Saturday, November 8, 2008

Coyote Cuteness

I got the new issue of People magazine yesterday because of the Barack Obama cover story. But what I found more interesting was the article about Shreve Stockton, a professional Wyoming-based photographer, and her pet coyote Charlie, whom she rescued when he was ten days old. I checked out her blog, The Daily Coyote, and it is so incredibly adorable!

I know people usually think of coyotes as being from the wide open spaces of the West, but we actually have them here in upstate New York as well. My house is located in a semirural area and we hear the coyotes almost nightly. I've never actually seen one up close - they seem to keep to the woods - but their howling is one of the eeriest sounds I've ever heard. Unlike wolves, coyotes are mostly solitary except for when they hunt, which they do as a pack. First you hear a frenzied yipping, like a horde of mad pipers, then they start their oooOOOOOOOOOoooing. I could write a Gothic novel with unseen coyotes as a particularly ominous aspect of melancholy atmosphere.

Charlie, however, despite the difficulties inherent to keeping a wild predator as a pet, seems to have none of that coyote creepiness. Although Stockton says he had some adolescent aggression issues, he is now obviously a loving member of her animal menagerie (which includes a puppy named Chloe and an Alpha-cat named Eli). In some photos he just looks like an ordinary happy doggy. The coyotes I've seen around here from a distance were all scraggy and mangy, but Charlie is so pretty! He looks kind of like an overgrown fox crossed with a wolf. And the puppy pictures! Soooo very cute.

It's too bad those photos are copyrighted, cuz there's some great LOLcat potential there! ("Bein a coyoteh. Ur doin it wrong.") I mean, when you think about it, wolves get all the attention – of both myth and kitsch (see left) – while coyotes are either ignored or shot at. It's about time they had someone like Charlie representin'. He sounds like such a sweetheart. Shreve is so lucky.

(Oh, and if she could give me this guy's number, that would be great too.)


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