Pups!!! And How The Divide Suddenly Doesn’t Feel So Vast, by Ella Dine

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I spent several hours observing the family yesterday, mostly because I wanted to catch a glimpse of the pups. I thought there were two, and based on my observations, I have no reason to suspect more. It was well worth the wait. The pups bounded out of the den area toward mom looking very much like similarly-aged, wiggly, exuberant canine pups. When asked what word comes to mind when folks think of coyotes, most are probably not inclined to say adorable, but I am convinced this is because we don’t often get the chance to watch these creatures interact with each other. These pups were utterly Adorable. They showed appropriate deference to mama, and when she nudged them back into hiding, they complied obediently. They appeared so energetic that I wondered what they do all day–how are those energetic little bodies confined to what appears to be a small den area? This is purely speculative, but I imagine they do sleep a fair amount, at least during the hottest part of day. I also began to wonder about the parents–what having a litter would be like, for instance, for the first time? How startling would it be that suddenly this mix of instinct and responsibility becomes your single overarching biological imperative? How stressful would it be to try to protect your babies in the wild?

I realized that part of the fascination in observing this family is watching instinct in action, animals with no agenda other than pure survival and all the attending struggles and challenges inherent in it. It’s quite beautiful.

Surrounding the area, people passed leisurely, most looking down at phones. I had a million gadgets myself– a phone in my pocket, a clunky camera around my neck. It brought to mind the most obvious thought: of course we sometimes harbor an irrational fear of wildlife. We know next to nothing about what their experience is really like. We are so removed from our own inner-wild (conditioned as we are to tame and master our own, uglier impulses) that witnessing that shadow side–that latent part so familiar to our most distant ancestors (and the very thing coyotes depend upon to thrive) can be spooky, but also exhilarating. Anyway, we certainly have more in common than not–all it took to convince me of that was to watch a mama with her two adorable babies.

You can see by this pic how well the pups blend in!

You can see by this pic how well the pups blend in!

 

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Charles Wood
    Jun 11, 2016 @ 04:00:36

    I hope you’re now hooked on it.

    Reply

  2. Ella Dine
    Jul 05, 2016 @ 20:48:26

    Thanks, Charles! I sure am. I have recently discovered that the pack is much larger than I originally thought. There are at least SIX pups! They’re growing fast and spending more time out of sight during the day, visible and active mostly around sunset. It has been such a pleasure to watch them this season. Definitely hooked! I’m hoping I can continue to observe the litter even after they move on from the den.

    Reply

  3. miss415
    Jul 13, 2016 @ 17:12:18

    Wow! What a wonderfully awesome post this is! At first I thought these beautiful pups were here is SF and Janet was writing! How exciting this must have been for you Ella to get a glimpse into this family’s life. The very first time I stumbled on Janet’s blog in search of information after seeing a coyote run into my yard, I was so deeply moved by the way she made me realize something you said in your post, “we certainly have more in common than not”.

    I really enjoyed your post Ella. I hope we will get to hear more about these pups as they grow.

    Thank you for sharing your story here!

    Reply

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