I love this photo: here is a coyote totally enchanted with a game of “go get the pine cone” between an owner and his dog. Look at that supple torso! The great body language and facial expressiveness convey everything. The coyote spent several minutes observing — mesmerized — riveted on the activity on the path ahead.
What was the coyote picking up on as he watched? Was it the fun involved? That there was a strong human/dog relationship? That the dog liked “getting” the pine cone? That the owner liked “getting rid” of the pine cone? Why was that pine cone so important and so much fun? Why wasn’t the dog interested in chasing the coyote? Why was the dog not paying one bit of attention to the coyote? Why wasn’t the man paying any attention?
I can answer for the man and the dog. They have seen the coyote before, so it was no novelty. And as for the dog, playing pine cone was the highlight of her day — why interrupt the fun for an old coyote?