Who’s a good doggy?

Yesterday I was in my front yard, happily watering my gardens, when my across-the-street pulled up. I chatted with him for a few moments about the gorgeous, sunny weather and his beautifully blooming double-flowering ornamental plum tree. As he turned to go, he stopped. He had forgotten to mention, he said, that there was a coyote hanging out in our front lawn the other evening, right underneath our Mayday tree. Just thought I’d let you know! Maybe keep an eye out! he said as I stood there, stunned. There have been a lot of coyote problems lately in the city and in some of the natural, off-leash parks, but not really on my street.

Haven’t you noticed the rabbit population has gone way down lately? he asked cheerfully and, now that he mentioned it, I HAVE noticed it. Normally when I would drive to yoga at five in the morning, a number of wild rabbits would run out of the way of my car and into the small green space behind my house. Now that I think about it, that hasn’t happened in over a week.


I’m pretty sure a lone coyote wouldn’t hop our fence to eat fat, fluffy Barkley, especially when there are any number of rabbits and, sadly and regrettably, outdoor cats around. But still. One never knows. In any case, Barkley tends to be in bed for the night around eight pm, and so he is PROBABLY fine. I looked around carefully before going outside this morning though.

Speaking of Mr Fuzzy, it’s his ninth birthday today! To his great excitement and confusion, we sang Happy Birthday to him this morning and then gave him some freeze-dried chicken, one of his favourite treats. Well, pretty much any food is his favourite treat, but I think he likes this best of all.

Who’s a good doggy? YOU’RE A GOOD DOGGY.

I’m feeling a little emotional about him being NINE, because that means a) he is heading into his Golden Years, so to speak, and b) my children have grown up with him. I always say that I could never have another dog, because Barkley is so perfect, to which my husband always responds “Never say never!” accompanied by an incredibly cute puppy picture.

Anyway. Let’s just all enjoy the time we have with our wonderful pets and NOT THINK FOR A MOMENT ABOUT THE INEVITABLE.

As mentioned earlier, we have been having absolutely beautiful weather, save for a giant wind/ rain/ and snowstorm last Wednesday. I was teaching a restorative yoga class and during breaks in the calm music, there would be the wild howl of the wind and the whipping of rain onto the windows; it was both calming to be in the warm, lovely studio, and agitating to hear the gusts. But that day seemed to be a blip, and the weekend was incredibly warm and perfect for gardening, which is what we did.

My husband, after I described to him the addition that I thought we needed to one of the front gardens, encouraged me to go out and buy plants on Saturday, and then after he trimmed the spirea in the back, he encouraged me to go out again on Sunday. Needless to say I jumped at the (unneeded) encouragement and the weekend was spent very happily digging up lawn to make room for more plants. I also finished digging out all the useless, disappointing tulip bulbs and wondered if the coyote population would perhaps help out with the squirrel population. Is that wrong? If it’s wrong, frankly, my plants and I don’t want to be right. What? It’s the Circle of Life.


  1. We have a serious coyote situation where I live (in the suburbs BTW, not the country). We live between two creeks at the top and bottom of my street and the coyotes use my neighborhood as a highway basically. All outdoor cats have been consumed, bunnies are not in evidence anymore, small dogs have gone missing – and yet the squirrel population thrives. Sigh. ANYWAY, the coyotes are also not in the least bit scared of people and a couple of years ago we’re pretty sure a big one scared our Lab so badly she ran off and got lost (after a week of increasingly frantic searching and posting on neighborhood websites we found her, but still). So I take the coyote thing pretty seriously.

    Also serious: how cute your pup is! My dog is also nine (we think) this year and I find myself feeling occasional stabs of how damned sad I’m going to be when she passes on. She’s been the best dog. Youngest has never known another dog and loves her with all of her heart. The thought of it is distressing. SO, I will instead aggressively focus only on the now.

  2. When my sister lived in California she lost a cat to coyotes. My guess is squirrels are safe because they spend so much time off the ground. I wouldn’t mind fewer rabbits, though. (What bloodthirsty vegetarians we both are!) We’ve cut our garden down this year to just a few crops, largely because of garden pests (rabbits, squirrels, deer).

  3. We have a hawk who loves to hang out in our backyard and keep the chipmunk and vole population down. I refer to him as my BFF.

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