Wolf Haven is 26 years old, and Mike Dalgaard, QT publisher, has been a member for 22 years.
While still living in California he read about the wolf sanctuary and education center in Tenino, Washington. As this was in the days before everything was a click away on the internet, he made a phone call to find out more about it. Impressed with the wildlife conservation work they were doing, and the care the non-profit organization was providing for captive-born wolves, he became an enthusiastic supporter. Instead of fruit baskets, the clients of his marketing company would receive an “Adopted Wolf Certificate” donation in their name as gifts.
Mike has a love for animals, as did his mother. He grew up with many pets, and always had a companion dog (or two, or three)! When she passed away in 1988, he bought a memorial tile in her name, placed in the new educational amphitheater at Wolf Haven.
When we met in the early 90s, he had never been to Wolf Haven, although he had been getting the Newsletter for years, and knew the names and histories of the many wolves living there. We were both interested in relocating to the Pacific Northwest and made several exploratory road trips to Washington and Oregon. Of course the first place on our “must visit list” was Wolf Haven International.
It was a beautiful spring day when we drove down the country road and spotted the sign leading into the sanctuary. It was exciting to see the vast property in its forested setting where the enclosures blended in with nature.
Mike was unusually quiet with awe as we walked down the winding path greeting the magnificent animals, recognizing a few of the most famous ones from pictures in the newsletter. It was the best day of the trip.
Fourteen years ago we decided to make Washington our home, never dreaming that our great Northwest adventure would include publishing a motorcycle magazine. A few years later Quick Throttle Northwest became our main interest, passion and occupation. Getting the issue to the printer every month kept us busy warding off disasters at deadline and solving ever new problems that came with the learning curve, but the rewards have been getting to know you all, and being part of a gutsy, enthusiastic, caring riding community.
Our business motto has been to “have some fun, make some money, do some good.” We saw an opportunity to do some good for Wolf Haven when we became active in sponsoring “Run With the Wolves.” This year’s event was the best ever with a record breaking turn-out. If you saw all the smiling faces in the September QT picture layout, you know what a memorable time was had by everyone. Mike was riding on cloud 9, having so much fun while helping to raise funds for the Wolves.
Last Christmas week, Mike’s son Chris and his wife Lisa came for a visit with our granddaughter, the fearless 6 year old Gabriella. Although it was a rainy, chilly Northwest week, Mike was proud to take them to see Wolf Haven, with special passes he had saved, to see areas that aren’t open to the public. Gabriella had a joyous time, and loved seeing all the wolves. One giant silver male even came up to the fence and gave her a kiss, making her giggle. (or was he just tasting her?) Mike was happy to see that caring for animals and the environment is becoming a tradition in his family.
We greatly appreciate our many friends and readers who rode out to support Wolf Haven, a Nothwest treasure, by joining Mike and the Quick Throttle pack on the annual “Run With the Wolves.”