Monday, April 9, 2012

A little refresher to a Grandmother's Guide to Living with Coyotes ....

I am a middle aged grandmother and will freely admit to being a bit of a fuddy duddy about my pets.    What does that mean in realspeak? 
It means that I am a big believer in the value of that ounce of prevention!  My cats are indoor only!  Even in the fenced yard, the dogs are always leashed after dark!   Last but not least, it means that I never, ever 'let the dogs out' unaccompanied!
Does that mean that my dogs don't have any fun?  Of course not!   I have been told their life of Riley is actually the envy of many another dog ....  lol!  We go hiking in the woods ... spend of plenty of time putting the play yard to good use ... and this spring I'm going to extend the fencing so we can rummage around the shady upper pond on hot summer afternoons!
This morning started as it always does .... with a quick inspection tour of the play yard.   Our sedate morning routine immediately shifted gears when the dogs spotted a big coyote on the other side of the fence.  The big dogs flew off the step in unison and raced to the fence in full stranger danger mode!   Happily the old geezers sensibly stayed by the step!
The short version of this story is that the coyote immediately melted back into the woods.  The big dogs calmed down and everyone had a turn at watering the fence where the coyote had stood.
One of the other fussy things that I do is to always keep enough spare short leashes in the pocket of whatever funny yard coat the season calls for.  Had the need arose, I would have been able to calm the big dogs down immediately by leashing them!
Would the coyote have been a danger to one unaccompanied dog?  You bet!  Would the big dogs have skittled over the fence without supervision?   Possibly ... but happily we will never know.
This is not the first time I have seen this big coyote.   Odds are it won't be the last!   My desk has a wonderful view and I have often seen him sniffing his way along the play yard fence ... providing the dogs with hours of entertainment long after he has wandered on his merry way.
It has been such a while since I have seen him that I had wondered if a more skittish sort had shot the poor fellow.   Why would we see him now after all of this time?
Yesterday's storm notwithstanding, around here at spring the young and not so young men's hearts turn to thoughts of barbecuing.    Eating outside.    Bringing beer and chips along four wheeling.
In other words .... as a wild animal he is just following the food.
What time is it?  It is always time to remember that common sense will keep more coyotes away than any charged weapon will.    If food sources are not readily available and vulnerable family pets are not tied out like bait ... it is the worst kind of scare tactic to think that one coyote on walkabout is cause for a cull.

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