Good Intentions Can Get You Eaten

Lindsey and I are big softies for rescue animals. We have a rescue dog, so we do what we can for a couple of no-kill shelters in town, and we always urge our friends who want dogs to adopt a rescue dog. Naturally, when either of us sees, or hears of, a dog in trouble, we get all super hero-y and try to help.

As I was walking Sugar one night, I saw a dog lying in the grass along our path. I scanned for its owner and, seeing no one around, realized it was a stray. We don’t have strays in our neighborhood, and I’m not saying that in a stiff-jawed, Thurston Howell accent. People in our neighborhood either walk their dogs, or let them out in their fenced yards. Strays are uncommon. This was a medium-sized, light brown dog. It was lying down, with its head up, but it only watched us. Sugar, who sometimes wigs out when she’s on a leash and sees another dog, uncharacteristically ignored it. I figured the universe was sending me a sign, so I decided not to tempt fate. I walked across the street before continuing up the block, hoping Sugar still wouldn’t see it, and that the other dog wouldn’t come to us. The universe stayed on our side, because the other dog never moved, but it did watch as we went past. It was a little creepy, actually.

On our way back, I saw the dog was still lying in the grass. I thought, for sure, it was hurt. It hadn’t moved but watched our every move. I took Sugar home, and talked to Lindsey about it.


“Oh God. What?” she asked, having heard the tone in my voice that basically said, “I’m about to say something really weird/random/unsettling/disturbing.”

“So, there’s this dog…”


I didn’t get to finish the sentence, because Lindsey started asking the questions that a rational, sane person would ask when told that there’s a possibly sick stray dog just lying on the side of the road at 10:30 p.m. Since my only answer to the slew of questions was “I don’t know,” we decided to go back, and take it some water and a few treats to see if it would let us get close. At least that way, the dog would have a little food, and some water.

As we approached, the dog lifted its head again. We stopped and watched it, not wanting to get close yet. Then it got up, and emitted an odd growl that lasted until after it slinked its way out of the glow of the street light. Seriously, it was a weird growl. Imagine a German Shepherd growling like a Chihuahua. This was the Mike Tyson of dogs. We gave each other the “OOOOOK” look, turned around, and walked home. Hey, I’m no animal expert, but I do know when something with pointy teeth basically tells you, “Leave me the fuck alone,” you leave it the fuck alone.

As we walked, I kept thinking about the sound of that growl, the way the dog looked, its bushy tail, and the way it moved.

“Honey? This may sound a little ‘city girl’ of me, but I think that was one of the inner-city, coyotes.”

“We have inner-city coyotes?” she asked with the doubt of someone married to a smartass who may or may not have embellished a few things for laughs in the past.

“Oh yeah. There are coyotes in Memorial Park, and that was a weird sounding growl.”

I expected more skepticism. Instead, she just nonchalantly said, “Huh…I thought that growl sounded weird. You could be right.” And we continued walking home with our backs to a feral canine known to have attacked small animals in the area.

Not a dog. Photo by C.Hirsch.

So, to make this clear: One of us mistook a coyote for a poor, hurt doggie, and then we both just walked away from it with no thought about it attacking us from behind. This does not bode well for us during the apocalypse. We’ll likely die shortly after wandering into a group of flesh-eating mutants asking to borrow a can opener.

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6 Responses to Good Intentions Can Get You Eaten

  1. carol hall says:

    Happy to see my two favorite grand girls did not let their love of animals overcome their good sense…spend more time with us in the country and animal id will be easier. hugs grandma c

  2. Smoness says:

    Maybe if we’d dressed like road runners…

  3. Mike says:

    How does that phrase go “God watches over children and FOOLS”…

  4. Rhonda Rubin says:

    In which case, He has more than his hands full watching over me.

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