Imagine a coyote that's been brainwashed into thinking she's a house dog. That's what's happened with Natasha the Coyote, as she plays with the family cat.
Some folks found a coyote puppy that had apparently been abandoned or lost from its mother. They took it in and raised it. They named the little female pup Natasha.
Now Natasha is pretty well full grown, and she has lived virtually her entire life with people. She has forgotten that she's a wild animal, and lives with her human family as their pet.
She does all of the things that a domesticated dog would do, including playing with the family cat, chewing things up, getting her ears scratched, cuddling with her owners and generally...well, being a dog.
We've seen people take in all kinds of wild critters and make pets of them. Remember Melanie the raccoon? Or Sqwark and Penguin, the magpies that were "adopted" by two different families? How about the couple who found and raised a wild hog from piglet to full grown sow and named her Pasqualina?
Recently a family adopted a young mule deer doe, named her Faline, and let her have the run of the place until Kansas wildlife officials euthanized her. A tragic ending to that particular story.
But if it's not against the law or folks have a permit, raising wild animals is fairly common practice. How many of us, as kids, didn't bring home baby rabbits or squirrels we found in the yard? Or any number of other wild creatures, such as turtles or snakes (we've had a number of snakes in our home, back when my young daughter had dreams of becoming the next Steve Irwin).
So Natasha fits in with a long line of wild critters turned house pets. There is always the danger of any wild animal returning to its instinctual nature, and that may turn out to be true with Natasha as she continues to get older, who knows. But she does, after all, have her own facebook page and Instagram account.
In the meantime, she sure acts every bit the house dog. Let's hope that that continues, because she is pretty darn adorable. And yes, I'm fighting the urge to "rescue" a coyote pup and raise it. If it's a male, maybe I'll call him Boris.
Like what you see here? You can read more great articles by David Smith at his facebook page, Stumpjack Outdoors.