Goodbye Charlie, now on the rainbow bridge

Charlie died of kidney failure. I can’t know this for sure, of course, but based on the speed of this whole thing, his eventual refusal to eat, and the anemia that was apparent from his tongue (it got progressively pale and was nearly white by the end), my vet said all signs pointed to kidney failure, too advanced by the time he showed symptoms to have done anything about. Charlie seemed to be improving for a couple of weeks which is why I thought it was arthritis and which, frankly, was the only reason I was capable of sharing that first update – and I’m so glad I did. Having you all looped in has helped me more than I ever could have imagined. We buried Charlie under his favorite tree.” – Shreve Stockton, weblog, 10/27/2020

I’ve been following Charlie’s exploits in Stockton’s blog “The Daily Coyote” from the beginning when she adopted the orphaned coyote pup in Wyoming in 2007, knowing that his life depended on her. They became companions (co-pilots, as she says, rather than master and pet) for the rest of Charlie’s life. Raising a wild thing: others said it couldn’t be done, but she did it well. You can find the story of her first year with Charlie in her 2008 book, also called The Daily Coyote.

Charlie came to Stockton’s ranch about the time I was researching my novel Sarabande.  A coyote has an important role in the book. I soon found that the up-close-and-personal research I needed didn’t exist–until Shreve was gracious and answered my e-mail questions. I included her name in the book’s acknowledgments, but that never seemed to be enough.

Inasmuch as I was reading about Charlie every day, I continued to learn about coyotes and should say that, though it wasn’t my intention, Charlie was the role model for Apí’si in my novel. So I will miss my “online friend” named Charlie though he doesn’t know me.

Early on in her blog, Shreve said that many people were asking how they could see Charlie. Her answer was simply this: “Charlie doesn’t want to see you.” That’s as it should be, and I understand.

Malcolm

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