Any animal as intelligent and athletic as Charlie needs plenty of exercise and stimulation to stay happy. It’s become apparent that if Charlie were allowed to roam free, he would return to the cabin - like the cat does - after running around the hills and trotting up to MC’s and trying to nab a goose. Yet, if he was seen wandering unattended, he would be dead within a day. Even though he lives with me, even though he hasn’t harmed anything. It’s just that ingrained here – coyotes are to be shot.
Because that is the unfortunate way things are, I take him on two hikes, at least an hour each, every day, morning and evening. It’s a commitment. There are times I stumble around the hills at 5am before work, or don my Stetson and rubber boots on a rainy night. But even when I REALLY don’t want to go out, I end up loving that time in the quiet, in the land, roaming with Charlie. I have him on a really long leash but when we are away from the geese and the road I let him go so he can run top speed, uninhibited. It’s an incredible sight – he shoots past me in a blur, then makes a 90-degree turn still at top speed, then doubles back, then races up to me with a smile, then out again, then back to me.
He flattens out in the grass, hiding, then shoots out with his tail wagging as I approach. He points, standing still as a statue with one foot raised and then dives into the tall grass to catch a bug.
In addition to our daily treks, Charlie has a long runner strung between the cabin and some distant trees where I can clip him when I'm working in the cabin and he can wander and sniff and try to dig up prairie dogs, and I take him up to MC’s every few days to play with MC’s dogs.
Recently, Charlie and I have started playing catch (or fetch…?) I sit in the grass and throw a a bone and Charlie races to it and runs back to me with the bone in his mouth. Over and over and over and over…..yes, like a dog. But maybe, it’s that dogs play fetch like coyotes...
Hi Everyone, Many of you have noticed the comment option is gone. Things were starting to get a little crazy, and a little overwhelming on this end. The comments veered from appreciating Charlie and his amazing spirit to a forum for debate, and while that is important in it's own right, it's not something I have time to oversee right now.
Taking comments off was a decision I put a lot of thought into - I do care about you guys, but, and please don't take this personally, I care about Charlie more. I need to spend my time and energy on him and on my work, and I have not been able to find a balance between that and fielding the intensity of the comments.
I began this website as a way to share Charlie and the wonder he has to give, the wonder he brings into this world. With comments closed, at least for now, I'm bringing this site back around to that one beautiful and special cause. This site is about him.
Charlie has officially made a full recovery and is back to his happy, frolicking self. It took a few days after he started eating again to "get his strength back," but now we are back in the rhythm of our long walks and parvo seems so very far away. The jewel in the whole experience was being in the center of such an amazing network of support and love that sprang up around us - from the vet to the cat to you all, most of whom I've never even met.
Last night Charlie began eating again. If things keep going as they are, we'll need no more shots, no more IVs. There are still a few side effects of the disease to watch out for, but as a coyote, Charlie's better built to withstand these than a domestic dog. So, we are nearing the breathe-easy-all-the-time zone and I am so glad! He's still more rest than romp, but the three of us (the cat, the coyote and I) walked down to the cabin from MC's this morning, and now Charlie is sitting in the grass, watching the birds and the lightening of the land as the sun rises higher above the hills.
Charlie and I have spent the past few days at MC's - the cabin was starting to feel like a den of sickness and I thought Charlie would like the change of scenery. Yesterday I was down at the cabin briefly and the cat wandered in so I scooped him up and took him up to MC's, too. Charlie got the most excited look on his face when I walked in with Eli in my arms. They spent the evening curled up on the downstairs bed like yin and yang, in what was obviously some very special brother time. I peeked in on them later and they were lying nose to nose, with their little front paws all intertwined.
And later, Charlie drank water twice without throwing up afterwards. A great sign of improvement. And I squeezed into bed with the cat and the coyote and finally had my first night of real rest since this all began. Charlie's still been pretty mellow so far today, but he has made the rounds around the house twice, and MC said when he left this morning (I had already left for work earlier), Charlie and the cat were running around upstairs together.