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Rupert Howell Column

Yard dog’s lack of intelligence puts owner on back

Wiley 2; Dum-dum and me, 0.

A bit surprised Saturday morning to see a coyote broadside in a clearing, I watched from the kitchen door to see what it was up to.

The wild canine looked like its counterpart on TV — Wiley, and was probably just intending to peacefully pass through until the yard dogs took notice and went into pursuit.

Years of experience have taught me what happens when a not-too-timid-or-smart small yard dog meets with coyote. I quickly retreated to the gun cabinet to find a shotgun and shell, not so much to kill or maim, but to scare said Wiley coyote away.

With only drawers, t-shirt, flip-flops and shotgun, I went running out the back door to scare off the coyote before it mangled Dum-Dum the yard dog.

Saturday morning’s thunderstorm had left the back steps very slippery and as soon as my thonged-foot hit the top step I was airborne.

It could have been worse. Usually when I’m afflicted with pain or fall, my wife hears the moans and groans before I land. Not this time.

When she finally quit talking to her cat long enough to determine that I had been involved in an accident, she griped, “Did you fall with that loaded gun?”

 “Nawwwwwwwwwwh,” I replied satirically, “That gun wasn’t loaded.”

She saw the marks left by the steps on my backside and began to offer only modest sympathy while Dum-Dum was getting his backside marked pretty good by one Wiley coyote.

A taller man would have died. One advantage of being vertically challenged is that it’s not far to the ground when your legs come out from under you.

 Not only did I land on two steps with two parts of my back, the force thrust my flip-flops half way across the backyard like they had been shot by a catapult. It must have been an awesome sight although I don’t plan on repeating it for a YouTube video. Dum-Dum is recovering from a large gash on his right-front quarter and is more leary of his care-giver (me) than he was the coyote that inflicted the wound.

Both Dum-Dum and I have learned from the experience. Hopefully he will not charge into a fight without better sizing up the opposition and I will take my time when ascending slippery slopes.

Meanwhile the score remains: coyote 2, Dum-Dum and me, 0.