Article: A Coyote Taught Me About Gratitude

By Eveline Horelle Dailey

My little dog, a 14-year-old Papillion, decided to go on an adventure.

Escapades was the domain of his brother. Barklay, on the other hand, is a very docile, quiet animal. Age brought him the gift of deafness, so he does not concern himself with suggestions or commands. He has a PhD in the sciences involved with teaching others patience.

Barklay may have lost his hearing, however, his sense of smell augments daily. Any food, miles away, and he knows! An overweight Papillion, with the show fur of his champion bloodline, is a good description for my dog.

As a fairly new resident of Sun City, perhaps he did not know about the golf course next door or about coyotes. He prefers riding in a car; long walks are not his forte.coyote

One day, while my husband and I were in the house, a moment of inattention provided my dog with the perfect opportunity for a stroll. Free, alone, no leash, no collar, no tag, no master. Free… Dogs were born to be free and perhaps Barklay kept some ancient memories.

The Trickster, as he is known by my native friends was lurking, hungry perhaps or just born to hunt, seized the opportunity at hand. This is the universal law of survival. Carpe Diem!
A neighbor and his wife noticed something black and white being shaken by a coyote, bitten again and again, more shakes. This mild wonderful man decided to immediately scare the predator away. Bending down he picked up a dog he thought was dead. This gentle person took the body home to attempt to find the owner. Lo and behold, there was some shallow breathing then some excessive panting. Many telephone calls later someone found us.
An immediate ride to the emergency animal hospital on Peoria Avenue, in Phoenix Arizona came with the trauma such activities bring. Fear, anger, more fear, hope, anticipation all came to the surface like a tornado. The Veterinarian told us, “First, I must take some X-rays, only then will I know if I can save him.


After agonizing moments, the report was a good one, “a perfect spine” . The coyote did not manage to break the spine. We were told the very beautiful and very abundant fur would be shaved where needed. 18 punctures were found and six hours later, my very sedated dog was with us with tubes attached at every hope to permit drainage and staples everywhere else.

This incredible doctor of animal medicine showed more compassion than any medical doctor I had ever met. I have children, I therefore, know about cuts and bruises and even serious illness. She did caution us that it is up to Barklay now.
The bite of a coyote, by reason of his diet, is very toxic and bacteria filled. My dog of 10 pounds was not a good prospect for survival.

Barklay went to his regular veterinarians at the Foothills Veterinary clinic in New River, Arizona every other day. Again the staff and my old vet showed a display of compassion not only for my dog but also for me. Neither vet had seen a little guy with such extensive wounds make it. For those interested, it took 47 staples, lots of antibiotic, lots of sedatives and lots of care to put him back together.

The Trickster does come back to the area where he almost had dinner. I saw him kill a rat the other day. I have read many articles and letter about the Coyotes in Sun City. I have not yet seen one in defense of this desert animal.
While my dog nearly lost his life to one, I recognize that coyotes have a job to do. They do keep the population of rodents in check. I am very certain it is a lot easier to keep a dog safe than it is to keep populations of rodents out of yards and homes.
The idea for me is to be acquainted with the concept that all creatures hold a place in a planet that gave them life. Like me they have a reason for being. This includes the Coyote. He, too, has the right of being.

This story is about a dog and a coyote, why gratitude then? I met neighbors I did not know, I met incredible compassionate veterinary staffs and doctors. I am filled with gratitude when 4 weeks later I look at my little dog with a strange type of a Mohawk hair cut and lots of healing scar running in the kitchen at the slightest smell of food.
It requires a lot less energy to harbor gratitude instead of anger. Join me and find something to be grateful for, even if it appears to be an adverse situation, it too has a reason for being in your life.

By Eveline Horelle Dailey - Published October 2006 – Front page of: Sun City Living