Thursday, August 14, 2008

Chased by a Coyote

I took the girls out last night with Deirdre and her two girls, to Peenaquim Park. We had a great walk. The girls were well behaved (except when Coulee barked at the people who were there that were afraid of dogs. People, don't come to an off leash dog park if you are afraid of dogs!!!). We saw a couple of beavers swimming in the river, the girls ran, and ran and even swam a bit. Lacey had fun trying to eat the bubbles in the water. (I don't want to think too much about what the bubbles were when we are downstream of the wastewater treatment plant.)

We were finally heading back when we heard barking in the bushes. We were a little confused - there was no path where the dog was barking, and there was no owner trying to call the dog or get him to stop barking. My next thought was that it was a stray dog but we decided to get moving as it didn't sound too friendly. We could tell the barking dog kept following us because the barks weren't getting any further away. And then we got a glimpse of him - he was a Coyote not a dog. Uh Oh. I had one leash and 3 dogs (Coulee, Lacey and Tundra, Marja's dog who was spending the night). Do I leash the littlest one who is most likely to get seriously hurt in a fight? Do I leash the one with the best recall but who is most likely to run up and bark at it. Or do I leash my friend's dog because I'm not sure what she'll do?

I debated between Coulee and Tundra but I ended up leashing Coulee for two reasons. 1) She was closest and 2) Tundra was quickly and steadily leading us down the path away from the Coyote, where as Coulee was barking and facing the coyote. Tundra was GREAT!!! I was so proud of her. She has been known to chase deer until she is out of sight but last night she wanted nothing to do with the wildlife. Once Coulee was on a leash she just strained after Tundra and Lacey just stayed with the rest of us. Deirdre's two dogs were also great - they stayed with us the whole time the coyote followed us - for about 10 minutes. We couldn't believe how far he insisted on driving us out. Once he stopped following, he kept barking at us until we reached the vehicles - another 10 minutes away.

I of course didn't have my camera. The coyote might have been grumpy, but he was sure pretty.


Sarah said...

YIkes that is scary, I've had that happen at Pavan - just down the river, instantly Jane goes in my arms. I usually avoid the area after 8pm too, as that is when they seem to be active in my limited experience with them. Coyotes are sneaky and try to attract the dogs to them, it might have been protecting a baby.

When we were at Liz's last time there is a mama coyote on the coulee across the river, that barked the WHOLE time we were there.

Glad it all worked out OK. The dogs seem to know to stay away from them it seems!!!!!!

p.s. maybe they thought Coulee was there leader, she is coyote colour afterall :)

Diamond Girl said...

That is frightening! The dogs sure were smart! I hope you gave them lots of yummy treats. I'm not sure that my dogs would have been so good!

Deirdre said...

The last time I was that freaked out was when I was working in the forestry industry in BC. While working there I had several encounters with the wildlife (coyotes, a wolf, was even charged and followed by a bear). I was trying to stay calm but have to admit inside I was FREAKING OUT. At first it was ok but he just kept following us...

But was so amazed and happy with all the dogs.

Wendy - I think Sarah's 8o'clock rule is a good one to follow for next time :). You forgot about the beavers - that was pretty cool. Also, if the water is coming out of the treatment plant, shouldn't it be potable??? :)

onecollie said...

oh my!!! I would have been scared!!! I think leashing Coulee was the smart thing, she is fearless & probably would have chased probably wanted to eat little Lacey.....Tundra knew what she was doing, getting the heck out of there!!

Anonymous said...

Oh my! I would have been peeing my pants - I know my dogs would have probably got in a fight with it. My hair dresser said that she was riding down there a few weeks ago with a friend and they had dogs with them, and the same thing happened. One of the dogs was just little, so they had to carry it on the horse with them - and they got out of there ASAP. Scary that they aren't afraid of people though . . . . I'm glad everything worked out OK.


Kim said...

That is very scary. Coyotes are know to try to lead dogs away to be ganged up on by the rest of the pack. I have noticed that the coyotes seem to be getting braver - we almost walked right into one that was on the sidewalk near out house - it was dark and I thought it was a dog at first.

I am glad all your dogs were well behaved and ignored the coyote.

Anonymous said...

This is SO SCARY!!! Kudos to you for keeping your cool. I honestly don't know what I would have done.