Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Coyotes Happen

We live in a semi-rural area in the mountains.  So encounters with wildlife are not uncommon.

We've seen lizards, snakes, grasshoppers, praying mantis, butterflies, tiger centipedes, moles, and more.

We've seen coyotes in our yard.

We've even seen a bobcat in our yard.

I've seen coyotes while I've been running around the neighborhood.  And honestly, some of the neighbor's dogs scare me more than the coyotes.  If a coyote sees you it will usually slink off into the trees quick.

But not tonight.

Goodness me.  I think I've stopped shaking.

Time for my dramatic story.  Well, it's not too dramatic, but I can make it dramatic.  I'll just try to keep it real.  That's how I roll.

Ranger and I were out for a run tonight.  We were about 1/2 mile from home on our 3 mile loop.  (Just past the mail boxes and heading up the big hill for those of you who know where I live.)

Ahead of me I saw a dog sitting in the middle of the road.  At least I thought it was a dog.  It wasn't.  As I got closer I knew it was a coyote.

For some reason I called Biker Boy.  I mean, this isn't the first time I've seen a coyote while running, but they usually slink off.  This one didn't.  So I called. 

I had also stopped running and stood still. 

Biker Boy answered and I said, "There's a coyote in the road.  What do I do?"

"I don't know," was the reply I got.  "Did you pick up the dog?" 

I picked up the dog then.  He's small. You can find out more about Ranger here if you don't know him.

"It's crossing the road now," I said.

"Can you still see it?"

"No, but I think it's still there." 

"Just walk up a little on the opposite side."

So I held my small dog and started walking on the opposite side of the road. 

"Can you put me on speaker phone and just go about your business?"  I asked Biker Boy.

I got that funny sound of being on the speaker phone and kept walking up hill.  It's a bugger of a hill.  Especially for you oxygen enriched (or deficient) people from sea level.  Right, dad?

Satisfied that I was past the "coyote spot" I put the dog down and hung up the phone. 

I swear it couldn't have been more than 10 seconds after I hung up the phone that the coyote walked out about 10 feet in front of me on the road.  Scared the dickens out of me. 

It all happened so fast.  The coyote and I stood and stared at each other for a nanosecond before I hightailed it and turned my patootie around. 

I speed dialed Biker Boy.  "Come get me," I hysterically and breathlessly spoke into the phone with urgency. 

Biker Boy sensed my urgency and yelled at the kids to get into the car.  They must have sensed the urgency in his voice because he said they were out the door and in the car without him having to say why or tell them twice. 

The coyote started walking into a neighbor's yard as I was headed back to where I came from.  Then it started walking towards me again and I finally remembered I should pick up the dog. 

I picked up the dog and started picking up speed.  Not good.  As I was almost at a slow jog the coyote started running towards me.  Prey run. Predators chase.  I then remembered I should not run and I stood and yelled at the coyote.  It stopped.

I started slowing walking back with my heart about beating about of my chest.  If I was thinking clearly I should have thrown some rocks at it.  I apparently don't think clearly when I'm shaking and my heart is beating 200 beats a minute.  Plus I was having a sugar low from running.  Need any more excuses?

That coyote started coming at me again and I yelled at it.  I was wondering where all the neighbors were.  Where were all the people coming home from work?  I wondered if I should yell for help.  I almost did yell for help.  Couldn't people hear me yelling at the coyote.  And where were all those neighborhood dogs that bark?  Seriously.  And I was still on the phone at this time.  Or at least the line was still open. 

I finally got to a neighbor who had opened their gate to pull out their vehicle.  Their super big dog that normally barks at me from behind the fence ran out at me.  Oddly enough, I wasn't scared of the super big dog.  It came out and sat down in front of me.  Ranger and the big dog sniffed noses.  Usually they bark at each other from each side of the fence.

I then must have looked like a lunatic as I tried to tell the neighbor I've never met that a coyote came out at me and my dog.  She asked if I needed a ride and I pointed up the hill and said, "That's my husband coming to get me." 

Then the coyote went back into the brush. 

I never even asked the neighbor's name or introduced myself.  And I caused her to have trouble getting her big dog back behind the fence.  Nice.

Biker Boy picked me up.  He's my hero. 

And we didn't see the coyote as we drove back home.

And what about Ranger?  He was miraculously well-behaved.  Earlier on the run he had lunged and barked at a motorcycle and a car.  Bad dog.  But he never barked or acted aggressive during the whole ordeal.  He was calm and quiet.  Good dog.  Though I have no doubt that he would have done his darn best to protect me if that coyote did attack. 

Before my run I realized I didn't have my "aggressive dog deterrent spray" with me and thought I wouldn't need it.  Just so you know....I won't be forgetting it anymore.  Thanks mom for getting that for us. 

Big dogs and coyotes....that's why the neighbors walk with big sticks.

I need me a big stick.  Or just my doggie spray.

Maybe I'll stick with the treadmill for a bit.  It is smoky outside from all the forest fires.  It's also really dusty from the wind.

What's happened to you lately?

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