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May 14, 2020 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Wiley wild

Dark sky in the neighborhood (© image copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

Clouded vision. A bad howl rising. (© image)

“Today, everyone is a coyote,” she said.

Eyes narrowed. Scanning. Scanning. Reading the wind.

Scrutinizing the block for details.

There had been an incident. She knew before us.

The ripped open kitchen garbage bag set out early overnight on the curb foreshadowing.

Bags now mandated instead of secure garbage cans.

A welcomed delight for some tired-of-being-at-home-so let’s-go-get-some pick-up diners for the little ones.

(I’d call the city and suggest maybe there was a reason for those trash cans with tight fitting lids and maybe we could put the bags inside the cans on the curb, but you know how that would go…)

No, Molly, you don’t need to go over and sniff the spilled trash”

We should have snapped to why the dog was seriously tracking as we walked on.

Until a totally invisible “call to wild” message on a patch of grass.

Instead of genially trotting on after a sniff, Molly Malamute locked legs and turned into a concrete block.

Moving her was like trying to drag a whale off the shore into the water.


She probably has paw abrasions from being forced off the lawn, across the sidewalk. and into the middle of the street.

There’s not a handle on the back of her harness for just for looks.

If you can’t manhandle a 80+ lb. dog when you need to, don’t get a Malamute. Stubborn is the alternative spelling of the breed.

With a good deal of effort we got moving on a forward path again – until a little sudden lateral lunge to a grassy spot on the other side of the street.

Repeat the above paragraph’s action.

Even high value treats shall not move her. Oh, she’ll fake momentary attention for the treat, gulp it down, then go right back what she wanted to do. It’s a Malamute thing.

Repeat shoving, pushing, and insisting.

It’s spring. With a little cool front, the wind has been very high. So has the call of the wild.

She’s an ancient breed with retained ancestral memory somehow.

Can look and act darn wolf-ish under certain conditions – like around wild animal smells.

Dog in brush. (© image: all rights reserved, copyrighted, all rights reserved)

“It is so not nothing over there. Gimme a break. Like your nose is even rated.”(© image)

Checked in with the neighbor of the dog magnet patch of grass. A former police chief, he has super high quality security cams everywhere.

Didn’t stop the middle school kids from rollin’ off with their electric car (so silent even when running with the keys that were left under the seat). Did get to watch them slip around the corner for a short joy ride – their golf carts are probably training grounds for that sort of thing, Sure they would have rather had the pickup, but probably didn’t know how to drive stick.

Anyway, the neighbor’s indoor pocket dogs went nuts at 4:30 am. A glance at the monitor showed a coyote pair had chased down a cat.

This is a birding area and cats are not supposed to be running loose, but most don’t call Animal Control if one is out for a night stroll once in a while. That’s a cat thing.

No one recognized the poor little thing. Possibly a new resident who wasn’t aware.

Despite this being a built-out community, we have some of the original residents still around. 

Everyone enjoys the restaurant row’s wide back delivery lanes. Easy to go from marina to lake front across lawns and open fields, to the green corridors down the power easements, through the normally dry, weedy ditches, to pastures and wetlands or a quiet natural wild park.

Not to mention the sprawling golf course not far away.

The landscape of the golf course provides plenty of cover for a clever coyote couple who has been seen there and in our neighborhood several times over the past few years.

Last year early one Spring morning the male came tearing around the corner at a high rate of speed, spotted Molly and I returning from a walk, quickly crossed the street to the other side (Molly looks quite substantial and probably outweighs him by 50 lbs.) and charged right on past -not looking left nor right – without even a “howdy” – obviously on a mission.

We are always wary: coyotes and alligators. And the darn attack Blue Jays.

Since then Molly has been restless. She smells the wild and it triggers some memories stored in DNA.

There’s wolf in her woof.

She runs in her sleep.

Hearts beating wild.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Mountain ridge at dark.(© image copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

Dreams of standing at the top of the ridge. You can hear it, right? Throws back her head joining the howl.(© image)




Leave a Comment
  1. shoreacres / May 14 2020 6:30 am

    Molly’s not the only one who’s been restless. It does occur to me that the coyote might have some good lessons to teach. When they send the trackers after you, go into stealth mode and fly low, fast, and hidden!


  2. easyweimaraner / May 14 2020 6:35 am

    we have the wolf inside us too… caught a wild animal… twas a toad… oh what a night would da 4 seasons say…


  3. Littlesundog / May 14 2020 6:53 am

    I believe it’s a coyote thing to cruise on along in its mission for food, and appear to not notice humans going about their business. I try to do the same in this neck of the woods.


  4. Kate Crimmins / May 14 2020 8:55 am

    We get the occasional coyote here but I haven’t seen one in years. Foxes on the other hand are plentiful. Small pets are always at risk. My friend had her neighbor’s little dog picked up by a large hawk.


  5. jacqueslebec / May 14 2020 10:42 am

    Have you ever fed her Lamb? Some dogs go bonkers at the smell of it.


  6. Ally Bean / May 14 2020 12:03 pm

    Sometimes you just have to howl at the moon. We all do. There’s a bit of wolf in all of us.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Curt Mekemson / May 14 2020 12:36 pm

    I’m actually with Ally on this one. Sometimes you just have to howl at the moon. I’ve always been delightfully mystified by coyotes howling at the moon. It’s a sound I grew up with and have found magical ever since.
    I came upon a coyote once who saw me and jumped behind a bush. So I did too. It came back out, as I did. This went on for a few minutes until the coyote plopped down on the trail, raised its head and started to howl. I did the same thing. We had quite a discussion
    My sense of the coyote ‘not seeing you’ is pretending you don’t exist. The deer here will let me walk right by them if I don’t look at them. If I look at them, however, they get nervous and bolt.
    Molly has it right. She may believe she is protecting you.:) –Curt


  8. Anne Mehrling / May 14 2020 1:50 pm

    I take it Malamute is not mute.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. sustainabilitea / May 14 2020 5:35 pm

    One morning in our Chicago suburb, I came out to head to the park for my walk and saw what I first thought was a loose, large dog walking down the street. Turned out to be a large coyote. Too bad the neighbors who let their obnoxious pugs out before 6 am and then let them scream for ages before letting them back in hadn’t let them out that morning. Just saying.




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