^Devil Horns (ears) ^Shouting
Hi everyone. Remember me? The woman who has blogged for you two or three times a month for the last ten years, until my favourite little dog was stolen by a coyote just a few feet away from me, while I was taking photos of another dog, in the middle of the day, in my own backyard. And then I was just absolutely devastated. Destroyed. It was the singularly most terrible pet loss I have ever experienced and the guilt was overwhelming for a long, long time. It still is sometimes. It was a month before I could stop looking at lost and found sites online multiple times a day, just in case a miracle happened and he got away and was picked up by someone else. I’ve still never found any trace of him, or his collar.
I miss him every day.
It was a month or so before I could pick up the camera without feeling sad all over again. I was terrified to take my eyes off my little dogs and walked them on leashes for a long time, which was no fun for any of us. Some friends and I spent hours taking down all the blackberries and bushes along the fence line, and I spent days more with the weedwhacker, making the property edge sight lines clear so nothing could sneak up on us. It’s all grown back. There’s no way to keep up with it. A few weeks after we did that, a pair of coyotes stole a chicken at high noon right by my front door, which spurred me to completely fence my yard, so now at least the dogs can go out to pee and the chickens and ducks can come out of their pens safely. The yard’s not large enough to play in though, and I wish I could fence the whole upper and lower pasture :(
I finally had to take the camera out again to get photos of my foster dog, Tango, so he could find a home of his own. He did :)
I didn’t want to foster again because I felt so guilty about Little Man. But Tango needed somewhere to go, and I needed the coyotes to not run my life anymore. So I took him in, and I’m glad I did. He was a lot of fun, and he found a fantastic home.
I also needed to make friends with my camera again, because I had my annual gig photographing All The Aussies at the ASCofBC agility trial. So I spent two days taking hundreds of photos of dogs having super fun times!
I also got to run Spring at the trial and she earned a bunch of titles that weekend – now she’s in Elite Jumpers and Open Gamblers. She wasn’t running super fast, like in practice, but she seemed to be having fun and she didn’t pee in the ring even once, so I have hedged my bets and entered her in Regionals next month! Dexter is permanently retired from competition as he has been having difficulty jumping for many months now. We don’t know why, as he is not sore or limpy, but even at 16″ he stutter steps and sort of throws himself over the jumps, or avoids them altogether. And Fae is not ready to compete yet (though we have conquered her teeter phobia at last, and she has learned to weave!)
The competitors were super happy with their photos, and on that success I was invited to photograph a K9 Nosework trial, which is a whole other genre altogether. There sure were some cute dogs there!
Now I’ve been invited to photograph Schutzhund, which I am very excited about. And this coming weekend we return to lure coursing with Addypants, which she is very excited about, as she loves it. And I will be photographing that too, because it’s awesome!
So that’s life for us the last little while, in a nutshell. Everyone is doing well and enjoying their new fenced in yard. I enjoy it too, as sometimes when they are driving me bonkers I can just put them outside to amuse themselves.
Oh and I have a new foster dog too. Her name is Peetie, which is for PT, which is short for Pointy Thing. She is basically a tiny little girl-Dexter.
I *heart* her very much.
The other day I was out playing ball with the dogs when a coyote walked right out of the bush in the lower pasture and watched us. None of the dogs noticed; only I saw it. I immediately put my Littles in the fenced yard and then sent the big dogs after it, but it simply ducked away and returned a few moments later, still unnoticed by the other dogs until I pointed it out to Woo. The Terriers and the Aussies ran it off and I haven’t seen one since, but I know they’re out there. I never feel my dogs are safe.
I want to buy my Littles each one of these, with the spikes and the zapper. That way we stand a fighting chance if a coyote grabs Fae or Addy. But they are very spendy and I don’t have the money. So I ask you, blog readers, what sorts of Wootube related items can I produce that y’all might purchase so I can raise the cash to buy these? T-shirts? Books? Prints? You tell me, and I’ll try to make it happen.
(I also want to buy one of these and take care of the coyotes altogether, but they are even spendier!)
I am going to try to returning to blogging regularly, so feel free to nag at me if you haven’t seen anything from me for a while. I miss you guys!
I miss this guy too. RIP, my sweetest Little Man.
Yay!! The doggies are back!
I am so very sorry for what happened to Little Man, and you do what you need to do for you, always. But I missed the photos of your dogs, and I’m glad you’re back.
SO GLAD YOU’RE BACK!
You might consider a rifle and some target practice to take care of them for good. I love wolves and coyotes – right up to the point they kill my family members. At that point, it becomes them or mine, and damn straight it’s gonna be them.
Luckily, I have 2 Huskies, so I don’t think I’ll run into that problem.
Susan Bassett says
Yay you’re back! I am so sorry for all the coyote troubles. I understand not wanting to return to the way things were. But am so glad you are finding joy in your photography!
Jill Bodamer says
I’m really glad you are back. What about a Sarplaninac Live Stock Guardian Dog to roam your property? I honestly don’t know if it would work but it couldn’t hurt. I hate that you have to worry about your littles so much.
Laura in California says
Yay! So glad you and the pups are back. Really missed you all. Love the new foster, she has a pretty face. Looking forward to the event pics esp the Schutzund stuff.
I’m not familiar with Canadian hunting laws. But would it be possible for you to have an experienced hunter come hunt coyotes on your property?
Glad you are finding joy in photography again. We all benefit from your great photos (wanted to see the nosework ones on Big Air, but it took too long to load.)
RE: what I would pay for, what I really want is for you to take a U.S. tour (a la Amanda Jones) so I could book you to photograph my pets. Other than that, I’ll make a donation if you promise to post photos of the Littles all Mad Max’d out with their gear. Where is your Paypal button or a P.O. box?
The Food Lady says
I would ideally love a livestock guardian dog – and my dog of choice would be a Turkish Kangal. Alas, my property itself is not fenced, so I wouldn’t be able to contain an LGD, which would be a problem for the whole neighborhood.
I would also love to be able to shoot the damn coyotes – I would happily set up and shoot them all day long and collect a pile of pelts and make them into dog bed covers, just out of sheer spite. But here in BC you need a licence to own a gun and have to take an expensive course to get the licence. By the time I spent that and bought the rifle, I may as well just buy the airbow (which I don’t need a licence for). Also, I’m in the city limits and they frown on firing rifles in the city (the airbow though, not a problem).
I have had hunters out to shoot the coyotes on several occasions, but they’ve had no luck as the coyotes and the hunters refuse to coordinate their schedules for some reason.
I would ALSO love to do a US tour, I really would, but it’s so hard with my own dogs to think of. But if anyone wants to donate to the coyote vest fund, my paypal address is email@example.com The Littles (and I) thank you!
So sorry for your loss. Big hugs.
Welcome back! We’ve missed you, but understand the need to take a break after the loss of Little Man. Coyotes are the worst, and they are getting more and more brazen. Hate ’em!
Maybe raise money to put up a fence so you could get a guard dog or donkey, which are also wonderful coyote chasers! I have coyotes on my property too and was scolded by a friend for allowing my big dogs to chase them. Apparently they will send one coyote out to ‘bait’ other dogs and then lead it back to the pack! Very scary! I’m glad you’ve started photographing again, you’re a great example of what dog ownership should be and an amazing advocate for rescues! Keep it up food lady, we missed you! :)
Dede in PA says
So happy to see this post! You have been missed and thought of often. I’m glad you are getting so many photography gigs; hope more are coming.
So glad to see you are back. No doubt you’re finding some healing from picking back up your camera and heading back outside. My heart still squeezes when I think about your Little Man, but…I guess life moves on and we have to keep moving forward after a kick in the throat. Good to have you and your pack back online. Hugs.
Janice in GA says
Glad to see you back! Always love seeing your dogs, and I”m heartily sorry you have to deal with the coyotes. :( Makes me understand why ranchers etc. don’t love wolves. :(
Photos turned out great! Thanks for the post!
shelagh usher says
I lost my Montage to coyotes at 2:30 in the afternoon last November. They jumped my 5 ft. fence, killed him and smashed my fence to bits on the way out. Like you, I have never found his remains and still live in fear every day for my remaining dogs.
I always carry bear spray with me and my dogs are never allowed out in their yard by themselves to play anymore. I have spent almost 10k upgrading my fencing but since doing it am now aware that coys have been documented climbing 15 ft. fences and can easily jump 6 ft. fences so I have likely thrown away my money. I have yet to set up my agility equipment in my front yard as I have seen coys hiding out in the ravine below and my game cam shows that there is a coyote freeway below our fenceline. I have also purchased a Pyr who I hope will grow up to take care of my other dogs.
Our bylaws in Ontario will not allow hunters and no Government agency will lend a hand other than to tell us to keep our dogs on a lead, keep them inside and make sure our bird feeders are not overflowing etc. Animal Right’s groups tell me that I am on their land and that it is my fault for letting my dogs outside without me for even a moment as I have done for the last 26 years living at this residence. If a feral dog had done this he would have been captured by Animal Control but Coyotes are above the law it seems. It has been a nightmare and one that continues for me and my family.
My heart goes out to you and I know exactly how you feel. There really is nothing I can say that will help you but in time, you may not be as fearful…at least that is what I am hoping for myself.
Take care and keep taking and posting your wonderful pictures.
The Food Lady says
Oh Shelagh, I am so sorry. I understand your pain and your fear all too well.
Have you considered coyote rollers along the top of your fence? I hear they are great at deterring coyotes and it’s something I plan for when I have the money to do it. I hope your Pyr grows up to do his job too. if the bylaws don’t allow for hunters, how about trappers? It’s a method I would use, except I fear my dogs wandering into a trap.
I am so very sorry. Montage and Little Man are hopefully somewhere together, rippin’ it up. I wish they were with us though.
glad you are back!! and you have my most sincere condolences for the loss of your sweet little guy. but OMG, have you ever had a close look at the tips on the arrows used in a modern bow? they have razor sharp edges that are designed to pierce easily — and to only move in one direction. so that if you (or the target) try to pull it out, it will make a huge horrible wound. now i understand your need to eliminate the coyotes, but i don’t think anything deserves to be tortured for trying to make a living. if you could be sure of a clean kill every time you shot the bow, that would be one thing, but any target that gets hit and ‘only’ wounded is in for a slow gruesome death. if you’re going to do it, do it right, and get a gun and learn the skills to use it. peace and love to you and all your pack !!
Dear FL, I am also glad you are back. I think you are right on with the Kangal. After I lost most of my big dogs I wound up with two…. to protect my border collies. I would also like to suggest a CO. Don’t believe everything you read about them. Yes, they are big but protective. Good with people as long as you socialize them and with what is theirs. Their pack, their animals, their house and barn…. Why not let some of us start a Go Fund Me page to help you get the money for fencing ? Yes guns are good for protection but you would have to patrol constantly.
so glad you are back, I have thought of you a lot while you were not posting and hoping your heart had healed a bit from loosing Little Man :(
Glad to have you back.
Robin L. says
What a horror that must have been, having the coyote grab a dog. A friend of mine lost her lab right in front of her to a mountain lion. I’m so sorry and I am glad you are moving on and taking steps. Damn the coyote.
I hope you do keep blogging regularly! Yours is my favorite and longest read blog of all time.
Maria Shanley says
So very glad you and the dogs are back – I’ve gotten attached to your pack. No other suggestions, but I wish you were in Wyoming. The predator control board here has a full-time hunter who goes after problem coyotes and other animals; also my neighbor’s two big dogs have gotten quite good at disposing of coyotes. Let us know how to send funds; PayPal is not an easy thing for me since they messed up my account.
I have done a great deal of research on fencing since this happened. Coyote rollers can be a big help for sure but I know of one man who lost his GSD when they managed to get over his 6 ft. Fence with rollers :( they are also really good diggers so if you want to be safer you need to trench below the fence line and place chicken wire or similar on an angle to deter digging. I know of one man who spent 106k to make his property safer after his little dog was taken in broad daylight off of their porch with the family less than 100 yds. away. Uughhh…
One thing you might consider if your municipality will allow it is cattle fencing…much cheaper than fencing and works well. Mine won’t allow it or it would have been done. I also came across some other electric type tape fencing that is used for horses a lot. I will post the link when I am back on the comp. I am considering this option because it will be invisible with my black chain link fencing.
As far as trappers…yes, I could bring them in and that is apparently the only option I have but I have been told by all of them that they are nearly impossible to live trap and quite frankly, No matter how I feel about coyotes these days, I do not believe any animal should die in such an awful manner.
So all any of us can do I’m afraid is just to be aware of our surroundings and make sure our dogs are not left out on their own….and as you know, that may not always be enough :(
Kt , Mitzi, sage, and pickles says
So happy to have you posting again. I cannot imagine what you’ve been through with the loss of your little guy, but am glad to hear you haven’t given up on fostering and photography.
Long time reader here…since before Woo! Been a while since I commented. Just wanted to say how terribly sorry I am. How frightening. There are coys in my general area, but thankfully, the neighboring farms have pyrs and the pyrs drive the coys north when they start entering our general area. Stock dogs are amazing. Of course, the pyrs don’t recognize property lines, so neighbor’s have to be okay with your dog protecting them, too. Also, a mother-fucking llama will protect against coys and not wander. We have two pet goats and might add a llama to their herd. You might need two llamas so they don’t get lonely. I think t-shirts is a good idea if you have good images/words for that medium. All best. Xoxo
Robin L. says
Is this possible to do? I don’t know of anyone who has built their own.
Wow. I was hoping you were really busy. Sigh. So sorry for your loss.
Hang in there. Glad you are blogging for us again. Love to you and your crew.
YAY!!! You’re back!! I second that t-shirts would be good. If you can fence the whole property and get a LGD would be a big help. I don’t recommend a Pyr – they tend to wander. I have a Maremma and a Polish Tatra/Spanish Ranch Mastiff cross. The Maremma stays close to her ‘home’, the PTxSRM does patrol. We hear coyotes in the area but don’t see them anywhere near the house and yard. And stay away from Donkeys! They hate dogs – great to keep away coyotes but not so great with your dogs – takes a bit to get them to differentiate between ‘good’ dogs and ‘bad’ (coyotes) dogs. Would be bad to have one of the littles killed by the donkey that is supposed to be keeping the coyotes away. Anyway – so glad to have you sharing your doggy life with us again!
I was wondering about your silence when somehow a post from your facebook page ( I follow) showed up on my feed where someone said to go to your blog on FB and read about what happened, which I did, so sorry to find out the reason :(
And not to be morbid, but I honestly had a dream last night where I decided to take one of my dogs to an orange grove nearby to run around off leash and as he ran, a coyote rushed out of the trees after him and I was hysterically screaming and running after them to save him :( then I woke up or the dream changed. But I had read your blog at least a week ago so not sure why I dreamt about it last night, such odd timing. I live in Florida and we do have coyotes and I’ve seen two in that grove, but they’re not near as widespread as with you, mostly because it’s a suburban area but they do still find a way to exist.
AND — I would totally buy a t-shirt!
Glad to see you’re on the rebound, though I know that doesn’t mean you’ll ever stop missing him. Losing a dog is tough, especially when it’s another DOG that’s the reason. Coyotes would be easier to admire if they would just keep their distance.
I want to put in a vote for fencing the pasture, or as much of it as is practical. I know coyotes can climb fences, but my 7′ fence has kept them out of the dog yard for many years, and I see coyotes on my property pretty much every day. I used plastic deer fencing (from Benners Gardens), which isn’t very expensive. You wouldn’t want to leave the Littles out there by themselves and head off to work, but with you and the big dogs present and a fence to slow down the coyotes, I would think you might be able to resume enjoying the pasture in reasonable safety.
I would definitely attend a fence-building party if it happened this summer (mid-July or later).
so glad you’re back! Love to hear about your crew and enjoy your perspective.Hope your heart is healing. Photos are fabulous!
What a loss. Would there be any problem with your own littles being injured with the coyote vest–e.g, one jumping on another, in play?
Well, I guess that would happen, if at all, only once…
Katharine Swan says
I am so glad to see you’re back!
What about a BB or paintball gun? Either of those legal without a license and allowed within city limits? Even if neither would kill the coyotes, they might scare them off.
I’m one of the three people on earth who hasn’t joined Facebook, so I had heard you’d lost Little Man, but not details.
Sending you warmest sympathies. I hope that you find a solution that works for keeping the coyotes out, and please be good to *you*– it’s hard to be on alert all the time.
Oh no! :( I am so sorry to hear about Little Man. What a horrible thing to have happen. I hope you can find a way to keep the rest of your dogs safe. Mean old coyotes. (shakes fist at coyotes).
Kate D. says
I don’t have facebook, but was so heartsick to read what happened to Little Man, am glad you are feeling better and getting on with getting on. my friend has a farm in Chilliwack, and while this might be an option for you without a fence, they have a lama that was originally bought for a 4h project, they have chickens, sheep, dogs you name it kind of a farm, the lama is a fierce guardian over all and goes without saying would kill them on sight with those feet, the coyotes don’t dare step one paw on the farm now, thats how they have solved their coyote problem, a bit extreme maybe, but maybe you could foster one from a rescue ?
Kate D. says
ps. I support t-shirts or hoodies !