Peace on the prairie? Not so much.

If we hadn’t had such a lovely thunderstorm this morning, I would probably not have been awake in time to see a coyote try to kill the dog that isn’t mine.  However, we’ve been in such a drought, which the official U.S. drought monitor refuses to acknowledge and will only call “unusually dry” – don’t get me started – that when I realized that we were having not only thunder and lightning, but actual RAIN, I decided to get up a few minutes early to enjoy it.  And that’s when the coyote tried to kill the dog that isn’t mine.  

Let me begin by saying that I don’t have a dog… I don’t need a dog.  I don’t even think I really want a dog even though everyone I know keeps telling me that I need one.  I almost had a dog a couple of years ago when a beautiful but tick-infested blue heeler showed up at my door and refused to leave.  I fed him on the porch and he then refused to let me go back in the house, holding my wrist gently between his jaws… jaws that probably could have taken my arm off if he had wanted.  He stayed around for several days, and after notifying the local radio station that we had found a dog (which is what you do out in the country), we cleaned him up, named him “Dog” and gave him to a friend.

So, a few weeks ago, two “new” dogs began showing up on a daily basis.  I chased them off at first, until I realized that they were starving, and I began feeding them.  I have no idea what kind they are – they’re brown and black with a little white on them.  They might be part blue heeler, too, actually.  They’re standoffish, probably because I chased them off for the first few weeks, and they were very, very hungry when we started feeding them.  They come separately or together, nearly every day, and I’ve seen them frolicking in the pasture together.  There’s no other word that fits what they do together – it’s definitely frolicking.  They’re both boys, and I think they might be brothers, even though they are not entirely the same kind of dog.  But I digress…

So this morning, there I was, enjoying a cup of coffee, watching the storm, dry and warm and comfortable.  I saw the coyote that I have been watching on and off for several weeks now – he was sniffing around the pasture across the street.  I didn’t see Dog2 (which is what I’m calling the dog that isn’t mine), but the coyote did.  I happened to be watching at the exact moment the coyote took off after the dog, running faster than I have EVER seen a coyote run before.  The coyote caught up with Dog2 and the chase began.  They crossed the pasture, crossed the road, crossed my front pasture and neared my house in a matter of seconds.  I saw the looks on their faces – fury on the face of the coyote and terror on the face of Dog2.  I jumped up, screamed for my husband to spot them out the south window, which he was near, and ran to the deck on the east side of the house.  Just opening the deck door was enough to scare the coyote off, and Dog2 was there, below the deck, growling and shaking like a leaf, drenched and terrified.  I spoke to him kindly.  I came back through the house, heading for the front porch to put out dog food, and arrived just in time to see the coyote sauntering down the driveway, in no particular hurry.  He returned back across the road from whence he came.

Dog2 hasn’t made an appearance and the food is still here.  I hope he’s resting nearby, because I was kind of getting used to him.  Dog3 hasn’t made an appearance today.  I hope he’s okay, too.  Like I said, I don’t really want a dog, or need one, but I don’t want him to be killed by a coyote, either. I had been wondering in the last couple of weeks if the dogs and coyote knew each other and how they would get along.  Not the way I had hoped – that’s how they got along.

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