A Dog a Cat a Coyote and Me


It is hard to tell whether Tuna is a dog stuck inside the body of a cat or if Tuna is a cat who does dog impressions.
The only dog Tuna knows is Hunter.
So, it makes it interesting since it is hard to tell whether Hunter is a wolf stuck inside the body of a dog or if Hunter is a little old man who cries wolf.
If there is one thing my Sweet Sven and I are sure of.
We do not need more than one Hunter.
Lately this little piece of heaven here in the black hole, not far from Lake Wisconsin, is a bit like the twilight zone.
Take this morning for example.
Very different than yesterday morning.
Yesterday morning I swept a half inch of new fallen snow from the deck so that Hunter would dare to step onto the slippery surface.
But not today.
Hunter and his little brother, Tuna, finished their breakfast.

And then Hunter scarfed down hotdog slices camouflaging pills that help to ease the pain of arthritis in the aging legs of an elderly king of the jungle.
And then Tuna had a bite of a hotdog because he thinks he is supposed to.
And then it was time for our walk.
I took my coffee out the door, which is customary.
And they shot out in front of me, knocking me into the door which I was holding open, which jostled my cup.
Which is customary.
I let out a few less than sunny words.
Tuna swerved a tad to the right and Hunter hooked slightly to left to narrow in on the bird feeder which is front and center, as I wiped off my sleeve.
They had a guy stuck up in a tree.
And we watched that guy's friend disappear over the roof of the garage.
"We are going this way," I said, rolling my eyes.
They left the squirrel who had dared to hang from their bird feeder, the bird feeder that I fill, behind.
Hunter took the lead.
I took the middle.
Tuna was in the rear.
The path is narrow until we get to the snowmobile trail.
Once we get to the wide open, Hunter takes the lead.
Tuna follows Hunter.
I follow Tuna.
Until we get to the woods.
Then it is a crap shoot.
I stay on the path.
They zig and zag in and out sometimes in front of me and sometimes behind me.
But today Hunter disappeared early on.
Tuna and I were only about halfway across the field on the snowmobile trail when he went missing.
We turned around and waited for him to show up.
I called his name.
We shrugged.
Tuna and I continued on without him.
Into the woods we went.
We took the outer path along the fence line, which is a loop.
We came out the other end of it on the near side of the field.
That is when we heard the first bark.
And then more barking.
And then barking and barking.
Hunter was either in trouble.
Or he was causing trouble.
Usually it is one in the same.
I followed the racket all the way to the other side of the field.
The barking ceased.
And then.
One bark.
And then more barking.
There was more than one barker barking.
It was coming from behind the pile of branches from the fallen oak.
Someone was snarling.
"Oh Jesus."
I came around the side of the pile of branches.
I stopped.
I stared.
And I yelled, "Hunter! Come here. Right now."
Hunter ignored me.
A coyote with wild eyes and very large fangs lunged at him.
I grabbed the idiot's collar.
I gave him a jerk.
"Come on."
Another jerk.
We were only a couple feet from a very pissed off creature.
"Let's get out of here," I whispered into the jack asses' ear.
Hunter did not offer a lot of resistance when I gave him the third pull.
This, I think is because he wasn't sure what to do.
And he was getting a little tired.
He seems to get into these situations more than naught.
I mean, what does one do with a coyote once one has a coyote?
I looked back at her.
Our eyes met for a second.
Long enough for me to see that the critter of the wild was thankful that the king of the jungle's mother had hauled his ass outta there.
How do I know she was a woman?
Because that is what women do.
They protect their young.
I let go of Hunter's collar as I spoke to him about hot dogs and peanut butter and such.
Soon he was running ahead of me on the path to the kitchen.
There, sitting on the porch waiting for us, was Tuna.
And then it was time for their morning nap.
After lunch the hooligans rushed the bird feeder, as is customary.
We made our way to the skinny path.
Hunter took the lead.
I was in the middle.
Tuna was in the rear.
We turned onto the snowmobile trail.
Hunter disappeared early on.
Tuna and I waited at the end of the field.
There was no sign of Hunter.
We looked at each other and shrugged.
Into the woods we went.
We were along the fence line when I heard the first bark.
"Oh, no," I said to Tuna. "Are you kidding me?"
Tuna had just scaled a tree.
Because he can.
We made our way around the loop and back to the field which I crossed in the same fashion as earlier, to find Hunter in the same spot, harassing the same coyote.
She had never moved.
"Hunter! Stop it!"
After much yelling, pulling and cursing, I got Hunter out of her face.
And then Hunter laid down in the snow and refused to move.
"%$**@! &&%$! +(((&%@@!!!"
The bastard would not budge.
When he finally did, it was only a few feet.
And then he plunked back down.
After about fifteen minutes Hunter finally got the picture that I was really and truly not going to let go of his collar no matter how long he played the I am not going anywhere game.
He stood up.
And he bolted full speed ahead.
I still had a hold of his collar.
I screamed bloody murder all the way home.
Tuna was waiting for us on the porch.
And then it was time for their afternoon nap.
An hour later, sitting around my sister Louisa's island where BS Club had convened, I was saying to my girlfriends, "Sven can't go out there with his back out and I don't know what to do. There is something wrong with that coyote."
That is why the next thing I knew, I was back home zipping up my coat and walking out my front door to meet Luke.
Luke seemed like a nice enough guy.
Other than the twenty-two hanging at his side.
He had answered the phone.
"Animal Control," he'd said.
We made small talk as I led the way.
And then, just like Judas, I pointed to the pile of branches.
Luke said it was distemper.
He said there were no babies.
I wrote Luke a check.
Luke drove away.
I drank a bunch of wine.
And then I took a nap.


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