coyotes and pigs

We hear a lot of distant coyote calls at night from the hills near our house. We've never worried about our dogs and cats, or even the goats when we had them. We figured all the loose dogs in the neighborhood would run them off, and up until last night, that's been true.

Around three in the morning, we started hearing a lot of barking, and a lot of yipping, that got closer and closer, and more intense every minute. Soon the distinctive sound of coyote chatter turned to something more like the unearthly screeching of B-movie zombies. Pretty horrible. We keep our dogs inside at night (duh), and of course they started barking and dashing around the house. Our two "guest dogs", Banshee and Neruda, who just needed a place to hang out for a couple of days, appeared to sleep through the whole thing. Maybe they're more used to coyotes where they live. Anyway, it was a sleepless night for most of us. The blended dog-and-coyote screaming sounded like it was in our own driveway. This morning we found out we weren't too far off.

The balance of nature shifted last night, and the dogs who once kept the coyotes at bay became the thing that attracts them. Food. Coyotes hunt for a living. I can't hold that against them, or wish they did something different. And people here are generally lousy pet owners, so I suppose it was only a matter of time. On any given night there will be from three to a dozen or so loose "pets" roaming the hood. Today there's one less member of the dog pack. The hungry, and braver than ever coyotes took down a big three-legged chow, out in the road, in front of the house next door to us. Pretty gruesome, the way coyotes eat their prey. I won't even go into it. Look it up if you want to know.

I'm really writing this for Taos, even though I know it won't matter. I wish Taos dog owners would read it. I with they'd keep their dogs inside at night, and safely, humanely contained during the day. I wish they'd treat their pets like pets. I saw the dog's owners solemnly drive by my house this morning, after loading their dead pet into the back of a truck. I felt sorry for them, sure, but sorrier for the dog who was so neglected and came to such a terrible end. Sigh... There are a lot of things I wish for Taos, and a lot of reasons why we're leaving.


On a lighter note, Swine Flu...
Seriously. I really think we should keep our heads about this, look at the facts, and try not to panic. I always ask myself, Is there money to be made by scaring the hell out of the entire country? Of course there is. One thing to keep in mind is that the "regular" flu kills thousand of people every year. Common sense is in order here. Panicking won't help. Take some simple precautions like washing your hands, avoiding coughing-sneezing people, eat well, rest well, and take your vitamin D. Someone sent me a good article on all this. Here's the link: It's a bit long, but I recommend reading most of it, skimming some of it, and getting all the way to the bottom of it. You'll feel smarter, safer, more in control, and healthier.

Tomorrow, something light and fluffy. I promise!


  1. Panic is the disease we need to fear the most.

    I grew up in a coyote populated area too. Everyone needs to be diligent in the care of their animals, themselves, and the coyotes as well.

    Looking forward to light and fluffy :),

    Penny \IiiI

  2. I don't feel sympathy for the dog's owners at all. To leave a dog out at night in coyote country is just plain stupid. To leave a 3legged dog outside says that you just don't give a damn. Sorry, I work with rescue groups and this week has been full of horror stories.

    What don't you like about Taos? We've thought about moving that direction in a few years, but haven't done much research, yet. I'm just's hard to get an insider's view sometimes.

  3. A sad, sad story about how irresponsible people can be about their pets. Wonder how they treat their children?

  4. Your blog about the coyotes and the dog made me so sad and reminded me what it was I hated about Taos...most of the locals don't take care of their animals.
    I used to pick up dogs on the road and take them to the shelter or call the authorities about a starving horse in an 8 x 8 pen. I couldn't stand it. I love the beauty of the landscape in Taos, but there are a lot of things there that are really ugly.

  5. Yes... there are many beautiful parts of Taos, but it does have a Dark Side... Neglected animals, corrupt politics, drunk drivers, teen pregnancy, racism, empty beer bottles lining all the roads,...

    I guess it's a great place if you have a safe little cocoon to protect you. We get out in it enough that we just don't want to be here anymore, at least for a while. Who knows, we might decide this place is IT after a year on the road. Too soon to tell.

  6. Here in the Mid-Atlantic area, we have foxes and at night in the spring/summer you can hear them call to each other and it sounds like little kids screaming. It's really freaky unless you know what you're hearing.

    We make sure to keep out cats indoors at all times because the foxes hunt in our woods right in back of our house (and we like the birds too much as well).

    It's a shame to think about those dogs that are "pets" that are left to just wander and be hunted by the coyotes - or any situation like that. So not right!


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