All Coy-Dogs Go To Heaven

My Blonde Coyote

My Blonde Coyote

Sad news: Freckles, the original Blonde Coyote – the inspiration for the name of this blog – is gone. I don’t know details about what happened. She was found in abdominal distress and the emergency vet determined she needed to be put down. She was 10 years old and full of life on our last hike together in April. I don’t want to think about the desert without that magnificent coy-dog glowing in the Sun.

Sun Dog

Sun Dog

Clifftop Coyote

Clifftop Coyote

Freckles was a coyote hybrid, equal parts sweet and smart, shy and skittish. She wasn’t mine, but we hiked hundreds of miles together and she would have followed me to the ends of the Earth. Hiking with Freckles was an exercise in trust: she was stone cold deaf and entirely untrained. I couldn’t tell her what to do; she did what she did because she wanted to. Having her as an ally– being judged pack-leader worthy by a coyote – was one of the great honors of my life.

Two blonde coyotes on our last hike together in April

Two blonde coyotes on our last hike together in April

We never get enough time with our dogs, but I find some solace in knowing that every time Freckles ran like a wild thing across the desert, I stopped to watch and every time the sun hit her in that way that made her shine, I stopped to look. In the three winters we spent together, we explored the desert just about every day and every time I wiggled my fingers at her – my greeting to the deaf dog – she flattened her silent ears and smiled.

Coyote Smile- Freckles may be deaf but she’s a fluent communicator.

There’s a reason why I named this blog after Freckles. I would not be the traveler I am now if I hadn’t followed that beautiful blonde coyote through the desert for all those miles. She taught me to wander freely, to look at everything, and to trust in my own dogs as intelligent, capable creatures. Most of all she taught me to follow my own instincts all the way to the horizons. I think of Freckles often in my travels and in that way she’ll always be with me.

Take all your good dogs for a walk today in honor of Freckles. Here’s to the Blonde Coyote.

Coyote Sunset

Coyote Sunset

Check out my previous dog posts: Hiking With Dogs, Finding D.O.G. and Dog, Memory.

About theblondecoyote

Mary Caperton Morton is a freelance science and travel writer with degrees in biology and geology and a master’s in science writing. A regular contributor to EARTH magazine, where her favorite beat is the Travels in Geology column, she has also written for the anthologies Best Women's Travel Writing 2010 and Best Travel Writing 2011. Mary is currently based in western Colorado. When she’s not at the computer she can usually be found outside -- hiking, skiing, climbing mountains and taking photographs. Visit her website at
This entry was posted in Bowie & D.O.G., Hiking!, New Mexico, Photography, Uncategorized, Vagabonding 101 and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

48 Responses to All Coy-Dogs Go To Heaven

  1. amberlife says:

    This brought a tear to my eye. Very sad in one way but what a life lived and what a friend to have had. x

  2. Luisa says:

    How sad, and how beautiful hommage.

  3. Andy says:

    A salute to the Blonde Coyote. And a beautiful tribute x

  4. barbara8max says:

    I am so very, very sorry to read of Freckles’ death. After 14.5 years my beautiful Max died a few days before my birthday in February. When you say “abdominal distress” and nothing to be done, well, it sounds exactly like what happened to him. If Max had been younger he probably would’ve survived what is apparently routine emergency surgery, but as with Freckles it was determined there was nothing to be done. From your pictures and story, it’s easy to see that Freckles couldn’t have had any better life.

  5. Peter says:

    A great loss to you as a travelling companion, but you are save in knowledge that she was always a free spirit and lived her whole life that way.

  6. Dave Sands says:


  7. cozybegone says:

    She is a beautie….will miss her! May her spirit be alive in your soul forever!!

  8. ritaroberts says:

    Such sad news Mary but what beautiful memories you have of Blonde Coyote. I’m sure her spirit will still be with you on your travels. Your story made me weep she was a lovely dog.

  9. Deb Plapp says:

    How sad. She was a beautiful coy-dog. My dog, Sadie is 15 and becoming more frail. I dread the day she can no longer have the life she deserves. My thoughts are with you and Freckles.

  10. walktx says:

    So sorry your desert companion is gone. Your blog was sad but a wonderful memorial to your friend.

  11. I’m so sorry for your loss. Freckles was a beautiful dog.

  12. bad375 says:

    So sorry for your loss, hang in there.

  13. Cyn says:

    I was so deeply sorry to hear of your loss. I lost my beloved Logan over a year ago and even though he is gone physically from my life, he will always be with me in spirit just as Freckles will always be with you in the same way. What an amazing dog she was and what a beautiful friendship you both shared. What a beautiful tribute to her.

  14. sedonagirl says:

    I am so sorry to hear this Mary. How wonderful for you that she was in your life and that she called you pack. She is your Spirit Dog always. ((hugs))

  15. Pit says:

    I’m so sorry to read those news about Freckles. But it’s a wonderful hommage to a great friend. So sad that we jave to let go of our four-legged friends some time. It’s always way too soon, isn’t it?
    Best regards from southern Texas,

  16. nutsfortreasure says:

    I am saddened by the news of her being so sick and having nothing they could do. Jt and I will walk and take photos today and remember the beautiful stories here in your blog and the love you had for this special animal Freckles the Blonde Coyote. So sorry for your loss of the best hiking buddy. HUGS

  17. nutsfortreasure says:

    Reblogged this on Living and Lovin.

  18. Barneysday says:

    I’m so sad to hear this news. I thought the Blonde coyote was an inspirational icon to us all. RIP

  19. So sorry for your loss.

  20. says:

    A beautiful creature Freckles, who will always be by your side or flying out in front guiding you to new adventures. You may not get to touch her fur, or look into those eyes again, but you will remember and that memory is alive. You will see her every now and again when the sun shines just so, or sitting on a rock waiting for you. If you believe and stay open you can feel her presence like a cool breeze when it’s hot, or a brush against your leg.

    My condolences to you on this physical loss. Im sure you will always have your heart warmed by this special one. To be picked by her was so special, you must be pretty special yourself to have understood her so well.

    Take care. Bea Pludow

  21. Donna says:

    Through you and your writings and photos the blond coyote will always be alive in our sprites and adventures.

  22. gaucho8782 says:

    She was such a beauty with a free spirit, rest in peace girl.

  23. Tiffani says:

    Thanks to this blog the Blond Coyote lives forever. She was beautful and lived a life any adventurous dog would envy. Lucky you who got to know her and be a packmate. She was a spirit put here to teach.

  24. Ancientfoods says:

    My coy dog was a German Shepard named Jack brought over from Korea by my uncle when he returned from the Korean War around 62-64 years ago. I have never forgotten
    jack and never will. The moments you have with such a dog( coyote) will live with you forever. That is a good thing. I am 66 years old and Jack is with me every day, I wouldn’t have any other way. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and photos.. I too got misty when I read the post.

  25. CarrieC says:

    there are few words… only understanding. here is to the dogs who have changed our lives! take care…

  26. Pingback: for the love of our dogs… | Carrie's Bench

  27. Carrie says:

    it is me again… i shared your story on my blog and wanted to make certain you knew,

  28. sixmilepress says:

    My condolences…a wonderful/memorable companion.


  29. I saw this through nutsfortreasure. This is a simply beautiful tribute to Freckles. She has crossed the Rainbow Bridge with fond memories of a lady who understood her, loved her and acknowledged her. Thank you for this post, as a reminder to love the fur-babies in our lives, for they are without a doubt the most magnificent creatures. I am sorry for your loss- Jenny (Australia).

  30. A Table in the Sun says:

    Loved your tribute. Dogs are wonderful companions. Our own little wiener-lab mix LOVES hiking and recently did a 7 miler through steep forest trails and endless dunes without losing his smile.

  31. RoSy says:

    Sorry to hear that.
    A lovely post in memory of Freckles. She will live on through you & your blog title.

  32. So sorry to hear about Freckles.

  33. Rosanna says:

    Thank you Freckles. The walk with my two dogs this afternoon was in your memory.

  34. sundog says:

    My heartfelt condolences. You were good for one another.
    I found a very cool rock today, brought it home and placed it on my dog’s grave – in memory of Freckles the Blonde Coyote and in honor of your doing her free spirit justice.
    Let Bowie and D.O.G. help soothe the pain.


  35. j2rr says:

    Sorry to hear about the Coyote passing on.

    There is a time for everything, so I’m told.

    Now we remember the good times.

    Go well.

  36. oh, for smooth sky-walking for this intuitive creature. What a lovely tribute. I am sorry for your loss. I had a dog like that. And several dogs later I still miss her. I continue to work to love each for who she is. She taught you well. Walk on… – Renee

  37. So, so sorry! It is never easy when one of our best friends pass, and to lose a legend is a double loss. Very sad, but I am sure you enriched Freckles life with your energy, companionship, and unquestioning love.

  38. Mary, so sorry to hear of the loss of Freckles, the other Blonde Coyote, but how wonderful that you had each other for those hundreds of miles of desert hiking. Both your life and hers were enriched by your connection, and all of us who follow your blog are enriched by your sharing this touching and meaningful part of your life with us. Thank you. Carol

  39. FeyGirl says:

    A most beautiful tribute to a magnificent and sweet soul…. Here’s to her, and your, continued travels.

  40. Nancy says:

    So sorry for your loss! Thank you for sharing Freckles with us! And your wonderful travels! Be on the look out for another special creature to enter your life as it seems the universe will bring us those we need in times like these. I know she felt blessed to have had you in her life as well, as its obvious in your photos of her affection for you. RIP Freckles!

  41. As a tear falls, I feel sympathy for you. Freckles is happy wherever she may be – running wild and free… and remembering those who trusted her just as much as she trusted them. What a beautiful dog with a beautiful smile. She will forever be protecting you…

  42. Jordan says:

    So sorry to hear about Freckles. She will be missed and remembered by so many thanks to your special friendship with her and your stories about her here. This post followed by your Pow Wow post made me think of the amazing Native American stories that have been handed down for generations. I like to think of your posts about your Blonde Coyote as being a similar story, one that you have handed down to all of us through your blog where she can be remembered always. Thank you for sharing your special friend with us and I am so grateful that you both had each other in your lives.

  43. Hello Ms. Mary Morton,
    It is a Very Sad Day for Me to see that “The Blonde Coyote” has gone to Dog Heaven!
    My own Weimaraner is there also, so I can relate, even though You were not the owner, but a Friend to this Beautiful Coyote is how I think You said it?
    A Very Dear Childhood Friend has also gone to be with the Lord I just heard. So I guess I will find out about another here soon as they say “Comes In 3s”?
    Hope Yours was a prosperous weekend, didn’t do much Myself, but rested as I am to start a new adventure here soon – I’m Praying for it anyway…
    Take Care, and “keep on truckin” safely!
    Brian J. Weimer

  44. Sad… but beautiful inspiring memories live forever!
    I remember first dog from my childhood…

  45. Oh My goodness I have only just found your blog and was really excited to read about you both and found this post. Im so sorry youve lost such an amazing companion, she will be missed by the world too, your photos are gorgeous.
    We too have a wolf hybrid who is 10 years old and not long for this world and know what your feeling. I will be continuing to read about you as Ive just found you, love your writing and cant wait for more.
    There maybe another Freckles that needs a companion to travel with round your next corner, not that she will ever be replaced…how could she.
    My heart goes out to you!

  46. Patrick D says:

    Great looking dog! Love the shot against the sunset…one of my faves, (sunsets)

  47. Morgean says:

    So sad. My heart goes out to you – I know how much you loved Freckles. What an inspiration the two of you have been together. There truly are no words that help; but know others understand such a loss, me for sure, I’ve lost so many that spent entire long lives with me. Peace be with you and your other pups – Morgean

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