“But did you die?” Thanks to a run-in with one hell of an asshole coyote this evening, the short answer to that question is no, my rescue pup did not die today. We did have one hell of a adventure during our shenanigans in the national forest today. Here Carly is during happier times, at the Pebble Plains. This moment was before she suffered PTSD from a coyote hump fest.
But back to last week…
It was four p.m. on a Monday. Damn, did it feel like a Monday. I was exhausted after my brother’s bean-filled baby was running marathons or possibly bowling in the house above my other brother’s apartment from midnight the evening before until three a.m. When do babies sleep? I may just be a cat mom and not an actual parent but I’m pretty sure if you fill your toddler with a Big Gulp Pepsi and a vat of beans, they may not sleep well. Or ever.
It was a Sunday night in our mountain town. After having dinner with the family in the rural mountain town twenty miles down the highway from my own home, I attempted to drive home about 8.p.m. only to come upon a bad accident on the highway ahead of me. The highway would be closed for hours. I made a u-turn and drove back to my parent’s house to sleep in one of the guest rooms in the apartment down below the family home. Then a toddler powered by Busch’s Baked Bean’s ran a 10K above my head from midnight until 3 a.m. Very, very little sleep was had. Obviously I had to pull my exhausted body out of bed at dawn, chug some coffee on a twenty-one degree mountain morning and head for the trails of the national forest. As a hiking guide, I had three hikers booked from the Coachella Valley on a Pacific Crest Trail hike at eight a.m. a girl and her pooch on a solo hike at eleven a.m. and another solo hiker and pup at four-thirty. It was a very busy Monday of getting paid to hike and entertain tourists.
Before all the hiking shenanigans had even begun, I had spent the past three days at work petting racehorses and also climbing 10,000-foot mountains before dawn. By the time my four-thirty hike rolled around, I felt way too exhausted to go back to work. I mean hike. I mean to take people hiking and get paid to spend my days in our glorious mountains outside our front door. My pup, on the other hand, was dying (no pun intended) to go on her third hike of the day.
A coyote makes a terrible friend
So at Carly Dog’s insistence at four-thirty sharp, we were in the Snow Forest area meeting Cleo and her tiny little Maltese pup. Thank God she had her pup on the leash as shit was about to get real. Carly and I had no idea we were about to meet a very horny coyote.
I have hiked hundreds of mountain miles all over the San Bernardino Mountains and the Eastern Sierras. Here in southern California, run-ins with wildlife are few and far between. We may see coyote and black bears from a distance but rarely do they feel the need to get anywhere near us. There was the one time my pup tried to Befriend a Smelly Forest Dog and survived to tell the tale. That was actually the second time we had a run-in with a coyote way to close for comfort. For the most part, when we do come upon wildlife in the national forest the furry forest creatures stay far away from us. Until today.
I was hiking up the abandoned Snow Forest Ski Resort with Cleo and her pup not even a quarter-mile from the car and the parking area when I heard a yip behind me. Carly was maybe five feet behind me last time I checked. I turned around and she was nose to nose with a coyote! I honestly wasn’t that concerned as it was smaller than she and I was very close to her. Before you could say, Rabid Wile E Coyote, the crazy bitch was jumping on my dog’s back and trying to tear her throat out! This was less than five feet away from me. Keep in mind, I was taking a random stranger I had just met on a paid hiking tour. So she must have been thinking I was acting like an insane lunatic as I just started screaming at the coyote at the top of my lungs. I started waving my arms in the air, trying to make myself look as big and threatening as possible, as my dog tried to fight off the wild beast. Screaming at it was doing nothing so I grabbed big rocks that were on the trail and just started pelting it with rocks. That got it to at least jump off of Carly and back up a few feet. This girl I was taking on a hike must have thought I was a crazy person. Meanwhile, I had to just keep screaming, throwing rocks and advancing on the coyote because she/he was not backing up into the forest what so ever.
I have spoken to a lot of hiker friends since this happened, and the consensus is, the coyote had pups nearby or it was a male and it is coyote mating season. Apparently Carly’s sweater made her look like a dog who wanted to be humped by a coyote? I like to tell people that Carly has spent way to much time with our cats and has borrowed a few of their nine lives. She has had more than a few near-death doggy experiences, like the one time the idiot
pet sitter lost her in San Diego and then she almost drowned in the Pacific Ocean.
I swear, things like this only happen to me and my crazy dog. The good news is, my dog was not injured in the trail side hump-fest today. Thank the Lord her fur is really long right now, not clipped and she was wearing her ridiculous sweater. That sweater might have saved her from getting stitches if not worse. Although the coyote did seem to think she was a very attractive pooch in that sweater.