On Monday, March 2nd around 4:30 p.m., it was time for my little dog, Lulu, and I to head down Thalia Street for an end of the day beach walk. Lulu knew that when the shadows grew longer and the light more golden, walk time was near. Rousing from slumber, shaking an old flip flop, goading me to shut down the computer, I opened the door of our Dunning Street house. But instead of jumping into my street-legal golf cart, Lulu sprinted down the street. I immediately followed her, but she had vanished without a sound. There were several people on the street, walking and driving. No one saw anything.
Later in the night searching for her, my son, Dashel, and I came face to face with two young coyotes near an abandoned driveway leading into the canyon. In the daylight, in the same place, I saw dozens of muddy paw prints.
I am heart sick knowing that the little being who danced when I walked through the door, who was always ready to snuggle and who approached strangers and friends alike with open friendliness, is gone. I learned a lot from her – to fully engage in the moment – whether you’re sleeping or playing and to be sweet and kind to those who love you.
Lulu liked nothing more than to run free, but her freedom that day cost her life. I wish we lived in a place where dogs can run safely, with abandon. But we don’t. No one wants live fearing danger outside their door, but as spring arrives, new, hungry coyotes will be born. Keeping your pet on a leash might save your best friend’s life and you from heartbreak.
If you do see a coyote in your neighborhood, Animal Services requests that you call them. They can be reached through the Laguna Beach Police Department at 949 497-0701. They also recommend that when you see a coyote, yell, raise your arms and make yourself as big and ominous as you can. The less afraid coyotes are of humans, the more welcoming our neighborhoods become, which isn’t good for us, our pets or for the wild ones who live beside us.
And in tribute to my funny, joyful, playful, friendly companion, my new mantra is “Live Like Lu!”