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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Coyotes and Owls and...Bears? Oh my!


1:30 am. I dream of coyotes squalling under moonlight, but it's just Scout complaining from her mini-crate under the blind-covered window in our bedroom. I slip out from the warmth to find my jeans and flannel shirt that I strategically placed on the floor when we went to bed.

I lean against the dresser. Right leg in; now left. Wait. It's stuck. I teeter back onto the bed and match up the correct legs. Jeans on. If I put my shirt on backwards or inside out, no one will know.

It's dark, in spite of the moon. On my hands and knees I blindly feel for Scout's collar where I left it next to the crate. I've learned to leave it attached to her leash.

FLD Scout curled up in her mini-crate in the truck, on assignment with me.

I whisper, sit, hoping I will feel the fur ball as I open the door. No worry, it is all wiggles and licks and I curse the skinny collar buckle as I fumble to snap it on her. I'm awake enough now to trust myself to pick her up and find the back door.

Scout. Park, I say after putting her down on the arid ground. No rain tonight, even though the Milky Way is a cloud across the heavens. There is some advantage to these middle-of-the-night excursions.

In mid-park Scout alerts. A coyote chorus fills the southern darkness like a waterfall. Scout bolts for the back door. I reel her in and we pause together, until the song fades.
Blaine Bailer calls for coyote.

FLD Scout raises her head, briefly, when she hears the predator hunter make a coyote call at a Hunting 101 class in the Rifle River Rec Area. Does she know it's not for real?


4:00 am. A repeat, sans coyotes. Although I manage to get my jeans on right at first try.

Scout finishes her "park" and sniffs while I crane my neck. It is still clear. The moon has dipped behind the trees. I don't know why I can never get enough of the night sky.

WHOOOOOOO, WHOOOOOO, WHOOOOOOOT!!!  A branch cracks beyond the black tree-wall ringing our yard. Scout hustles back to me and leaps up in desperation. I half expect to hear her yelp, "Pick me up! Pick me up! Hurry up, PICK ME UP!!!"

So. I do.

We listen a while longer until the pounding behind her ribs (that I feel against my chest) settles.

and BEARS?

An Ogemaw Voice assignment to the Besser Museum in Alpena. With permission, I tie Scout's Future Leader Dog bandana two times around her tiny neck, work her up the short flight of cement stairs, and enter the building. A room to our left holds stuffed wild animals in a central display, including a 600-pound black bear.

No big deal!

FLD Scout bounces around the exhibit at my side, sometimes needing a pat on my leg to get her attention away from whatever it is she smells on the floor. She takes no mind to the dead critters. Perhaps she knows.

I set her atop a bear-rug bench and she licks the back of the grimacing head.

FLD Scout licks the bear-rug bench.

Funny puppy, or maybe just a bit smart. She's afraid of howls in the night, but stuffed bears? Not.

Gypsy is comfy in our woods. FLD Scout looks over her shoulder. Just in case.


  1. Aww, I love the photos! I love the command "park." Ours is "get busy" which when said in a sign song voice makes my face turn red. LOL

  2. Thanks GirlRural! Every time I say "park" my husband has to go too!

  3. love the pictures and the coyote descriptions!!! can't wait till you come down! Scout seems much bigger... anyways, got to run! love you!

  4. Thanks Sofia! (I love to get your comments!) We'll be down Friday night, can't wait to see you, too. And yes, Scout IS much bigger! love you 2!