Notes On Charlie – October 22

This coyote is so unbelievably affectionate. When I say he sleeps on the bed, I don’t mean the foot. Charlie curls up at my chest, and makes sure that some part of his body is touching me. He often sprawls out with his chin resting on my arm or my stomach; if he curls in a ball, he will get up and lie down numerous times until he is satisfied that his body fits as tightly as possible in the curve of mine.

If I’ve been gone for a few hours, he runs up to me and licks my face so delicately, looking in my eyes, tail wagging, and then falls over to show me he wants his belly rubbed. Same behavior when MC comes around – Charlie loves to see MC and flops around like a fish on the ground wagging his tail and gazing at him with absolute adoration.

This behaviour is reserved for MC and me alone (and MC’s dogs and the cat of course). Charlie is wary of other people and gets very nervous when “strangers” come up the driveway. He knows MC’s truck by sight and sound, but if another vehicle comes up the driveway and Charlie’s outside, he hides, flattening out in the grass or sitting still as stone behind the cabin, watching intently.

When other people are here, Charlie either hides or stands right behind me and makes a strange growling noise – it’s not aggressive, because he lets me pet him and rub him to try to calm him, but more like a nervous warning. Of course, there are times when Charlie doesn’t want anything to do with anyone – if he’s on an intriguing scent trail, or chewing on an elk leg, or just in the mood to meditate about the sky by himself. This is easy to respect because it’s easy to understand, and it’s such a remarkable treat that he loves the way he does.