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How Coyote Got His Markings By Kirsten Rose

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Coyote sat atop the cliff and jealously watch as Crow floated and soared above him.  Crow’s magnificent, strong wings glistened in the sun with sparkles of feathers so black they appeared blue.  The swooshing sound was deafening as they pushed against the air in the process of keeping Crow aloft.

Coyote longed to see what Crow saw from his world above the land.  Desire and jealously burned within him and he called to Crow.  ”Crow” he said “teach me to fly!”  Crow laughed and said “you cannot fly pup, your gift is song, mine is flight”.  ”You are animal of the earth, it  is me who lives in the air” he continued as he swooped down to Coyote brushing his uplifted nose and continuing up towards the sun and clouds.

“Please Crow, I want to see what  you see, please help me” Coyote called.  Crow took pity on Coyote and he and his family plucked a single feather from each of their left wing and sewed them to Coyote’s legs and tail.  Coyote flapped his legs as he ran towards the edge of the cliff.  He stumbled and fell flat on his face.  ”Why” he cried “can I not fly?”  Crow thought about this and said “maybe we need to use feathers from both wings”.  So the plucked a feather from each of their right  wings and sewed them to Coyote.  Coyote flapped his legs and ran and low and behold he took flight.  But Coyote being Coyote, he soon began to cause mischief and he swooped at Crow and laughed.  Crow begged him to stop, but Coyote would not.  Soon however his antics got the best of him and his antics and wild behaviour took him too close to the sun where the heat melted the feathers.  Coyote tumbled from the sky and as he fell the heat from the sun and his fall melted the feathers and that is how Coyote got his markings or so the story goes.

A few weeks back I heard this lovely story during a presentation called Living With Coyote at The Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park with Dr. Shelley Alexander. This was a wonderful presentation, full of information about the mysterious, glorious Coyote, who lives amongst us and is one of the most successful species on the planet. The wonderful animal has remained for the most part unchanged on this continent for 7 millions years. Dr. Alexander provides excellent information on how we can live successfully with this animal without the need of lethal methods. This presentation will be held again on July 16th. With such a beautiful backdrop of the Provincial Park and a tremendous presenter as Dr. Alexander this is an event to be taken in.

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For more information on co-existence Coyote Watch Canada is a tremendous resource http://coyotewatchcanada.com

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The Labbies and I were out today on our walk and we came across 9 coyotes, 4 were pups. The Labs were amazing, they alerted and returned to me immediately. I leashed them up immediately I did not want them to make a mistake and cause injury to themselves or to Coyote. This is a part of co-existing. They are trained to return but I also immediately implement management by putting on their leashes. Coyote followed us at a distance making sure that we returned from whence we came and that’s fair. We were too close to their home where they are raising 4 pups. They were respectful, so were we. I did not at anytime feel in danger, I felt a deep sense of respect for life, ours and theirs. We can all take a lesson from Labbies and Coyote today.

Kirsten has over 15 years experience as a professional dog trainer and is one of only a handful of Certified Behaviour Consultants and Certified Professional Dog Trainers. She specializes in puppy training, family-related dog training services, and aggression cases. She went through the challenging internship program at Calgary Humane Society, where she continues to teach classes and help adopters train their dogs. She also a graduate of prestigious Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training and Behaviour and a KPA Certified Training Partner

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