Rupert Howell Column

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 19, 2009

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.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

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.