The woods behind our house serve as a wildlife highway. We regularly see or hear coyotes as they travel along the edge of suburbia, trying their best to survive in a world of expanding lawns and minivans. Like all of us, they are just doing their best to survive, day by day. I have no grudges against coyotes. In fact, I think they're quite beautiful. As long as they're not eating the local dogs and cats.
This is Charlie. He is not my coyote, but I wish he was.
He is an amazing animal companion and he has his very own blog.
He also has his own yarn (his mom must be a knitter).
Take a few minutes to go and visit. His human mom takes some of the most haunting and beautiful photographs of the west. Her book is coming out in early December. I've already signed up for my copy.
So what does this have to do with dogs? Well, coyotes are very closely related to our domestic dogs - they are both members of the Canine species (with different genuses). When Chloe and Abbie spot coyotes, or hear them howling, they react very differently than when they spot bunnies or squirrels or deer. The hair on the back of their necks and flanks will raise up and their barking is deep and serious, as in "guarding the house" (as opposed to the hyper and shrill excited "quick mom, let's go hunting! Let's go catch those things!"). And yet, their tails are sort of wagging at the same time. It's like they recognize the coyotes as distant cousins, but they don't want them to come and visit.
Although for Charlie, they might make an exception.