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Friday, February 05 2016

Some days the wolf is literally 'at the door.'

Or in our case, it's the coyote. Fortunately we have dogs bred to hunt wolves and they are finally getting big enough to enjoy a coyote hunt.  Yesterday while on our morning walk to read our pee-mail and tag the rival gang's wall with our own graffiti, the call of a coyote sounded just beyond the trees.

The games a'foot!

The Livestock Guardian Dogs raced off, confident that they would finally catch the voices that taunted them in the dark. The Herding Dogs stayed right there. Clearly hunting wolves was not part of their contract.  The look on Mesa's face was priceless. She just stood in the road and looked first in one direction and then the other. Nope. Hunting coyotes as big as she is is not in her contract.

The bells of the Livestock Guardian Dogs faded in the distance until we heard nothing but birds as we continued our walk. Normally I call the dogs back when they try to run off into the dark after coyotes but on this crisp, cold morning, I just let that pony run. The neighbor has had a problem with a really large coyote coming up on his porch during the day. It's been sighted many times in the daylight, and if he doesn't start getting a healthy respect for humans someone is gonna shoot him.  I'd just as soon he not be shot because something else will just take his niche. Now if he's climbing into my sheep pen that's another story, but for now, it's easier to just educate the coyote. The bells of those dogs just might do that.

I didn't seriously believe the dogs would catch the coyote. In fact, if it had been spring, I would have thought the coyote was trying to lure the dogs away from a den. Regardless, the dogs finally got a chance to relieve the stress of just listening to the coyotes taunt them at night without getting to do anything about it, and the coyote began to associate those bells with a serious run for his life.

It's not by chance that my dairy goats wear the exact same bells.

When I called them back the puppies bounded up before Briar who had slipped under the fence and onto the neighbor's ranch. It didn't surprise me that this coyote went back there. I think he's been helping himself to free-feed dog food for a while now and he's pretty comfortable there. Briar reluctantly came back when I shouted a few cuss words at her.

This is the face of a dog who has just been outrun by a coyote.

"Sector 12 is clear!"

The pups gave her a hero's welcome,

and then they all came to me to present their workcards. Sector 12 was clear.

So we continued our walk. The pups played with Mesa, and Briar walked with a spring in her step, and cast a wistful eye back. I think she finally figured out a use for her minions.

They're pretty good backup if you're hunting wolves. Or coyotes.

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 06:58 am   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
The LGDs would make a good kids' book. Please read & post my comments under Announcements and Questions.
Posted by Elissa on 02/06/2016 - 12:45 PM

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