I have never seen a coyote before. In fact, I couldn't really tell you if they were part of the dog family or the cat family - until now. A few weeks ago, early in the morning before the sun woke up (which is my kid's favorite time of the day to wake up - sigh) we saw a coyote lurking behind our chain link fence separating our back yard from the huge six stories or so man made canyon behind our house. It bothered me a bit, but not really. I didn't really know what a coyote was - I thought they were nocturnal animals, and certainly couldn't jump our fence...so we went on with our day.
Then a week ago at about three in the afternoon I had pulled my kids inside to give them a little snack when I heard our neighbor in my yard yelling at something. I ran to my window (being nosy, quite honestly) to see what was going on. There was our neighbor yelling at a coyote. The coyote was laying there on top of a mound of dirt when he decided to come down to snip at the neighbor dogs. All of a sudden, we had a real threat. Our neighbor informed us that coyotes can be vicious animals that are infamous for carrying rabies. So now, I have to watch my children in the back yard for predators...the real animal kind. But one thing that reassures me quite a bit, is that our neighbor is watching too. If I miss something, Gary is watching because he doesn't want something to hurt my kids. He's a good neighbor.
Talking about predators, we have the real human kind too living around our home. When Gary and his family moved in we warned him of one that lives on his daughter's route to school. Gary found out about another one that lives three blocks or so away from us and he quickly informed us. I know all about those kind of predators and they scare me more than coyotes...but regardless, I have to watch out for all of them and I know that my neighbor is watching out for them too.
When I was a kid, I don't recall my mom being overly protective. I could play out in my front yard without her with me. I could ride my bike. I could walk to school without her worrying. But today, with my kids, I feel like I have to be so vigilant in guarding my children. When the day is done, I know that their protection is ultimately with the Lord but I do believe I must be informed and responsible for the children that He has entrusted me with.
I'm not exactly sure how to ward off coyotes other than calling animal control or using a shot gun. Maybe there is some food that will make them ill like pigeons and Alka Seltzer...but I will save that research for another day. But there are ways to safeguard against child predators and inform you of their offenses. I really believe that we must stay in the know. Here are a couple of websites that you can just put your address in and it will tell you all of the child offenders in your area:
I know this isn't a wonderful thing to think about, but knowing what is around your home can empower you to protect your home that much more.