Last week Greg was stopped by a neighbor on his way home from an event. The man was concerned for all the people on our street with small dogs. Because of the lack of rain in our area – the coyotes have been driven in to residential areas in search of food.
We often hear them at night. The strange howling and distant song that becomes part of the night. It is somewhat soothing and usually does not bother our puppy, as she is safe and comfortable inside our home.
During the day (early morning and sometimes early evening) we walk a trail close to our home – heavily wooded and thick with brush. It has been an excellent place to walk and let Daisy off her leash. She loves to smell everything, hop along and run with reckless abandon – never straying too far from us – and never letting us out of her sight. We have felt comfortable doing this for some time now. It is a refreshing 30 minute walk down and up again. Although at times I have to admit, I did feel like something might be stalking us as we walked along. And we have seen the occasional deer or rabbit running along beside the trail.
But today – a day like any other day, was different on the trail. As we walked along – Greg spotted fresh “poo” and wondered, although he said nothing. Then we happened upon a little wounded shrew in the path – and wondered why it was left there half alive, like something got spooked and didn’t finish the job? But we continued on. When we turned a corner we saw something way up ahead and both of us thought maybe it was a small deer in the path, stopping to look right at us and then move along to the other side and disappear in the woods. But as we hesitated for a moment – we saw clearly that it was a coyote. This is an animal we have never seen. Normally this would not alarm us too much – but when coyotes come that close to you it can only mean one thing. They are hungry. So we attempted to get Daisy back on her leash – and this was no small feat because she was in full prancing and playing mode – fully secure in her “freedom” allowed her on this trail. We knew if we could not get her on the leash – the coyote could start a chase – and she would take the bait and run “like a bat out of hell” into the woods. We would never be able to catch her if this happened.
After putting her back on the leash we finished our walk – but with heightened awareness – as every crackle and snap all around us – reminded us of the danger on the trail for a small dog. Many years ago a neighbor of ours lost a small dog in this spot and we believe it was a coyote or other wild animal.
It is something to think about. The danger was probably always there, lurking in the woods – we just never sensed or saw it – until today. How much of our lives are like this? A feeling of safety and security – until – it is not anymore. Sometimes we need a reminder – to just be careful.
Here’s wishing you and yours safety on your trail today.
- A Coyote Tale (genomega1.wordpress.com)
- Hingham woman, dog escape pack of coyotes (wcvb.com)
- Coyote Warning In Hingham (boston.cbslocal.com)
- Fear, Coyotes, and Really Big Sticks (rescuedinsanity.com)
- Carson mobile home park terrorized by coyotes (abclocal.go.com)
- Coyotes Catch and Kill Small Dog on Walk in Huntington Beach (laist.com)
- Warning: Coyotes can appear on any street (ocregister.com)