Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Hero

This man is my hero.

Thank you Jeremy.

I wanted to edit this to share with you all a coyote story of my own.

Many years ago I when I had just the one dog, Briggs, we used to go to a little used field every day after work to play fetch. Briggs was not so good with other dogs in his lifetime, and at this stage he was very very bad, so no off leash parks for us. No one else used this field.

One afternoon while throwing Briggs' kong-on-a-rope (pre-Chuck-It days!) a young female coyote appeared on the field, and sat down to watch. I was worried initially because I thought Briggs would for sure fight with her, and lose badly. I'd heard all the nasty coyote stories too. But he looked at her with mild curiosity and nothing else - she meant him no harm, and he knew it.

After a few throws, the coyote began to chase Briggs down the field as he chased his Kong. Then she went for the Kong herself and I thought "Oh great, there goes my toy."

But I was wrong. She dropped the toy within 5 feet of me, backed up in a play bow and waited for me to throw it again. She and Briggs took turns fetching the Kong. It was one of the most thrilling events I ever witnessed.

For several days running, Coyote would meet us at the park, she and Briggs would share a sniff and then they would politely take turns playing fetch with the Kong. It became our daily routine. I told no one, as I didn't want anyone to interfere with our game.

The last time we played with her, she tried to follow us home when we left the park for the day. She actually walked about a block with us before I recognized how foolish it was for me to let her come with us, into the neighborhood. I stamped my foot at her, and she shied away, merely confused. So I threw a rock near her, and she turned and bolted back to the park.

We never played with Coyote again - she never came back. And I know I did the right thing, but it still breaks my heart that she reached out like a dog to make friends, a very brave thing for a shy animal to do, and I had to burn that fragile bridge. I mean, you can't bring home a coyote to your urban apartment. But I've never looked at coyotes the same way since.

If this is not okay:

or this

This this is not okay either.

May the universe have mercy on the "souls" who would do this to an animal.


Larissa said...

It is so heartwarming to see there are still people in this world that would help a wild animal like that!!! A tear jerker for sure :)

The Border Collies said...

He is getting a lot of flack on youtube commentary from hunters and farmer types. I'm sure a positive comment on the video would be appreciated!

Anonymous said...

That's a man with compassion. He gets my vote as a hero.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure more people than not would have used a gun instead of a pair of wire cutters :(

BorderWars said...

It's a very nice thing he did, no being needs to suffer. I think I'd have done the same thing (bonus points for having tools), but I can see that it wouldn't be nearly as heartwarming to someone whose flock or pet was eaten by that coyote.

They've moved into my area and you can hear them baying every night. The level of dog barking in the neighborhood has skyrocketed and people at the dog park claim that the coyotes will send one animal out to play with the dogs and lure them into an ambush.

I haven't seen this myself, and perhaps it's just fear.

Anyway, amazing relation we have, both friend and foe, with the canid species.

Michelle said...

Coyotes get blamed for a lot of things that dogs do, even though dogs generally kill for sport, not to eat.

At any rate, I agree that no animal deserves to be left to suffer and die, and Jeremy is indeed a hero for having a heart!

Anonymous said...

Wow, thanks for posting. I was amazed at his compassion and left a comment on his youtube channel.

What I also noticed was that a lot of the "opposition" had a ton of misspelled words, and grammatical errors. Interesting.

I also understand the plight of the farmer and that these animals are predatory and destroy their livelihood. But, there are *humane* ways of dealing with it.

I am not naive to think that we can all live in this world and nothing will ever die, but we, as humans, have the ability to reason and truly can make choices that other animals can not make.

Wolves and Coyotes, as well as any other predator kills for food. There are far too many humans who kill for no other reason than fun.

barbara & the bedlam pack

Anonymous said...

I would also like to add my thanks to Jeremy.

Thank you for saving this wild critter from a potentially very cruel end of life. Coyotes deserve our respect, they are only trying to stay alive while we develop the land that was once theirs.

MaskedMan said...


But did he repair the fence? Or at least report the damage to the land holder? That's what I want to know.
One coyote, more or less, isn't going to make a big difference. But a busted fence can be a financial disaster for a rancher or farmer, as well as the proximate cause for a lot of needless suffering and death by livestock. Those brace sections are important to the integrity of an entire fenceline, and if not kept sound, well, bad stuff can happen.

Fenway said...

Score ONE for the animals and a kind human named Jeremy.

It was astonishing to watch the coyote's body language signal that he was putting his welfare in the human's hands. Check out his submissive posture and head lowering.

The Border Collies said...

Anyone who puts up a snare to catch coyote doesn't get much sympathy from me when it comes to whether his fence gets fixed or not. He's lucky this guy is a reasonable human being who just didn't didn't want to see a coyote suffer needlessly - snares take hours to kill, or they do not kill at all until someone comes along and shoots or clubs the animal to death. It's a barbaric way to "deal" with a problem. There are activists who would have gone a lot further than just freeing the coyote.

If it cost the landowner a bazillion dollars, frankly it's no skin off my nose. I don't wish anyone harm, but I also don't waste time or energy caring about the ramifications to a landowner with the freeing of an animal from an instrument of torture.

b13 said...

There are still good people in this world.

Anonymous said...

Farmers and ranchers who say coyotes harm livestock, are the ones who complain about all the mice and rats on their properties and in their grain storage once they've killed the coyotes. Those are the same people who then complain that there's rat poison in their wells. See, there's this thing called a natural cycle. Coyotes keep the vermin in check, don't do meaningful damage to livestock, particularly those properly contained and monitored, and prevent having to use chemical rodent killers.

Once Jeremy was done, that fence would still contain livestock, so no meaningful damage done there.

Jeremy - you've got many friends you've never met, and that leatherman with wire cutters is even more precious to me now.

dp said...

So this is a type of trap that farmers use to snare coyotes? How horrid. A nice video though -- I enjoyed the running commentary and the fact that the coyote never made an agressive move towards Jeremy despite his concerns. Very heart warmning.

Colleen said...

Heart smiling!

Paws For A Rest said...

In my old home town, I lived on the edge of the city and listening to the coyote howls was one of the most welcoming sounds I heard. Now that I moved to a large city, I miss those noises, it makes me feel at home.

No animal deserves to suffer like that, regardless of what they are. Thanks Jeremy.

Anonymous said...

There is a wonderful book called "Don Coyote" about a rancher who created a coyote habitat and in the process created a micro climate that benefited the rest of his ranch. The coyotes thrived and none of his stock was killed. When will we learn we CAN live peacefully with other species?

I will definitely leave a positive comment on youtube. So hard to believe anyone could watch that video and feel anything but compassion for that poor suffering animal.

Anonymous said...

Just realized that the video distracted me from your wonderful experience with Briggs and the coyote - a memory for a lifetime. Were you a photographer then and did you get any pictures?

The Border Collies said...

Were you a photographer then and did you get any pictures?

No, back then I had no camera. Briggs was still a babe then, so maybe 10 years ago :( I wish I did!

The Border Collies said...

I'm closing this entry to further comments, mostly because I don't feel like it needs to be a certain someone's sounding board, and I don't feel like being lectured by him for my belief that conibear, leg hold traps and snares are instruments of torture. You know who you are and if you want to rant about, do it on your blog, not mine please. I'm, erm, "not too terribly impressed," or in actuality, concerned with your opinion of me :) Merry Christmas.

Jeremy, many blessings upon your soul. You deserve every one of them, and you have my eternal gratitude for your compassion.

Anonymous said...

I hunt, fish and kill things to eat. I have NEVER understood snares or leg hold traps. I know they're used for fur trapping. I know that coyote was worth about $100 skinned, but I could never trap in anything other than a live trap, for fear that something other than instant death would happen (or heaven forbid, I'd get someone's pet like the bottom photos). Since I hunt birds with pointing dogs, these sorts of traps scare the bejeesus out of me.
A clean kill shot that drops the animal on the spot is so different from these sorts of maiming traps and the poison some farmers leave out.
I don't know that I would have done, as I don't carry wire cutters as a rule, but I couldn't have left that poor canid there to die. Go Jeremy.

For farmers that worry about their stock being attacked: get a llama. Or a donkey. Or some other livestock guardian. Something that will chase them off or kill them quickly.