They are all Gods Creatures
On Wednesday morning as my dog and I were out on one of our favourite routes, not more than twenty feet from where we stood passing at the right of us with unmistakeable boldness, was a coyote. My heart leaped, I gasped and quickly looked around, thankfully he was alone. (When hunting for prey they may do so alone or as a pack). As he passed by us, he didn’t so much as glance in our direction. Undoubtedly, he was on a mission and I was grateful he didn’t take notice of us. As he turned down the next street, I allowed myself to release a sigh of relief. My dog stood staring at me, very aware something was amiss; his beautiful green eyes were filled with uncertainty and his fluffy tail hung low and his brown nose was inquisitively sniffing the air. He turned himself back to the direction of home, I believe we were both ready to end our walk.
Please do not misunderstand, I have a deep admiration for all animals. To be frank, I feel very sad for the coyotes, foxes, raccoons and skunks to name a few, all of which I have encountered in my neighbourhood which is fifteen minutes north of downtown Toronto. I believe it is because of human encroachment these animals are being driven out of their natural habitat. However, seeing a coyote that close to my dog did make me uneasy and somewhat fearful. I have heard one too many stories of pet-parents losing their dog or cat to an urban coyote as coyotes tend to naturally seek smaller prey. When walking with your (small) dog, having him/her on leash is best; should the coyote be hunting and your dog is off leash you will have absolutely no control of the situation. In addition, it is important to say that coyotes have no problem jumping over backyard fences. When letting your dog out back always ensure that your backyard is well lit and that you are close by. A sniff, a pee and a poop and back into the house. We are all sharing our space and it is important to understand and respect nature.
Should you encounter a coyote,
DO NOT RUN - it will only make them more instinctually aggressive
if you have a small dog, pick him/her up
never approach or touch the coyote
do not turn your back on them
be aware of your surroundings, packs tend to hunt their prey from behind
back away slowly and remain calm
stand tall, wave your hands, and make lots of noise
if walking at night carry a flashlight and have reflective gear on your dog (leash, harness, collar, jackets etc.
Whether the animal is a dog or a cat or a coyote or a fox they are all God’s creatures and deserve to be respected. Respect wildlife from a distance and more often than not, they will do the same.