This morning Meg and I were looking for a ball to play with. Meg was looking at the edges of the mown area where the balls roll out of sight. I looked up to see Meg trotting towards the vegetable garden followed a few feet behind by what at first glance appeared to be a playful dog, but what I soon realized was a coyote stalking her. It was the size of a lanky German Shepherd and the colour of a dark Golden Lab. When it saw me, it stopped and looked for what seemed like quite a while, perhaps evaluating the threat I posed to it, before heading into the long grasses towards the woods. I had the distinct impression that it did not find me to be threatening, it just didn't feel like sticking around. When Meg realized what had been so close, she put on a short brave show of some weak barking and lots of sniffing, then came running to me.
I admit that I've not been terribly sympathetic to the people who are occasionally featured in the paper calling for the extermination of the local coyote population because their cat or small dog was killed by one. In fact, I always side with the coyote whenever they come into conflict with pets. Now I have to refine my opinion slightly. Now I side with the coyote, except if it's eyeing my pet for breakfast.
Update August 13: Meg was spayed today and when we picked her up we mentioned the coyote incident to the vet. Our vet is also a sheep farmer so I respect his opinion on coyotes. He said it is possible that the coyote wanted to play with Meg as this is not unheard of. Apparently, they will also mate with dogs, but that potential has been removed as of this morning. I think it is always safe to assume the coyote's intentions are not honourable.
Meg is recovering comfortably at home.