Coyote or What?

So, last night we were pulling out of my driveway on our way to Red Lobster…

Oh god I know!  Every time my parents come down we go to Red Lobster like we’re pretending to be Republicans.  But folks, try to understand, Red Lobster is our classy restaurant, the place we would scrimp and save to be able to go to on our birthdays when we were little and no amount of realizing now its inherent shmuckiness is going to take it away from us.  We go.  We behave like buffoons.  (Summary of our conversation last night.  “How is your friend with the weird blood condition?”  “Pissed off.  At the least, she’s going to be on medication for the rest of her life.”  “I saw on her Facebook page that she said her doctor was a penis head.” “See, you just don’t want to be going around calling your doctor a penis head.  What if you have to eat your words?” “Dad!” “What?  I’m retired.  I can make blowjob jokes in public.” “Oh my god!  Not unless you’re going to order a stiff drink so I can roll my eyes at the people who are staring right now and make like you just can’t behave yourself when you’ve had a couple.” “Maybe it’s just the Methodist minister in me, but I just can’t abide by people putting that poison into themselves.” “So, the Methodist minister in you stops you from drinking but not from loudly talking about blowjobs?” “That makes sense to me.” “Yes, thank you, Butcher for encouraging him.”)  We feel like we’ve done some mild social transgressions and eaten.

But where was I?

Oh, yes, coyote or what?

So, we’re coming out of the driveway and we see an animal coming out of the woods next to the across the street neighbor’s, walk across their yard, and trot behind the other neighbor’s house.

And then we had a big fight over what it was.  The Butcher thought it was a wolf.  I didn’t think we had wolves in Tennessee.  (Though I look now and see the red wolf has been reintroduced out east.)  My dad thought it was some kind of Husky, but it had really long skinny legs in proportion to its body and I didn’t think it was furry enough considering that it’s been cold enough for our animals to all put on a winter coat.  But the Butcher thought the body looked too full to be a coyote, but I said that, if coyotes get a winter coat, that could make it look fuller.

The main reason we all came to conclude that it wasn’t a coyote is that it seemed to be completely unconcerned about coming out of the woods, trotting through the stream of our headlights, and around the house and at dog speed.  The only other time I’ve seen what I knew was a coyote was back in town, coming out of a neighbor’s yard and heading back into the gulch where the traintracks are, even though it wasn’t in a particular hurry, it seemed to cover more ground than this animal did and was more stealthy.

So, I don’t know what it was.  I’m leaning towards strange looking dog.

11 thoughts on “Coyote or What?

  1. Here in Hoots, the coyotes have taken to coming into town. The first one I saw I thought was a skanky dog. Squirrel Queen, of course, set me straight. We are seeing them all the time.

  2. if its tail curled up and over to touch its own back, then it was a husky, or at least some breed of dog. coyotes never do that, and for all i know might be unable to.

    but the surest way to tell the difference is to recognize the gait. once you’ve seen how a coyote moves, and had it pointed out to you, it’s a pretty clear difference from any dog.

    being unafraid means squat; coyotes are practically parasites on us two-legs. we provide them all that garbage to eat, all those crawlspaces and garages to sleep in, so why should they fear us? they’ll come right into town and trot across folks’ back yards, act like they own the place.

  3. I fished you out. It had its tail straight out. I’m still confused but leaning towards dog, but it would be a good place to be a coyote. You’ve got enough people so that there’s garbage and pet food everywhere. But we’re still rural enough that there’s also plentiful game and lots of cool places to wander.

  4. but the surest way to tell the difference is to recognize the gait. once you’ve seen how a coyote moves, and had it pointed out to you, it’s a pretty clear difference from any dog.

    Nomen Nescio hit the nail on the head – you can see only a silhouette of a coyote, if you’ve seen one before, and recognize it from the movement.

    It wouldn’t surprise me at all if it’s a coyote. A friend’s dad saw one boldly crossing Hillsboro Road near Burton Hills one cold morning
    about 2 years ago. They’re very bold animals. That same friend, who lives in Green Hills, hears them howling on the hill behind her house. So, if they’re in a more densely populated area than White’s Creek, I imagine what you saw was a coyote.


    (you like how I just skulk here and never comment on all the brilliance? the insightful posts and commentary on religion, politics, social injustice… yeah, yeah that’s all well and good. but you bring up red lobster cheese biscuits and I’m all COMPELLED TO SPEAK UP.)

  6. I vote coyote. First time I saw a coyote, I thought I was looking at a wolf. Then I thought dog. I didn’t realize how big coyotes are. Regarding wolves … red wolves live wild today only in the northern coastal region of NC. They were reintroduced via a program at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in the late 1980s. Not trying to be geeky–it’s just that I live in NC so am familiar with it. There are about 100 now living in the wild, not including a captive population on the refuge.

  7. I vote for fox. Are you sure it wasn’t a fox? People think foxes are red, but they aren’t, usually. They’re more often grizzled, like coyotes. And they hang out on the margins of things. If it’s a fox, you’ll see it again, because they have usual routes.
    And yes, the cheese biscuits.

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