The Natural Progression of Life, by Charles Wood

Dad message

My dog Holtz and I are about the same physical age, his having caught up with me, both of us with some gray and stiffness.  Dad seems to have passed us both in four months.  I’m told that there may be an underlying physical condition for why of late he is showing prominent hip bones, a sparse coat, white fur and what resemble age spots, though he may have mange.  I’m told that without a physical exam, there is no way to tell what is going on with him.  Christine Barton of the Fund for Animals Wildlife Center continues:  “As long as he appears uninjured and able to move and function normally, there would be no reason to interfere with the natural progression of his life.”  He may look like a beat up old coyote, but he isn’t acting like one.

Dad following up

Sunday before sunset, in the nature preserve, Dad placed himself in front of me and did some scraping.  I took some pictures and Dad walked away from us.  I began to walk away from him, towards the exit.  Seeing me leave, Dad turned and trotted towards Holtz and me.  I lobbed a golf ball towards him and he cut into the brush.  At the exit he re-emerged at a trot, making sure we had got the message.  Seeing us so close to the exit, he trotted off into the woods and disappeared.  I would say that Dad continues to function normally.

Posting written by Charles Wood. Visit Charles Wood’s website for these and more coyote photos: Charles Wood. His work is copyrighted and may only be used with his explicit permission.

Dad’s Health, by Charles Wood

April

Tuesday I found a spot in the nature preserve that seemed good.  I had a long view of a straight paved utility road and hoped to catch crossing it a very young coyote.  I got tired of waiting and walked slowly down the road.  A tree squirrel alerted a bit too far from me.  I stopped to listen for why.  Behind a tall wall of drying wild mustard I heard a quiet rustling coming knee high ever so slightly towards me through the brush.  I backed off immediately and retreated fifty feet.  Then a coyote pushed onto the road where I had been standing.  It was Dad.

August (a)

He stared, shook himself for his face being slightly wet and then trotted away from me on the road.  He cut into the brush on the side opposite from which he had come.  I continued leaving, knowing that Dad would re-emerge and that if I wasn’t quick enough, he would do so ahead of me.  We know each other’s tricks.  Tantalizingly, along the road on the side from which Dad had first appeared, more rustles came from the brush, although I couldn’t take time to investigate.  Dad appeared behind me as I arrived at the exit.

August (b)

Last April Dad looked fit.  Tuesday, allowing for this season’s sparser coat and for his head being a little wet, he nevertheless looked gaunt and his face looked whitened, like that of an old coyote.  I love that coyote and I couldn’t believe the change in him, felt wounded.  It is he, my having checked his markings down to his busted lower left canine tooth.  His eyes are the same, and before I checked that tooth I thought that if it isn’t Dad, then surely it’s his daddy.  Dad’s hips poke out, he seems to squint with his right eye, there is a dark patch on his left face and there are new dark eraser sized markings on his forehead and on the sides of his face.  He is looking like a beat up old coyote.  Yet even so, he’s still got game and I’m hoping he still has his health.

Posting written by Charles Wood. Visit Charles Wood’s website for these and more coyote photos: Charles Wood. His work is copyrighted and may only be used with his explicit permission.

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