One of Maude and Sarah’s mandatory day walks occurred later than usual, so Mortimer, the largest of the brood accompanied them for coyote purposes.
Sure enough, though the walk started peacefully and without incident, a coyote crossed our path and Mortimer was gone with the wind.
Before you judge, know this: Ours is an area of coyotes bordering on domestic. Garbage, dead cows, food deliberately placed by humans and some other things best not mentioned, supplement fare that is hunted. The coyotes are not as fearful of humans as those farther out, nor are they as aggressive. Small dogs are not safe, but larger dogs are funny looking other coyotes to them.
To give an example of the behavior of these fringe coyotes, kid you not, true story:
One pre-dawn morning, a few months back, I let The Hoard out for their usual wake up potty break. A few minutes later, many voices were heard in a joyful mix of howling and yipping. When this happens during the day, it’s cute, but when the rest of the neighborhood is no doubt sleeping, not so much, so I rushed out to quiet the beasts.
When I got out the door and saw the Pack of Wild Wanna Be’s, there were actually 14 of them, howling and yipping, just because they could. Did you notice the number? See, not only were my kids yipping simply because they could, but 2 coyotes were there in the bunch, similarly singing with wild abandon, one so close to my Vito, my heart stopped.
Either The Hoard is not all that threatening or those were two VERY stupid coyotes. Whatever the case, my panic over Vito’s, and the other little ones for that matter, proximity to the appetizer plate had me adding my own shrieks to the orchestra, and the 2 coyotes vacated the property post-haste.
The point I’m trying to make here is that the larger kids, in a kid/coyote encounter are not in danger. Similarly, since our kids are for the most part pacifists, the coyote/kid encounter is similarly harmless. All that being said, ANY coyote/little dog encounter is to be avoided at all costs.
Anyway, back to Mortimer and his coyote adventure: Morty took off after the coyote and despite our calls, he did not return. Crabby and I split up and continued calling, Crabby, alone, bushwhacked through the potentially rattlesnake infested brush. Maude, Sarah and I followed trails in the general direction Morty went.
About 10 minutes, if that, after Morty left, he came trotting down a trailed hill toward me and the ladies. At his haunch, casually trotted the coyote. The coyote stopped at the top of the hill. Morty continued toward us, head down, much more subdued than he was prior to taking off. When he reached us, he asked for a scritch, and looked over his shoulder at the coyote.
I yelled out to Crabby that ‘his’ dog was back, and looked back up the hill at the coyote who then stood up, watched us a little longer, then casually turned and left.
For the return walk to the Waggin Waggin’, Mortimer stayed uncharacteristically close to us.
Nearest we can figure, a conversation occurred between Morty and the coyote, the results of which had Morty suddenly more appreciative of me, Crabby and The Hoard.
The conversation probably went something like this:
Mortimer: You have a great life! You get to do what you want all the time! No humans to tell you what to do! They really cramp my lifestyle!
Coyote: Yup! It’s awsome! No rules!
Mortimer: Can I live with you?
Coyote: Sure! We could use a big, fast guy like you to scare away threats and to catch food!
Mortimer: What threats???
Coyote: Bigger coyotes, mountain lions, mean humans. Things like that.
Mortimer: Well, I guess I can do that. It’s not like you said there were any Chihuahuas out here. No one can defend against THEM. Why do you have to catch food? Doesn’t some human put food in a bowl for you?
Coyote: Dude! We live off the grid! We don’t need no stinkin’ bowls of food! We HUNT!
Mortimer: OK… I guess. I used to have to hunt to eat, I can do it again. So… how many of us can fit on your people bed?
Coyote: We don’t have no people bed!
Mortimer: Where’s the couch?
Coyote: What’s a couch?
Mortimer: Ohhhh-Kayyy, sounds like you don’t have couches out here either, I guess dog beds are fine to sleep on.
Coyote: Dog beds?!?! Nahhh! We sleep under the stars! Just smash down some weeds, and presto! a place to sleep!
Mortimer: Huh… Well, being wild and free means you get to splash in mud puddles and streams all the time. I guess I can give up people beds, couches and dog beds for the opportunity to get as muddy as I want, whenever I want, without having to get a bath from the meddling humans!
Coyote: Are you crazy? This is the D-E-S-E-R-T. Sometimes we’re lucky just to find a few drops of water to drink!
Mortimer: Why don’t you just drink from your play pool?????
Coyote: What’s a play pool?
Mortimer: (Sigh) Tell you what, I know where there’s water year round. The humans take me there a lot. It’s just over those mountains. Let’s go to your moving crate and I will show the human who makes it go where to go.
Coyote: What are you talking about?
Mortimer: You know, the boxy thingy that goes really fast and takes you places. While you are waiting to get where you’re going, you can stick your head out the windows and feel the wind on your face.
Coyote: Sounds like you ate a bad rabbit, man!
Mortimer: Did not! Hey, all this running is getting me kinda hot. Where are your cold air vents?
Coyote: Again, what are you talking about?
Mortimer: The cold air vents! The vents in the floor of the den of the humans! When you’re hot, you just lay down on them and they cool you off. When it’s cold out, they make heat to warm you up.
Coyote: You aren’t going to find any of them out here Dude!
Mortimer: So let me get this straight: You get to do whatever you want, whenever you want and you have no terrorist Chihuahuas. But: You have to hunt for your food, you have to sleep on the ground, you have no regular water, no way to cool down in the heat, no way to warm up in the cold, and you don’t get to go places unless you are willing to get there on your own 4 paws?
Coyote: Yup! But we’re free man!
Mortimer: I think I hear my Mommy and Daddy calling… Gotta go!
Before the coyote turned around and trotted away, he made a noise. There was a wind that evening so the noise wasn’t very clear, but I think I heard the coyote shout something like “Pansy!”.
Cross fingers that Morty didn’t tell the coyote to bring all his friends and come live with us!