Tale of Tails: Tino & the Coyotes
I was working on a post for next week about coyotes, actually reworking a piece we had written for Dogster last year and I realized with all the Tino stories I’ve told here, I never wrote about any of his run-ins with coyotes.
Today, I’ll share a few – there were more, but these were probably the scariest. The first happened when we lived in Pasadena and we would run with the dogs in Cherry Canyon. There was a great loop we ran there – about 3 miles. We would take the dogs early in the am usually around 6:30-7, so prime coyote spotting time.
One day we were coming around a bend in the loop and Tino just takes off up into the brush. I grabbed Sally so that she wouldn’t follow and I hear Tino crashing through the bushes. Steve takes off after him, but it’s brush and heavy overgrowth and not easy for him to get through.
All of a sudden I hear some yipping and growling and I freak as I realize it’s not a rabbit he’s after, but coyotes and he has probably stumbled into their den. Steve starts yelling, I start yelling and luckily, Tino had enough ‘street sense’ or in his case ‘living in the wild’ sense – probably from his time on the streets and he high-tailed it out of there without injury.
The second scariest time, I was alone up in the hills behind our home in Thousand Oaks. Tino and I were on a long run – one we did frequently, but it took us up into the hills, across a meadow and then back down around to our home. We were just coming over the top of a small rise, the entrance to the meadow. Tino was off-leash and a little bit ahead of me.
All of a sudden he takes off. I know the run…it’s was his “I’m chasing coyotes run”. (Oddly, it’s different than his “I’m chasing a rabbit run”). I have a vantage point from the top of the rise that he doesn’t since he is already on his way into the valley. I see not just one coyote, but multiple coyotes….all lying in wait for Tino to be lured into their trap.
He is chasing the first one, and the others are posed to circle around behind him. I’m really freaked out now. I start running at full speed – which unfortunately is no where near fast enough to catch up to him. I pick up a big stick and start waving it over my head, running and screaming as loud as I can.
He wasn’t really harmed, thank god, but he was always leashed going through that meadow from that day on. And I would always grab a stick as we came over the crest, just to have it ready.
Then there was the day I was sitting in my office one morning and looked out to see a coyote strolling through our (fenced) backyard. Luckily, Tino was in the house – I can’t imagine what would have ensued if he had been out back.
Come back on Thursday for our post on Protecting your Dogs from Coyotes.