, have. He’s also got white socks, which is not common in wolfdogs. Even so, Dillon still has a wolfy coat, cheek ruffs, tail, ears, muzzle, eyes, legs, and posture.

Next are Leroux and his younger half-sister, Tundra, bred by Northernwoods Wolfdogs. They both express the liver dilute, but Tundra also had husky blue eyes! Despite these dog traits, she still displayed a wolfy coat, body type, and, according to the owner, a typical low-content wolfdog personality to boot. Unfortunately, she recently passed away when a store-bought vaccination failed to perform properly in keeping her safe from canine parvovirus. 

The black-and-tan wolfdog below Leroux and Tundra is a fascinating animal to me personally because it closely resembles some of the wolves I’ve worked with as pelts for taxidermy purposes. Its black-and-tan coloration is uncommon in pure wolves, but in wolfdogs, it’s not unheard of, especially in lower-contents. This one, however, is likely a solid or upper mid-content animal crossed with German Shepherd. You can still see that he has a narrow wolf-like muzzle, small angular eyes, rounded well-furred ears, and a wolfy body type. 

Next to him is Soldier, a mid-content wolfdog also owned by Northernwoods. He has one of the most unique faces I’ve ever seen in a mid-content animal, because it is surprisingly dog-like in structure, especially around the muzzle. Wolfdogs typically have tight lips with no droop to their jowls. Despite this doggy look, Soldier’s wolf heritage is highly evident in this photo from his coat, ears, and lanky limbs.

Next up are a some adorable low-content pups also produced by Northerwoods Wolfdogs. They are actually Soldier’s offspring! One has piebald marking and bi-colored eyes; another has piebalding and atypically dark eyes. Their pale-colored sibling looks much more wolfy than either of the black ones. A final pup produced in the same litter was almost solid blue. 

Lastly, there is the adorable ball of fluff known as Zo. Zo is a mid-content wolfdog who threw a woolly coat. This is not typical of the breed, and a few folks have attempted to phenotype Zo as a low/no-content animal on account of this fact alone. But misrepresentation works both ways. Imagine someone adopting a mid-content animal, expecting it to be a low/no, because it happened to have a few more dog traits than usual. Phenotyping is about looking at the bigger picture! This means taking into account multiple aspects of the pup’s genetic make-up, and not dismissing it simply because of one or two unique traits. Zo acts quite wolfy, has a an incredibly long, narrow skull, and has a very smooth stop to her brow. As she continues to grow, her woolly coat has become less and less poofy, revealing long legs, a narrow chest, and wiry frame. She will look very wolfy by the time she is a year in age. 

In conclusion, a wolfdog with a few dog traits is actually perfectly normal, even if they are unique. Genetics are, after all, very diverse, and so the ‘rules’ of phenotyping are not set in stone. 

Does this mean that any woolly, liver-colored, pointy-eared dog with blue eyes is a wolfdog? No. Most certainly not. In order for an canine to be a true wolfdog is must show wolf traits as well as dog ones, which is why I have pointed out aspects of both dog and wolf in each of the animals above. 

Anonymous asked
www (.) backhomefarms (.) com/yahoo_site_admin/assets/images/shappaimages.6190833_std (.) jpg this is a high content wolfdog, right? The body screams (wolf) to me, but the markings... And color... Idk they look really husky-like??? I'm stumped.

yourdogisnotawolf:

image

It is a wolfdog and an incredibly beautiful one too! I would consider it to be an upper mid-content wolfdog? The large ears and (what appears to be) a somewhat big and thick body, and sloping back are holding me back from saying high-content. Sometimes it’s hard to determine the upper-mids from lower-highs though!(at least for me). It’s just that in high-contents, you don’t see very many dog traits at all and since I have a couple questionable traits, I’m not sure that it’s a solid high-content.

non-wolfdogs or naturepunk?

This is a beautiful pup! I’d say he’s a low-mid to solid mid-content, though. He’s got a very wolfy face, but his body looks a bit more dog-like than a higher-content pup’s does. Here are a few other wolfdogs in the LM-SM content range (with confirmed lineage), for comparison: 

tattoosandgeekery said: Drunk or not that’s just wrong! So sorry you had to be subjected to that! You must have a way longer fuse than I do with situations of utter stupidity! I would have snapped!

I would have punched the lady if I’d not been in such a state of shock. It was such a bizarre thing to witness that at first, I didn’t even register what was happening. By the time I did, Andrew had already pulled Jude away from her and she left in a huff. She knew she’d overstepped her bounds and was making a hasty retreat.

Omg that’s horrible, I cannot believe something like that happened!!!! Are you feeling a little more okay now (actually that’s a stupid question wtf how would you ever be okay about that)

Honestly, writing about it helps, because I guess I can see my thoughts spread out in front of me. And I realize now that the reason it bothered me so much is because Jude is more helpless to defend himself from that kind of unwanted advance than I am - or rather, he is used to kisses being a positive experience, and this was just a whole different matter. He had no idea it was wrong or invasive, even if he did seem a little uncomfortable when she actually leaned over him with her whole body.

Frankly, I would literally have felt less bothered about it if some random drunk lady had walked up and kissed me instead of Jude. At least I’d have known how to handle that situation. This was just so beyond anything I ever expected that the craziness of it alone was jarring. 

Wasn’t Going to Share This….

…but I still feel, weird? violated? I have no idea what the correct term for my feelings on this may be, but I seriously need to get it off my chest and into the open. 

Andrew and some friends and I were walking around Portland when I spotted my friend Alejandro doing some of his dances on the waterfront. We sat down to watch him as folks from the local brew festival milled by, clapping and cheering for Alex as he danced. 

I had Jude with me, as usual. He was laying down beside me when this lady, obviously drunk, crawls over to sit with us. She’s petting Jude, who doesn’t seem to mind, so I’m thinking, “She’s drunk and just wants to pet the pretty puppy. We can put up with that for a bit.” 

But then this lady starts letting Jude lick her face, and, much to my utter amazement, she starts licking him back - with her tongue, on his tongue, literally in his mouth. This lady is literally making out with my dog. 

I put an arm around Jude’s neck and pulled him away from the crazy drunk lady, but she re-adjusted herself so that she was now leaning over both of us, trying to continue this inter-species make-out session. I’m already leaning as far away from her as I can, and short of physically pushing her face away from Jude, there’s not much more I can do in that moment. I mean, I am completely stunned. I have no idea how to handle this situation, and I’m about to smack a drunk lady for violating my dog. 

Thankfully, Andrew saw what was happening, too. He grabbed Jude by the haunches and pulled him aggressively away from the lady. She nearly fell on top of me at this point, called Andrew a “bitch” for taking Jude away from her, and quickly stumbled away into the bustling crowd again.

I felt kind of sick to my stomach. Andrew and I were in a joint state of disbelief. The lady was drunk, yes, but it was still disturbing to see, and it was made even moreso by how hostile the woman became toward us when we tried to bar her from advancing on Jude any further. She seemed to know what she was doing, and was mad as us when we made it clear to her that it was unacceptable.

Jude, of course, had no notion that he’d just been violated, so was no worse for wear. But the mamma bear in me was very close to wreaking some serious havoc before Andrew intervened. I’d be happy to live the rest of my life never having to see anything like that ever again. 

tyrannosaurustex asked
I love reading about your dreams! They're so interesting! (I hope it's not weird to say that)

Not at all! I love sharing my dreams! Check out my dream tag if you want to see more! :D 

illustratographer asked
Lady at the dog park: "I think he's half coyote because he's really rowdy and howls a lot."and I'm thinking 'whoa cool, my dog's afraid of water so I think she might be half "the aliens from Signs", you stupid idiot.' thought of you. lol

I had a lady tell me once that she thought her purebred GSD might be part wolf because it howled at the moon and had dew claws. The ideas that people get in their heads about these animals are really just mind-numbingly absurd.

Sometimes, the best way to deal with it is to simply laugh. Loudly. Possibly with a look of pure insanity on your face, so that hopefully the people spouting said absurdities will back away slowly and never talk to you again. 

simplecass asked
Hey, my name is Cassie and I'm moving to Lake Oswego from Southern California at the end of August. I'll be up there by myself for about three weeks and was wondering what you thought I should make a priority of checking out? My backyard is the Tryon Creek state park so I will be venturing into there, but I do not have a car so anything else awesome that is close to that area? Or a small journey on the bus? I don't mind making a day of it. Thanks!

Check out George Roger’s Park! It’s an amazing little place by the river, where I used to take Cabal when he was a puppy. There are creeks and waterfalls and LOTS of amazing wildlife there, including osprey, bald eagles, salmon, and sometimes even sea lions which travel up river from the Pacific. 

giwit asked
I don't know a lot on the subject, but what's supposed to be so wrong with wolf dogs? I know a lot of people mistake certain breeds to be them…but is there any particular reasons why they're more 'dangerous' than other dogs?

Wolfdogs are not necessarily more ‘dangerous’ in the sense that they are more prone to attack or hurt people. But they are very destructive, high-maintenance animals which require very special care, and, given their primitive nature, they are often capable of doing much more damage than a typical dog in the event that things do get out of hand. That added responsibility is not something most people want in a pet.

So the short of it is: Wolfdogs are not good pets. They *may* be good companions for *some* very well-educated people who dedicate their lives to them, but these are folks who literally breathe, sweat, and bleed everything wolfdog. They are the kinds of people who literally change every aspect of their lives for the sake of the animals in their care. 

The only reason I’m able to manage Jude is because, first and foremost, he’s a low-content animal, and I’m privileged enough to work from home, own my own property, drive my own truck, and have a vet who’s willing to go the extra mile for us on account of Jude’s unique heritage. You can read more about my life with Jude HERE

The number of times I’ve seen people with white GSDs, malamutes, and huskies being passed off as “Arctic wolves” is staggering - and frankly, rather aggravating to boot. Just because a dog has a white coat, upright ears, a long tail, and pale eyes, does not mean it’s a wolfdog. Here are examples of true white wolfdogs of varying content for comparison: 
Above is a high-content wolfdog. Note that this animal has a very narrow arrow-shaped skull, small angular eyes, lanky build, and rounded, well-furred ears. It also has dark pigmentation on its nose and around its eyes. This animal has many physical characteristics of a true white wolfdog.

Above is another high-content animal. It displays even more wolfy characteristics, including the cow-hocked stance of its back legs, pre-caudal gland on the tail, and large finger-like digits on its paws. They are not compact little ‘cat feet’ as seen on huskies.
But these are high-content animals. Low-content ones are much harder to distinguish, right?
Yes, and no. There are still many differences between a white wolfy-dog, and a real white wolfdog. The trick is to look past the coloration. Here’s an example:
The above pup is a low/low-mid content wolfdog. Compare that to a white GSD/husky mix: 

The difference should *hopefully* still be very apparent, as the physical build of the wolfdog differs greatly from that of the GSD/husky mix. He’s got well-furred rounded ears, defined cheek ruff, and almond-shaped eyes.
Here’s yet another example to drive the point home: 
Can you guess which of these two has wolf content?


If you guessed the bottom pup, you are correct. Even though it has what appear to be blue eyes and a pink nose, it’s still got wolf traits that the upper pup does not, including a heavy cheek ruff, smaller eyes compared to skull size, hare feet instead of cat paws, and a longer, narrower muzzle.
His lack of color is admittedly unique for a wolfdog, but it’s important to remember that phenotyping is about looking at the bigger picture, not just a collection of traits on a point system. If the animal has many wolf traits but also has blue eyes, it’s still entirely possible that it’s a wolfdog. This is especially true when it comes to lower-content animals! 

The number of times I’ve seen people with white GSDs, malamutes, and huskies being passed off as “Arctic wolves” is staggering - and frankly, rather aggravating to boot. Just because a dog has a white coat, upright ears, a long tail, and pale eyes, does not mean it’s a wolfdog. 

Here are examples of true white wolfdogs of varying content for comparison: 

Above is a high-content wolfdog. Note that this animal has a very narrow arrow-shaped skull, small angular eyes, lanky build, and rounded, well-furred ears. It also has dark pigmentation on its nose and around its eyes. This animal has many physical characteristics of a true white wolfdog.

Above is another high-content animal. It displays even more wolfy characteristics, including the cow-hocked stance of its back legs, pre-caudal gland on the tail, and large finger-like digits on its paws. They are not compact little ‘cat feet’ as seen on huskies.

But these are high-content animals. Low-content ones are much harder to distinguish, right?

Yes, and no. There are still many differences between a white wolfy-dog, and a real white wolfdog. The trick is to look past the coloration.

Here’s an example:

The above pup is a low/low-mid content wolfdog. Compare that to a white GSD/husky mix: 

The difference should *hopefully* still be very apparent, as the physical build of the wolfdog differs greatly from that of the GSD/husky mix. He’s got well-furred rounded ears, defined cheek ruff, and almond-shaped eyes.

Here’s yet another example to drive the point home: 

Can you guess which of these two has wolf content?

If you guessed the bottom pup, you are correct. Even though it has what appear to be blue eyes and a pink nose, it’s still got wolf traits that the upper pup does not, including a heavy cheek ruff, smaller eyes compared to skull size, hare feet instead of cat paws, and a longer, narrower muzzle.

His lack of color is admittedly unique for a wolfdog, but it’s important to remember that phenotyping is about looking at the bigger picture, not just a collection of traits on a point system. If the animal has many wolf traits but also has blue eyes, it’s still entirely possible that it’s a wolfdog. This is especially true when it comes to lower-content animals!