Tuesday, January 12, 2010

carrion, wayward dogs

this neighborhood ain't safe.

little dogs suddenly find themselves a few rungs low on the food chain -- carried off like canapes at a carnivore cotillion.

hoo boy, that's a lot of alliteration that could've included the word "coyote".

"The coyote that has been living in Magnolia for the past two months attacked and killed a small dog this afternoon. The dog and its owner were waiting for the school bus after school at 23rd AVe West and West Armour. The owner says the dog likes to meet the kids as they get off the bus. While they were waiting, the coyote came down from a hill nearby and grabbed the dog. The dog was in the coyote’s mouth and the coyote took the dog back into nearby brush."

most of the time i'm not too troubled by these wildlife forays into our civilization thought-bubble. and i'm not prepared to get all riled up just because a little dog (or two) ends up on the short end of the evolutionary stick.

the trouble starts when people do dumb things. like letting their teeny-tiny dogs run loose into the woods when there are coyotes in the vicinity. the dogs might as well have "kill and devour me" signs taped to their backs.

next thing you know, people with guns get involved, and the fun is pretty much over. especially for the wildlife. whose lives, let's face it, aren't that much fun to begin with, what with all the unpleasant killing and dying and survival of the fittest business.

despite our place at the top of the food chain (how'd we ever manage that feat?), people are historically not very smart. we look at a wild carnivore in our very midst and say, "omg, loooook how cuuuute!!!" we get all disney-eyed and stay that way right up to the instant that the carnivore does what it was designed to do. then we act all surprised and indignant.

"did you see what that beast did to my darling little foo-foo? that was horrible and totally unexpected! and right here in front of the children! somebody call someone with a gun, there's killing to be done!"

meanwhile the children are thinking, "yeah, well, wild animals have to make a living, too. haven't you people ever watched 'animal planet'?"

bring in the stunt coyote, roll the cameras, cue the gunshots, and we'll wrap this up.

what? there are no stunt coyotes?

oh, well. carrion.

* * * * *

breaking update: walked the dogs tonight with mrs. spaceneedl. we took advantage of a break in the rain, and got in a good 25 minutes of leg-stretching. a block from home we came nose to nose with a coyote.

s/he parked herself right in the middle of the sidewalk, not more than 20 steps in front of us. we slowly walked toward her, expecting her to turn tail, but she stood her ground. that was unexpected.

before things could get really uncomfortable, a car drove by, scaring her off. the rest of the walk home was uneventful.

except for the raptors.

* * * * *

next-day breaking update: we're on a roll. we saw the coyote again tonight. this time from the car, near lawton elementary. two nights in a row? that's a personal coyote record.

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