I’d hazard anyone with the slightest sense of who I am has a pretty good idea that when it comes to animals and wildlife I’m all about protect and respect. The more dissed the coyote, the opossum, the rat, the reptile or spider the more I rally to its side.

And while I can entirely empathize with the half-starved coyote I encountered stomping through the neighbor’s front ivy not more than 15 feet from me while I was taking out the garbage at 1 p.m., make no mistake: all predisposition as that species’ champion retreats while I charge after it all a-flail in my flip flops and let it know it is not at all welcome here.

With previous knowledge of the area coyotes working as a team and for fear the target of my pursuit might be playing the bait card to draw me out so that its partner could move in behind me, I called off the chase and returned to herd Ranger and Pumpkin into the house, leaving Susan to corral Jiggy while I staked out the front yard only to find no sign of the first one, much less any real or imagined second.