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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Canines: domestic and wild

Yesterday afternoon, the Duo and I headed out for an earlier-than-usual hike. I took them to the big meadow because I figured that the coyotes wouldn't be active so far before sunset. I almost always start the Duo's off-leash romping time with a bit of training so that I have their focus on me. They did a sit-stay together.
As their focus on me became complete, I began to realize that there was activity behind them. They didn't know it yet.
I spotted a coyote, sitting in the middle of a marshy part of the meadow that is speckled with willow bushes. He's near the lower right corner of the photo below.
Upon seeing him watching us, I called the Duo to me. Because the coyote was downwind of us and behind the Duo, they had no idea that he was there.
As the Duo sprinted to me, I saw that a second coyote was sitting near the first. The pair of coyotes cantered toward the cover of a boulder-strewn hillside. One coyote disappeared while the other stayed out to watch us. He's in the lower left of the photo below, standing on a boulder for a better view, just like my dogs like to do.
By then, I had the Duo on-leash to avoid a coyote encounter. I'm glad that I know every stump and boulder in that meadow. Otherwise, I might have led the Duo straight toward the well-camouflaged coyotes. After years and years of practicing recalls near wildlife, I feel confident that I could have called the Duo off of the coyotes... but I'd rather avoid the situation altogether. It's less stressful for the coyotes and for us.

We've still had the injured coyote coming by our house with his mate - and I suspect that he was one of the pair that we saw yesterday. You might be able to see the dark area under his left eye in the next photo taken by our house. It has been there for a couple of weeks.
From another camera, I figured out that he's the male in the breeding pair. I wonder if he got in a fight over his mate during the recent breeding season. At the other camera, the female arrived first and "squatted" to mark the spot. Her mate watched her, and you might be able to see the dark area under his left eye. It's tougher to see with this "infrared" flash camera.
Then, the male marked the same spot before trotting off quickly after his partner. I hope this guy is okay. Male coyotes play huge roles in raising pups, doing most of the hunting while the mother is confined to the den with her nursing pups. Younger coyotes who are part of the same pack also help raise the pups. I've been seeing those "single" coyotes passing my cameras. There appears to be only one breeding pair in our territory, and this is it.

Returning to our hike yesterday afternoon, after we'd walked a good distance away from the coyotes, I gave the Duo their freedom again. I love watching R run. He is so graceful and strong, galloping among the boulders.
And, I love K's fur in the red rays of the sun near the end of the day.
Today, K had some tests to see how her body is accommodating the new form of chemotherapy. We are so fortunate that she loves going to the vet since it's a frequent occurrence these days. She loves any activity that involves interacting with people, and the vets and techs give her lots of love. She sings and rejoices as we arrive at the clinic. I bet that's a rarity!


  1. How cool you get to be so close to them!
    Dachshund Nola

  2. Beautiful. So clever of you to spot the coyotes. And lucky they were downwind from the duo.

    Neither of our dogs likes to go to the vet. Ellie refuses the cookies they give her. Making a statement I suppose. I'm so glad K doesn't have that to worry about. It would make the trips so much harder if she were afraid.

  3. We at SO jealous of the awesome coyote encounters!

    Thanks again for letting us tag along!

  4. Wow your coyotes look so much healthier than ours here... Probably because ours have no room anymore with all of the building.. It's very sad!

    Love to see all of your infared pics!!! So cool to be able to see them in that capacity!

  5. Good thing you spotted the coyotes before the duo did. After we moved to our current home our first dog Greta used to get very excited to go to the vet because she always got cookies. She used to go into the exam room and literally point to the cookie jar with her nose and not stop until she got one.


  6. I couldn't have spotted them, they blended so well in the background! R looks like a cheerful happy dog with that pic licking his nose as he gallops!

  7. I can just imagine K singing it up when she goes to vet. I bet they love it.

  8. We send White Dog positive energy of the strongest kind that K's body is accepting the new chemo without difficulty or pain.

    Perhaps the hardest thing to understand, at least for me, is the duality of life. Is it truly essential to experience darkness to know light? Makes living a life awakened to living fully a tough choice. You are awesome.

  9. I really like the picture of the coyote on the rock. Very cool. Glad you saw them. I am not sure if I did if I would have come back when MOM called. More of a friendly thing than aggressive.
    I don't mind going to the vet. I walk in ok and like the waiting room. But once I have to go to the exam room, well then I don't like it so much.

  10. You have trained your dual so well! I think it would be panic time here if there was ever a coyote around me- the little tweedles.
    I don't obey so well!
    But you know K and R- and you knew they would come to you!
    Such beautuful photos of the coyotes, and of course K and R.
    I can tell by the look in K's eyes- that she just loves everyone- veterinarains included.

  11. Wow, you handled your encounter with grace. My mom would have screamed and ran! I once almost caught a jack rabbit when we were visiting friends in wine country. She freaked. Hahaha. I have a city momma. :)

  12. We're glad the encounter with the coyotes was without incident. Jed would have charged right at them if he'd sensed them. It's great to see the labraduo so happy together.

    Jed & Abby

  13. I'm glad K doesn't mind her trips to the vets, so much less stress for you. Unfortunately my Amber hated going to the vets and that is an enduring memory. Hope today's test results are good.
    Fabulous post and photos as always.

    Love Eileen and Annie

  14. Must be exciting to meet a coyote like that. Do you think the labraduo would gone after the coyote if you let them? THey are not that huntingdogs ...great trailcamera pictures.

    Tomorrow we will go home from our vacation. Happy to see our dogs.

    My dogs go to the vet without complaining. My breedermentor had a bad experience yesterday. One of the dogs, good hunting dachshund, got unfortunately into the closet where the dogfood was. SHe ate a lot. She went very sick and she did´nt make it, only 5 years. So to all doglovers, keep the dogfood locked, dogs are inventing dogs too.

  15. I train a lot of recalls, too, with my little rat terrier, she's a decidated hunter!
    Good K loves to go the vets, most of my pack love it too, but with Flavie it is pure stress, no matter how much cuddles and treats... Poor girl.

  16. what a great news, that you spotted cayote on your place, an were glad that K and R are still doing great! ^_^

    Dog Shock Collar | Puppy & Human Bond

  17. My goodness, those coyotes look like they were quite close! We see them up North near out cottage and I have to be very careful with the girlz...especially at night. They would think the girlz are rabbits!! Your two did an excellent job of coming to you. Glad that K seems to be accepting her chemo so far and it is a really good thing that she likes to go to the vet. Mine just HATE it and freak out every time we go! Enjoy our weekend!!

  18. Paws crossed for the male coyote.

    Love the photos of the two pups!!!

  19. Wow - am sure I never would have seen them - you have such a great eye - and trained your beautiful labs so well! We were hiking in some open space a couple of months ago with our son and his family. There was a slough pond (large) with fire roads on either side. Our son spotted a coyote midday, trotting on the opposite bank. We were stunned as the fella was practically invisible except for his trotting gait.

    So glad to read that K likes her vets and is doing well. Just love your beautiful pictures of her!
    xo Sammie and Avalon

  20. I just thinks its amazin' dat you actually can call them off. Mum could if we was each alone uis on our pack...furgets it! But you is a better trainer than my mum...hehehehe.

    I loves sein' da coyotes! We has them heres but we nevers actually seen one in da furs. Everybuddy keeps tellin us they be aroun our neck of da woods.

    PS: mum's camera will be arrivin' Tuesday.

  21. so cool to see the camouflaged coyotes! and remarkable how brazen they are...
    lovely photos as and hugs to you and the pack...hope your weekend is uneventful, filled with love and joy!

  22. What beautiful pictures once again! What kind of trail camera are you using?

    So glad that K & R stayed safe. Your excellent training paid off. Wish my Mom was that good with training. Most of the time we just ignore her. Got any pointers?

    I'm just gonna jump thru the computer screen and give K & R big wet doxie kiss on their noses. That sit stay picture is awesome!

    Lily Belle

  23. K and R are so lucky to have such a responsible and loving owner. The sibes here would need a lot more work before they could ever come close to what your two do. R is looking much more serious these days. But we are sure he still keeps you laughing with his antics.

    The pack says they have given up on asking for snow, but could you please some of your sunshine our way - been five days of miserable rain here.

    Have a great weekend and we hope the tests show some good results.

  24. I adore those pictures of the duo together! They just look so sweet. How much interest do they typically show when they do know that there's wildlife around?

    At least "Scarface" looks like he's healing and getting better. Whatever caused his injury, he still seems healthy and hearty. Hopefully those Coyote pups will grace the cameras one of these days! :)

  25. Hey there KB,
    Gee, you sure have interesting things happen amongst your wildlife. I think you must have the best behaved dogs on the planet too.
    Toby says: "Recalls? What's that?"
    sending lotsaluv to you all

  26. I can't imagine being that close to wildlife! It's amazing the shots you get and how well trained K and R are in that environment. The duo look stunning together!

  27. amazing pictures!! we are glad you kept everyone (wild and domestic) safe.....

  28. I'm glad K is doing OK and loving the vet. And how wonderful to see such well-trained dogs. Great pictures too.

  29. Hi KB, thanks for taking us on your hike. The photos are amazing. Would the coyotes fight your dogs or run away if they came face to face? The photos of your two sweethearts and wonderful. Take care and hugs to all. No worries, and love, Carol (and Stella and Rory)

  30. wonderfull fotos dog and coyotte, greeting from two golden retriever in Belgium, nice blog

  31. ONce again, some wonderful wildlife behavior on your cams...and great shot of the coyote watching you guys from a distance!!!


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