Coyotes nearby are nothing new around here. We have had our battles with them over time, losing a few chickens and geese over the years, but normally they are not so bold as to be seen during the day. They are smart and cunning and usually make it a point to remain unseen.
Later, I took a walk around the property and through the pasture before dark and saw no further sign of them and promptly put it out of my mind. I decided to watch a good movie but just as soon as I became engrossed in the story, the action started. I tried to ignore it at first but the distant howls were getting louder and closer.
I began hearing the response of our two "Mountain Boys", the Great Pyrenees' Val and Sal barking with their deep, strong alert as they ran back and forth along the pasture fence. Since this is a nightly routine for these two nocturnal watch dogs, I smiled to myself since I knew they were "doing their thing". But things quickly changed as from the sound as they became agitated and moved about more quickly, like an Infantry squad filling in the gaps. I decided to take a walk around and check things out.
Leaving my Great Dane, Kaz and my fearless terrier, Molly, inside, I grabbed the shotgun and a flashlight and headed out. Checking the chicken coops and the goose pen first, the good news was that no coyotes were nearby and the dogs were on the other side of the yard. Walking around the house I spotlighted Val and Sal across from the barn barking beside the pasture fence.
I moved the light slowly along the fence, quickly spotting two coyotes on the other side growling at my larger dogs who were barking in response and vigilant in posture. The intruders reminded me of an enemy in combat, patrolling the line looking for an opening where they could sneak through to cause some havoc. But they quickly retreated under the light, heading back to the woods. I congratulated my dogs for their good work, gave them a small reward of a dog cookie (I always carry a few in my pocket) and went back inside.
About an hour later the howling started in earnest, immediately followed by a ruckus in the house from the house dogs. In the meantime Val and Sal moved to the area near the chicken coops and I decided to send the indoor reinforcements out to join in the defense. With the two watch dogs joined by the Great Dane and the pesky terrier, the coyotes would not try to come through the fence and since the coops had been reinforced with a heavy grade of wire caging, they were secure. But I did marvel at the way the dogs worked in unison, moving up and down the back fence, following the lead of the terrier who always has a nose for a culprit. While little Molly is no match in a fight for a coyote, she uses her smarts to locate and direct the big dogs to the point of possible danger and they respond quickly.
Finally, after about a half hour or so, things quieted down. I brought the indoor dogs in and the two watch dogs took up their resting places on the deck by the kitchen. And while there was an occasional low bark as they reminded whatever else might be out there of their presence, the coyotes were gone, at least for this night.
So what is the point of telling this routine story? Well, it's a simple one. When my wife brought home these two wonderful outdoor dogs, I initially didn't want them. I thought that Kaz the Dane and Molly the terrier were all the defense we needed. But now that the two big boys have grown into first class watch dogs, not just for our animals but for the two of us, I wouldn't trade them for the world. They are very loving and kind with us, but they never let their guard down and are always on duty at night when we need it. And I wouldn't trade them for anything. So, Honey, if you read this, you were so right to bring them home and since they came as puppies I hope we have them for a long time. Heck, they'll probably even outlive me.
God bless all of the animals, but especially our wonderful dogs. They love unconditionally, work hard, and don't require much, just a little personal attention and food and water. I couldn't ask for a better deal than that.
So here's to a new day with another night to follow. You never know what might be ahead, so always be prepared. Have a great day and enjoy the beauty of life around you.