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Kill Devil Hills, NC, United States
Trying to connect my present with the past in order to fly through the future.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cousin Canine

Yesterday, while on my ‘regular’ walk with my puppy charges (I am dog-sitting this week) I was left alone. Ginger, the ½ bloodhound, caught a scent and took off. I was warned of this behaviour so I was not concerned. But, when the ‘they’ll-pretty-much -stay-with-you” Fred and Bo, abandoned me, I decided to follow, even though I had not been on the path they had taken. I crossed the wood-line the path split with no sign of either dog. Eenie Meanie Miney Mo, and my excellent (most of the time) sense of direction, agreed that I take the right fork.

A few yards in, I heard some yipping, yelping, leaf rustling and the occasional branch snapping. I kept a good pace up the path in the hopes of catching up to my four-legged friends. I heard more yelping, which did not really sound like any of the dogs I am sitting, too high pitched. Suddenly, the branch breaking and leaf rustling seemed to get louder and from where I had just walked from. I turned around just in time to see, crossing the path a mere 10 feet away, a grey dog with a bushy tail. Within seconds, it was not a dog, it was a wolf, then a coyote.

After quickly high-tailing it up the path, I decided to breathe and attempt whisper-yelling for the dogs. I finally came out of the wood into an open hilly field. Bo was sitting atop one of the hills, pretty as a picture. I stood in the field at the mouth of the pathway. Ginger and Fred were still missing. Although I didn’t want to, I considered heading back into the woods to look for them when I saw Fred trotting up.

Fred, Bo and I headed to the house, in hopes that Ginger knew what she was doing and my advice that she would catch a scent and disappear for hours was good. I waited in the house, watching out the windows with great concern.

She finally tiptoed her way back in about ½ hour after she had left me originally.  She was wet and grainy. I saw injuries. Just a few cautious steps by her. Then, as usual, she fell asleep. For all I know, none of the dogs saw, let alone met up with the coyote. I may have been the only pair of eyes to she him.

As exciting as it was, I think I would like to keep my wildlife experience to small birds, squirrels and chipmunks. 

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