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.