Tag Archives: coyote

Chloë Makes Her Comeback

Wiffie baffles in storage.

Mike usually stuffs old towels under the living room furniture to prevent Wiffie from rolling underneath and causing him to get down on his hands and knees to pull Wiffie out. When those baffles came out of the closet and resumed their respective positions on the floor, I knew my month of “bed rest” was over.

And so I have enthusiastically reembraced playing tug of war with Lamby, and as soon as Wiffie hit the floor, I took off  after it and went flying into the kitchen, barking like a banshee. I also enjoyed knocking Wiffie into a corner and barking at it, daring it to try to get past me. No way, Wiff.


Fetch along the creek trail in Carkeek.

Our daily walks gradually ramped back up to an hour or more, and there has been some moderate reintroduction of fetch–kind of like pitch counts in baseball.  A few times we went to Carkeek Park, which has some of my favorite locations for chasing my ball. The trail that runs parallel to the small creek leading to the salmon hatchery is perfect, because it’s fine gravel, secluded, straight and flat, with the creek on one side and a steep slope on the other to confine me and my ball. After about 10 or 15 throws there, I felt I was getting my legs back under me. But the most recent time we went there, lots of people and other dogs were around, mostly to watch mature salmon flop up the creek to return to their original spawning ground and die, which doesn’t seem like the most fun thing to do on a fall afternoon. Instead, Heather, Mike and I ambled up the trails to the Rock, where I chased caroms for a good half-hour. I’m definitely all the way back.

Playing fetch at the Rock.

With the days getting shorter, we’ve started walking a little earlier in the afternoon, and maybe that’s a good thing. Coyote sightings from all over the neighborhood have become a daily occurrence, especially in the early morning and at dusk. We hear them howling at night and have seen them several times in the park. One morning Heather and I saw two of them walking towards us from down our block. When they saw us coming, they darted into the Bartons’ back yard–with any luck, they were after Fred, my nemesis neighborhood cat. Anyway, these days Heather keeps me on a tight leash and throws the ball only in open, controllable locations. Not a bad idea at all. Let the coyotes eat salmon.

Coyote ambling along Magnolia Boulevard.


Chloë Renews Her War on Cats

Staking out territory.

It’s well-known that I don’t like cats. They are mean. They are vicious. They make awful noises. I will chase one any chance I get. Lately,  however, I am under tighter watch. My opportunities have been few. Not surprisingly, during this period of decreased diligence, the cat population on our block has soared.  There are so many that I don’t even know their names, except for that damn Fred (short for Frederika) the Bartons’ cat. I don’t know whether it’s because Fred misses her brother Ted, who arrived with her but was shipped out for bad behavior a couple of years ago, or whether she’s trying to exert her resident dominance over the newcomers, who usually hide on their porches and under cars whenever Fred is around or I come prancing down the street.

Lulu’s window on the world.

I was hoping to gain support for my war against cats from the pack of new canines that have moved onto our block. New families means more kids, more names to remember and more dogs. Within the past few months, my pals April (border collie), Merrie (Basset hound) and Ranger (Bernadoodle) and I welcomed two younger Bernadoodles (Walter and Magnus) and two more doodle puppies. Now we have the Aussiedoodle pup Tucker on one side of the house and the sheepdoodle Lulu on the other. Tucker is still too little to come out and play, but Lulu let Mike rub her ears one day, and she is always looking at him through her fence portal. I think she likes him.

All these new dogs have been nice enough to me, but I don’t see me being able to form them into anything close to a comic. cunning, marauding pack like you see in movies. These designer breeds can shake their wang dang doodles all night long, but none has demonstrated any proclivity toward joining my quest for neighborhood dominance of the cats. I’m looking for toughness, resourcefulness and a killer instinct. I don’t see it in this bunch.

Frequent sightings all over the neighborhood.

Lo and behold, help arrived from an unlikely source. Coyotes, long a staple in Magnolia, seem to have proliferated during the pandemic, scooting onto our peninsula on the rail lines and finding plenty of inviting habitat and food sources when they got here. Once a rarity, coyote sightings at all hours of the day and night are now frequent. In fact, Heather has spied one several times on our daily walks and sternly kept me on a tight leash as we fled in the opposite direction every time.

She needn’t have been concerned that I might try to chase it like a squirrel, however.  I’m not that dumb! And remember, I’m a dog who turns her head away and pretends to be interested in trailside foliage rather than look a passing Chihuahua in the eye. I’m not running after any coyote, I’m all for them, especially after I found out they can be an ally in my feline war.

On Magnolia Nextdoor, a neighborhood blog, a women recently wrote, “At 4:40 this morning I was woken up by what sounded like a coyote killing a cat. I’m posting this in hopes that people will keep their cats indoors, especially at night, as this will be the third cat killed in a week in Magnolia by coyotes.” Aha, I thought; maybe the threat of a passing coyote could be a reason to get Fred to stop howling outside my window at night.

Unfortunately, before I ever had the chance to pen a love letter to the Wile E. Coyote we’ve seen in our personal Discovery Park habitat, Mike came upon this cautionary tale via Wikipedia: Coyotes occasionally hunt together with badgers, digging up rodents side by side and then lying together, licking each other’s faces.

No cat zone.

Gross! As a proud badger hound of the first degree, I can’t go there. Yet.



Chloë Loves the Country

Chloë in front of Mount Si

Chloë in front of Mount Si

I started whimpering as soon as Mike’s car got off I-90. Mike kept telling me to hold it in, thinking that I was whining because I really needed to pee badly. No, it was just my excitement; I knew I was getting back to the land of lawn, forest and wall-to-wall carpet: my country getaway.

And what could be as rare as four days in June? These were, in my view, perfect days, when I could play with (and sometimes destroy) Tara’s toys, play endless games of fetch on the grass, go on long walks with no leash on and collapse for tender naps in the sun.

Sleeping on a rock

Tanning posture

Tracking rabbits

Tracking rabbits

But I’m earning my spurs out there, too. First I flushed a huge rabbit out of one of the side beds from underneath a drooping Japanese maple. I mean HUGE! This guy made Blackie and all his pals in Discovery Park look like mice. I almost caught him, too, but Heather’s screams of  “treat party!!” sent me a pretty strong message, and I wisely decided to put on the brakes and hustle back for my bounty.

Still tracking rabbits

Still tracking rabbits

Probably a good thing, because the very next day during our walk in the state forest land out back, Heather and I saw a coyote cross the trail right in front of us. You better believe that Heather kept me on a short leash for a while after that. Mike, on the other hand,  seemed unconcerned, no doubt convinced that the coyote we saw was about as real as the rhinoceros he said he saw.

Scary things live here.

Scary things live here.

The next frontier for me to conquer is the horse barn, which continues to scare me, but even here I made good progress.  I wouldn’t go anywhere near that barn at first; after all, I could hear the loud noises inside, and I knew there must be big horses making them. Bigger than rabbits! Even when Mike, Heather and Tara all went inside the barn together and left me alone outside, I refused to cross the threshold, and Mike couldn’t drag or coax me inside. Finally, on our last day there, Heather picked me up and walked me through the center aisle all the way to the other end of the barn, and then I managed to slink back  under my own power (although  I was constantly praying that none of those horses would let go with a piercing neigh while I was inside). My prayers were answered. YES!

After my barn ordeal was over, Heather revealed that a cat lives in that barn, but it was hiding upstairs while I did my walk-through. I’m OK with that for now; this gives me something to look forward to for next time, when I’ll no doubt strut inside the barn and race right up to the loft. Watch out, kitty.