Copper’s growl is vicious as he attacks the fence of his kennel. I look out the window and see motion down by the hen house but cannot tell what it is. Copper attacks again, this time answered by a chorus of yips leaving no doubt that the coyotes have returned.
I step out on the porch, pushing the other dogs back. I don’t want them chasing coyotes onto their own turf again. I’m hoping my presence will be enough to drive them away, but on the porch, holding my trusty hoe, I falter.
The coyotes are still there. Copper is beside himself with a fury I’ve never heard from him before, and I can hear their rustling. They can’t get into the hen house and soon they’ll figure that out, but I don’t want to leave our little beagle at their mercy, either. They can easily jump a six foot fence, and poor Copper would barely be a snack.
But chasing coyotes is a little different than running to the hen house expecting to find a weasel. These coyotes have looked in our window, closed in on us and even chased our car. I’m not quite ready to see just how bold they are by running after them with a hoe and a flashlight.
So I stand on the porch in my pajamas holding a hoe in one hand and a flashlight in the other with thoughts racing and feet firmly planted.
A moment later, I am joined by Zane, a giant of a Doberman Pinscher whose shoulder stands at my hip. He gives me a smile only a Doberman can then reads the concern on my face as I look anxiously toward the hen house.
Instantly he turns from submissive, wriggly, over-sized puppy hoping for a scratch behind the ear to fearsome beast, his wrath evident in a vicious snarl and horrific charge. The coyotes take flight and disappear in the soybean field to the west as Zane halts at the property line.
I watch as he trots our western boundary, glaring into the darkness, voicing his anger and marking every few feet. I’m not alone. In the beam of the flashlight, I catch the eye shine of at least four animals lying amongst the soybeans watching him pace.
They finally move on and he returns to me, wagging is whole backside and smiling his Doberman smile, hoping for a scratch behind the ear.
I heartily oblige. “Good boy, Zane! Good boy!” I so want to let him in the house, to reward him properly for his feat.
Thing is, he isn’t even our dog.