It rained pretty hard last night so we decided to walk the dogs along a paved path instead of the soggy trails this morning. The path we went on goes for a ways between a very busy road and a housing development. It has trees on both sides separating the path from the road and houses. Then the path turns and goes along a smaller road with a golf course on the far side.
We were walking along with the dogs off leash when just behind us a small coyote popped out of the bushes and started barking and shrieking at us. We thought it was probably an adolescent. It was only about 25-30 pounds, much smaller than the usual ones around here.
We leashed the dogs and kept walking. The coyote followed us, still continuously barking and shrieking. It followed us across a wooden bridge and around the corner onto the part of the path that runs right along the street. Whenever a car came by it would duck into the woods between us and the golf course, but then it would get back onto the path behind us.
The only thing we could think of was that it was a young one that had lost it's mother and was following our dogs. The poor thing looked and sounded so pitiful.
It kept getting closer to us until it was finally only lagging about 25 feet behind us, still barking and crying.
That was a little too close for our comfort. And it was making the dogs crazy. Both of them were pulling at the leashes and barking and whining at it. So we turned around to head back to the car.
We'd walked back a short ways when one of the groundskeepers for the golf course came rolling up to us in his golf cart to warn us about a coyote in the area. The coyote wasn't an adolescent. It was a mother coyote with a pup still in the area. She'd attacked his dog, an Aussie, a couple of times.
Well, that changed the whole story for us from "Aw, poor thing" to a scary predator.
As we walked back, we lost sight of her for a few minutes, which made us even more nervous. Finally we spotted her sitting in the woods by the path. She didn't follow us anymore. She just sat there quietly. We figured that her den was probably right there and we'd interrupted her hunting as we came through. For a while I think we were between her and her pup and that's why she followed us.
Whatever the reason she followed us, it made for a much more exciting walk than we'd planned on. I think we're probably going to avoid that path for a while.