Coyote Capers and Re-Opening at Peaceable Paws

                 Welcome to Peaceable Paws!


Well, it’s certainly been an interesting week here on the Peaceable Paws farm. We had previously seen a coyote at the far edge of one of our fields, at least a quarter mile from the house, and Paul had found the remains of a raccoon in that same field. This week we saw her out our back bedroom window frisking along a fence in the horse pasture at 7:30 one morning (about 200 feet from the house) and she has left the remains  of  two more raccoons and parts of 4 very young fawns in the driveway down by the lower barn – maybe 150 feet from the house. (I hate finding the baby fawn parts, especially, but coyotes have to eat too…)

This morning, Kai woke us up at 6:00 am, barking at a fox barking in our front yard at the coyote in our front yard – maybe 50 feet from the house. Hmmmmmmmm. We think the fox has her den in what used to be a groundhog hole at the base of a walnut tree that fell during a big storm when we first moved in, many years ago. We recently took down a remaining not-very-healthy tree in the same area and cleared away all the brush and vines that had grown up over the years. The hole has definitely had larger-than-groundhog activity recently, and it’s not far from where we keep finding remains of the coyote kills. We thought at first the coyote had made her den there, but this morning the fox was clearly trying to chase her away from the area – and she went. The fox followed her for some time, still barking. I imagine the fox was saying, “And I said STAY away!!” I think fox den makes more sense anyway – what appears to be the “back door” hole of the den looks pretty small for a coyote.

If any wildlife buffs want to weigh on on who is probably living here I’d be happy to hear.

Still trying to get some coyote and fox photos, but they aren’t very cooperative – they tend to come by when it’s kind of dark out – or I don’t have my camera with me. Meanwhile, I’m worrying that it’s not safe to take Sunny (20 pounds) and Kai (25 pounds) for hikes in the woods anymore. (Sad face) Sunny goes on a long line and stays reasonably close, but Kai loves to run off into the woods… He always comes back, but still…

On a happier note, our 5 Carolina Wren eggs in the blue horse boot on the shelf in the feed room in the barn have all hatched and are doing well. I snuck a photo of the hatchlings (blurry, sorry) while Mom-Wren was out gathering food for her babies:


We are delighted that registrations are coming in for our group classes and academies, and I have several in-person consults scheduled for the upcoming weeks. (For information on participating in any of these activities, you can go to our website at, or e-mail us at, or call us at 301-582-9420.) We also still have room for working participants and auditors in our Brain Candy Canine Cognition Workshop, August 15-16 (hint, hint).

While the nasty coronavirus has gotten bumped off the front page by the social protests, it is still very much with us and we continue to iron out our details for safe re-opening at Peaceable Paws. We have purchased canopies for shade in the barnyard where we plan to hold classes with ample social distancing, and chairs are on the way. Here’s what we’re getting:

And here’s the yard where we plan to hold classes:

There’s nice, lush green grass in the yard now, and you can rest assured there won’t be any horses or pigs loose in the yard during class.


Finally, I want to say that I have been very impressed by the statements released from some of the dog training organizations that I am a member of, in support of inclusion, equality and working to end racial disparities and injustices. Here’s what we received today from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers:

Dear Colleagues,
As a society, we have endured challenging weeks and months of economic hardships and social distancing due to a global pandemic. As if 2020 weren’t stressful enough, the recent police-involved killings of unarmed black citizens leave us outraged, and grief-stricken. We are all affected by what is happening across the United States and in our communities.
The Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers joins other organizations in emphatically stating that systemic racism, injustice, and discrimination permeate our society and culture. We are hopeful that profound and permanent change is coming.
We recognize that our organization – along with our industry – lacks diversity. We will review our policies, practices, and commitment to inclusion, equality, and stopping racial disparities. Every interaction we have, whether with a client, candidate, certificant, or colleague, will be considered.
On behalf of the CCPDT Board of Directors, we will generate a change to build a more inclusive community of trainers, embrace diversity, and create equality in our work.
Specifically, this change will include:
  • Examining CCPDT outreach efforts in advance of board member elections.
  • Ensuring fair and unbiased questions and requirements are part of our formal application and exam processes.
  • Creating a pathway into the profession, so that anyone with a desire to become a dog trainer has an opportunity to do so.
We pledge to continue this work with renewed vigor and purpose. Suggestions are welcome. Certificant offers to join in our efforts are appreciated. Please reach out to us at any time.
Ruth LaRocque CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA
Bradley Phifer CPDT-KSA, CBCC-KA
Executive Director>>
I immediately responded with an offer to join in their efforts – and Peaceable Paws will be looking for ways to address these issues in our own programs as well. Your thoughts and suggestions on this subject are welcome.
Everyone, please stay safe and well, and join me in looking forward to better days ahead.
Warm Woofs,
Pat Miller

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