Why are coyotes so wiley? Or maybe it's just our little buddy that we keep running into? Since I'm encumbered by Das Boot (I have been remiss on pictures and I apologize!), I'm pretty much limited to two areas that are large, not terribly popular, that I can let the dogs off leash to burn off their energy. Both areas have coyotes. The park area has coyotes that stay away. The other area, however, has a coyote that I'm pretty sure is messing with my dogs! And it's totally cracking me up!!
We usually come across this coyote when we're on the hay field side of the area (which is thankfully "mowed" down now so it's not so much freaking effort to get across it!). The dogs go tearing across the field to go check out the coyote. The first time, Heffner got pretty close, and then just stopped and watched it for a minute. The coyote took off into the underbrush and the dogs pursued. The dogs never got close.
The second time, the coyote acted like it had a hurt back leg and sort of lured the dogs in. When they got close enough, it took off and completely eluded them.
The most recent time, the little bugger stood there and waited for the dogs to get relatively close and again took off into the underbrush. This time, I hung back more (not that I really had a choice, it's not like I can exactly hit top speed right now!) and just ambled across the field to catch up with the inevitably bamboozled dogs. I'm really glad that I hung back though! I was able to witness just how crafty this coyote is! She/he had led the dogs into the usual area of underbrush where it always loses the dogs. But then she/he circled back around to come up behind the dogs and WATCH THEM! Before Heffner and Bess caught sight of her/him, it was off the other direction. We hung out there for a little while, but I think the dogs are starting to realize that this coyote is just too smart for them.
When we started walking away, in the OPPOSITE direction that the coyote had gone, it started barking and howling. This continued until we were almost back to the truck, about a half mile away. I seriously think that we go there often enough that this coyote has decided to play a little game with my dogs! At any rate, it was highly entertaining to me! And no I wasn't worried about the dogs catching the coyote. It's fast and small and knows the area better. And neither dog had that intenseness in their body language like they do when they're going after deer.
Oh yeah, and I have more agility pictures of Bess!! In some of them, you'll her woooooooooonderful little bad habbit that she started doing at the trial. She's great in practice, but at that trial and at the most recent match, she leaps completely over the down contact. Not good!