Smoky The Tame Coyote

Good Morning (or or evening)!

How I love the American West and how I love the stories that came out of that long ago West.  This is one that I thought I’d share today — the story of a tame coyote, Smoky.  I’ll also be giving away a free ebook today — so do leave a comment.

This story comes to us from James Willard Schultz (Apikuni), who wrote the book BLACKFEET AND BUFFALO.  It’s a true story of himself and his son who found a coyote pup and regardless of how others kept telling him that the animal couldn’t be tamed, he decided to keep the pup and try to tame it.

was a saying in the old buffalo days, and both whites and Indians agreed that wolves could sometimes be tamed, but not a coyote…never.  An old man named Bill Weaver once said, “plumb wild an’ trech’r’us no matter how careful you was in tryin’ to gentle ‘em.”  Now, this all happened in the White Mountains in Arizona.  Schultz’s son, Hart, found the pup…a male, who had been separated from its mother and was on the verge of starving.  Taking pity on it, he fed the animal, making its first meal a big stack of pancakes and bacon.

At last, Smoky had found a home.  The first thing Schultz and his son did was make a shed for him and tie him to a thirty foot chain.  The chain was to keep him from running away.

Luckily they had a dog — a female — Zora, and so Smoky at least had company.  Now here begins some things I didn’t know about coyotes.  They eat more than dogs and they are extremely fast.  (I guess they have to be.)  Darting here and there, Schultz often described him a a streak of grey.  He was also a joy, according to Schultz.  He loved being petted, he greeted his “family” with happiness, and he often licked their faces, showing them his love.

Eventually Schultz determined to set Smoky free, afraid he would leave.  But Smoky didn’t stray.  He kept with his friend, Zora, and they roamed the forest together.  But unfortunately some things can’t be helped and when Schultz’s neighbor bought some chickens, and when Smoky caught five of them, including a prize rooster, Smoky found himself again chained.  But oh, how he enjoyed his outings.

He was swifter than Zora, Schultz’s dog and when they took him hunting, Schultz again describes him as a gray flash — he was everywhere at once, exploring everything.  Once he caught himself a skunk and promptly ate him, then went about trying to get rid of the stinch.  He never again caught a skunk.

Smoky soon became the best hunter and retriever that Schultz ever had.  He would corner prey, then wait for Schultz to come and make the kill.  He loved the crack of the gun, rushing to seize the prey and bringing it to plop at Schultz’s feet.  No one starved while Smoky was on duty.

Interestingly, Smoky got along well with women — he loved them all.  But he took an instant dislike to many of Schultz’s men friends and he would not let any man except for Schultz and his son near him and certainly not one of  those men would think of petting him.

Now here’s the part I really didn’t know and found very interesting.  Did you know that coyotes (and wolves too) only mate in the month of February and the early part of March?  That’s it.  Any other time, forget it.  Schultz tried to mate Smoky with their dog Zora, but it was summer time and Smoky wouldn’t have anything to do with her.  Can you imagine if humans were that way?  Thank goodness we are not.

What happened to Smoky?  One day while Schultz and his son were out hunting, they happened upon 3 other coyotes.  Smokey took after them and didn’t return for minutes, then hours. Schultz and his son were worried.  Were they going to lose him?  Had he deserted them to return to his own kind?  Filled with loss, Schultz and son stopped hunting and turned back for home.  But then, they hadn’t gone too far when suddenly in a flash of gray fur Smoky dashed upon them and commensed to licking their faces, whining and whining and running around them in joy.

Then suddenly, he went off a distance, looking back at them as though to say, “Well are we going to hunt or what?”  It was a beautiful moment.  Schultz writes that he realized that Smoky loved them even more than his own kind.  Or perhaps Schultz and his son had become his own kind.

So in this same vein, I thought it would be fun to talk about our pets.  I absolutely love my animals.  I have cats and dogs and when my kids were young we had a parakeet.  And to me, these animals are family.  How about you?  Do you have a pet?  Someone you love very dearly?

Come on in and let’s talk. Leave a post.  I’ll be giving away a free book once again to some lucky blogger.  And I’d love to trade stories about our “babies.”    Don’t forget that LONE ARROW’S PRIDE is on sale now at online bookstores everywhere.

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KAREN KAY aka GEN BAILEY is the multi-published author of American Indian Historical Romances. She has written for such prestigious publishers as AVON/HarperCollins, Berkley/Penguin/Putnam and Samhain Publishing. KAREN KAY’S great grandmother was Choctaw Indian and Kay is honored to be able to write about the American Indian Culture.
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26 thoughts on “Smoky The Tame Coyote”

  1. I enjoyed reading Smoky’s story. I have a chihuahua dachshund mix named Gidget that we rescued eight years ago.

  2. What a great story, Karen. I’m aware that coyotes do some damage, but I have a soft spot for them. They’re beautiful animals, and they are great survivors.
    My two kitties, Walter, a huge tabby boy, and Sadie, his little orange fluffy girlfriend, are indoor cats. They were shelter buddies that I adopted almost eight years ago. They run the house and keep me smiling.
    Thanks for a lovely blog.

  3. I love my animals! I have 7 horses, 1 mini jack, 4 dogs and 1cat! My favorite is my stallion Zip! I bought him when he was 3 days old. He is now 9 and has sired 12 babies. My donkey is a big guard dog! He won’t let anything in the pasture he doesn’t know human/ dog! I would love to win! Thanks for the I giveaway!

  4. Hi Kim!

    Wow! 7 horses. Wow! I’m in the process of moving, but as soon as we are all moved, I intend to keep rescuing animals — cats and dogs. (We don’t have zoning for horses.)

  5. We have a named Pumpkin! he loves to sit on your lap and be loved on. But for some reason this cat thinks he is a dog. we go for walks he comes too and when he sits on your lap he drools! Im so serious. it is the funniest and grossest thing hahahah, but we love him.

  6. Wonderful story… My household has always been filled with different pets… dogs, cats, rodents of different types, lizards, fish, birds, etc… I also love seeing the animals in nature visit my house… so many lovely critters to meet.

  7. Hi Cori!

    We had a cat that thought it was a dog, also. Unfortunately for us we lost him last year. But I know what you mean — he really acted like a dog. Thanks for your post.

  8. What a great story, Kay! I love that! Right now, we have the Great Pyrenees that we “inherited” from our daughter. She’d gotten him as a puppy from a rescue, and realized quickly that she truly didn’t have time to devote to him as she should because of her work schedule. He came to stay with us frequently during the week days and finally he just stayed here and went home with her on weekends. When she moved, he was here permanently because the place she moved didn’t have a fence. Now, he is our “third child” and we dote over him as if he truly WAS. He’s been very sick for most of his life and on medication for his meningitis which can be controlled but won’t ever “go away”.Also has thyroid meds he has to take. But he is just the light of our lives and so smart and funny, and we all just love him dearly. To the four of us, my husband, my daughter, my son, and me, he is the biggest white “teddy bear” you’d ever want to see. He will actually lay his head on you if you say “Give me a hug.” But if anyone else comes, he is all teeth. We have to put him outside whenever we have any kind of company. He’s very protective, but that’s what his breed does–they are herders.

  9. I forgot to say, his name is “EMBRY”–he was named at the shelter before Jessica got him. He had 8 or 9 siblings, and they named them all after characters in Twilight. LOL

  10. Thanks for posting a great story. I love animal stories. We have had some very interesting pets including a blind white rat, a cat who lifted him out of the cage and then the two of them took a nap on our daughter’s bed. That same cat checked up on me when I was on bed rest (he would tap my face to see if I were awake.) We have had several dogs, including one that would herd our daughter back into the yard when she would escape. We had rabbits, and a bull calf at one time. But I think the most unusual was our ground squirrel that we had for several years. Our son was mowing when he hit the nest. He carried this little animal in to me begging me to keep it alive. It wasn’t more than a couple inches long but grew to be normal size. There are no books to tell us how to treat it but it made it.

  11. That was a really interesting story. I have always thought that coyotes could not be tamed. I think Smoky was very unusual. I have no pets at this time, but I fondly remember Sarge.

  12. Hi Cheryl!

    I love your story. Absolutely love it. Most — all except one — were all rescue — usually they found us. What a beautiful story. May he continue to give you such joy. : )

  13. Hi KayM!

    You know when I was raising my kids, my ex didn’t want to have pets — still I once had a cat — but it disappeared shortly after we rescued it — and then we had a bird — but I was raised with lots of pets — mostly cats, but also a dog, and so after my divorce and after I had a stable home to offer an animal, they seemed to find me. : )

  14. One more thought. You know, Cheryl, I’ve never seen an episode of Twilight. I don’t watch TV — actually consider it a propaganda machine of the worst sort — especially with all the flashing pictures and such — and so I simply don’t watch it anymore.

    When they started advertising psychotropic drugs directly to the public (long ago) I got rid of TV, cable and anything connected to it — and have never been sorry. I read alot more, actually, and I have never missed that things.

  15. To all who come and leave a message, it is late on the East Coast but still early on the West and so I won’t be doing a drawing until tomorrow. When I was on the West coast, I would do a drawing before bed — but not so here on the East. So look for something from me tomorrow.

  16. Right now I only have a dog and a chicken, but when I was little we had all sorts of animals: cats, dogs, chickens, geese, goats, goldfish, parakeets, and I’m probably forgetting some. I think it was great to grow up with all these animals. It teaches some sort of respect for nature and I’m very grateful for it.

  17. Thanks Karen I don’t know what I would do without my horses. Although I don’t show or ride anymore due to a leg injury by a horse falling on me . I love breeding them and just plain out loving them! All my dogs and cats are adopted mostly because my son works for a vet! Boy I could tell you some stories about them! To long though! I loved your story and thanks for sharing

  18. What a beautiful, touching story. It reminded me of the movie Dances With Wolves!

    I had no idea that they only mated in February.

    I had a dog growing up. I have not had a dog on my own. I do not like cats and never wanted one as a pet.

  19. I have a pet I dearly love-he is a good companion. His name is Willie and he is a Jack Russell terrier who is still very active.
    I enjoyed reading about Smoky

  20. Hi Kim!

    I also take care of my granddaughter and she loves horses — of course she’s a bit afraid of them in person, but she still loves them. I think most of my pictures when I was young were taken with me holding some sort of cat. : ) We had lots.

  21. Hi Laurie G!

    You know it does remind one of Dances with Wolves, doesn’t it? But it is a true story and that makes it even more wonderful. I had no idea about mating ONLY in February either. Imagine…

  22. Hello Joye!

    Sounds like a wonderful pet. We have two dogs — big dogs — whom we love very much. And of course we also have cats. I love them all. They really are family.

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