The other evening, the end result of a busy day was that we did not get Ray out for his walk until well after 8:00pm., so it was dark out. I decided to take a flash-light with me just in case it was necessary to find Ray’s poop so it could be bagged.
All went as expected, until we were passing a local senior citizens center, which has a large treed and grass area out in front of the building. There were intermittent lights over the area which did little more than make the pathways visible.
We were on the sidewalk, and just starting to cross in front of the seniors center, when I noticed an unleashed dog wandering around in the grass area. This was unusual because there was no sign of any owner. Carol and I were both watching it, when it was joined by another (and much larger) unleashed dog. We suddenly realized that they were in fact coyotes!
We stopped and watched them and, no doubt because I directed the flashlight in their direction, they stopped and watched us for a minute or two before moving on. Ray was most unconcerned and was obviously finding scents in the grass alongside the sidewalk and the property fencing of much more interest.
The two coyotes eventually moved off through the grass area and, as far as we could tell, were going between some buildings. As we were going in a similar direction, we also moved off but kept looking for the coyotes…. and then we heard them!
Our first reaction was that the two coyotes had been joined by a number of others, but then we thought that perhaps it was just the two of them in a major battle. We continued on our way, but studied the area in the direction of all the noise as we tried to ascertain what was happening.
I had never heard so much “high register” barking/yelping before, and could only imagine what survival strategies were being played out. It was not until we picked up the strong scent of skunk that we guessed we had our answer. Everything soon went quiet, and we could only imagine two very strong smelling coyotes sneaking off to their den. I would love to know how they explained that to the rest of the pack!
Throughout the whole episode, Ray was really unconcerned. Once he had checked out all the scents in the nearby grass, he made it clear that he just wanted to go home.