"Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad!", she seemed to scream as she came bounding over the crest of the hill like a freight train, all legs and arms flailing at full capacity in hopes that she might stay just ahead of the coyote now pursuing her with bad intentions.
She and I walked this stretch of hill many times when she a puppy, but months had passed since we were last there. When I let her off the leash she bounded like a kangaroo through the tall grass. I assumed it was exuberance over being back in this area after a long absence, never knowing it was the fresh scent of a coyote lurking nearby.
|This was taken several years back in Marin County|
|This crappy iphone shot shows the same coyotes the next morning. This is about 200 feet from our house.|
It's not uncommon to see coyotes when we walk. I estimate we see them three times a week, usually at a distance of about a quarter mile. Even then she will come to attention and point when she sees them moving, hoping for a chance to go introduce herself. It must have been quite a pleasant surprise to her to have the opportunity to say hello face-to-face. It probably went something like this:
"Hello Mr. Coyote, I'm Olive! I've seen you and your friends walking around, I've smelled all your poop, I feel like I know a little bit about you, and I'm excited to spend time together" (Olive only speaks in sentences that end in exclamation points. EVERYTHING IS THAT EXCITING)!
(Coyote looks at her with a piercing glance and thinks): Mmmm.....steak. Come one step closer and then you're mine.
Olive: Oh shit, I've seen this look at the dog park once before. RUUUUUUUUUUUUN!
|Olive Honing her skills. She's a feisty shit when she needs to be.|
My first instinct was to bark like a dog and I was a little surprised it worked. The coyote came to an abrupt halt when it saw me and sat down. Overcome with a new sense of confidence at this change of fortune, Olive swung around and turned to go back at the coyote and reproach him for his bad manners. BZZZZZ! She stopped immediately and came back to me, validating my decision to buy the electric collar all those months ago. The coyote laughed at the submissive canine and walked off back over the hill, stopping briefly to pee in our direction.
I fully expected to find some bite marks on her backside and began looking her over. The coyote was that close to her. Amazingly I found nothing and we continued our walk, her attitude and confidence the same as it ever was. Once at home, I gave her the lecture about social hierarchy, dominance, law of the jungle, and other important life lessons. About halfway through my talk she looked past me, fixated on something, and screamed, "LOOK, THERE'S A BALL OVER THERE, CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!!!!"
And off she went....