Sunday, May 31, 2009

Mountain Lions

Mountain Lions
Some good facts:
1. Mountain Lions have an instinctive wariness around humans: sightings by humans are rare but imagine how many mountain lions you may have passed on the trails and you didn't even realize the lion was there!
2. Since 1890 there have been 16 mountain lion attacks on humans. 6 of them were fatal. The animals that were trapped and killed were found to have had diseases (rabies, feline leukemia).
3. Where there is deer there are mountain lions. Mountain Lions favor deer above other foods. They seem pre-programmed to kill deer. They will eat pets and livestock as well.
4. Mountain Lions are solitary animals. It is assumed that female territory overlaps with a male territory but an encounter other than for mating may result in death. They are not pack animals. If seen in more numbers it will most likely be a mom with her kittens. The young stay with her until they are 9-24 months old.
5. Mountain Lion territory in CA is believed to be 25-50 square miles big.
I have unfortunately never seen a mountain lion. I have heard them. The mating scream is a sound that I cannot describe. It was almost human. A woman screaming?! Then I was out one evening, the sun was just down and I heard a deer being killed by a mountain lion. The running through the oak leaves, the cry of the deer and the pulling of its prey through the dense brush is something that I will never forget. I have heard coyotes kill a deer right by our house and that was horrible but this kill was short and clean.
Once I thought I was really close to seeing one. A neighbor reported a mountain lion sun bathing on the another neighbors property. My husband, kids, dogs and I tracked down the cat. Our Lab caught the scent fast and we tracked down the cat. Not a mountain lion. A bobcat.
I have been told that one thing that will stick in your memory when you see a mountain lion is its impressive tail. Something the neighbors couldn't recall seeing!
Unfortunately the media contributes to a negative vision of these beautiful animals. The broad public only knows them as blood thirsty stalkers and killers. A good book to read about mountain lions is "The Cougar Almanac" by Robert H. Busch. Another good resource:

Saturday, May 30, 2009


Coyotes are part of our lives and one of the most fascinating predators in California. My friend Dani, the Vet, gave me a book on Thursday called "The Daily Coyote". A fascinating story about a woman who ends up raising a coyote pup. It is an easy story, sometimes the story is a bit stretched but the pictures compensate for everything else.
Above is a picture of a coyote running throughout the Hayfields. It always amazes me when preserve visitors refuse to believe we have coyotes in our Preserves. You may not see them but they are around. Their droppings are prominently present in the middle of the trail. Yes, that is not dog poop! It is coyote poop. They mark their territory mainly by leaving droppings very visible on the trail. Coyotes are very active in the Spring. They mate in February and March and are much more visible in the Open Space during that time. The pups are born about 60 days later and are raised in a den. Both mom and dad raise the pups and hunt for food. Easy prey like rabbits and domesticated cats are very popular during that time. We lost two of our cats during that time right by our house! We have since then fenced our property and we hope to keep them out!
I personally have come to admire coyotes. Their ability to adjust in every environment is incredible. I have eagerly been waiting to see the pups rolling through the grass like a few years ago. The mom watching while the little ones were running around like crazy. They are the only species in Northern America that humans have tried to kill but that have increased in numbers since the first interaction. What a survivor!
Educate yourself. We are in their territory and we need to share it with them. Yelling or throwing a stone at them is one option but coyotes do not differ much from our domesticated canines. Meeting them on the trail may be part of your hiking adventure. Usually they are observing you. Curious. Especially if you are with dogs. Coyotes can kill dogs! They are easy prey for these excellent predators. The coyote trick is one of their most famous attempts to trigger a dog to come with them. They show playful behavior and trigger the dog to come with him/her. Once the dog follows the coyote will guide the dog to the rest of the pack. I probably don't have to explain the rest. That is why a dog needs to be on-leash at all times when rules and regulations require you to do so. Protect your dog! Especially if your dog's recall is poor!
One of the saddest stories is of a Ranger, who lost one of his Rottweilers to Coyotes. 130 pounds strong but not strong enough to withstand the coyote trick. He just stood and listened while his dog was being killed in the foothills of the Bay Area. There was nothing he could do!
For more info here is a great web site:

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Beach Adventure May 22

Lola & Chewie & Ani & Domino at the Carmel Beach
Lola and Chewie
Lola & Domino and Romeo

On Friday, May 22 we took 10 dogs down to Carmel:
Chewie & Ani & Sophie (our own dogs)
Wyatt (mom and dad came along as well)
Lola, Romeo, Leo, Domino,
Ellie and Buster
We had a lot of fun. We missed Joeke and John. Only hiking adventures for them that day!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


You will always be in our hearts!

Patrick passed away this May!

Patrick was one of our first clients and he was such a great dog!

Patrick you will be missed!

Especially your buddy Buster is missing you!

In Loving Memory!
The Dog Hikers

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Pictures of an organized Trail Patrol Sunday, May 24 at Windy Hill OSP

This is how WE give back to the community!


About a month ago we signed up for twitter. Long story short ... we lack time but we are working on it. We will update and inform as much as possible but when we get busy ... we get busy!
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Cat Food Recall

Here is the link:

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I've been blogged!

My first posting! Yahoo!

I am twittered, linkedin, facebooked and now blogged! Flickr op (that would be Dutch!).

Welcome. Willkommen. Welkom.