CORAL SPRINGS, FL – The coyote and the wolf. Sounds familiar? Hopefully, it does.
The last time Coral Springs’ hair stood on end at the sighting of a coyote, I wrote at some length about them. The city has put out some tips now that there has been another sighting, not surprising near a dog park. To a hungry coyote anything under 10 pounds looks like a quick meal and a delicious one. That meal could be your Pomeranian, Yorkie, or any like-size creature. Worse yet, some little breeds don’t understand the adage, “He who runs away lives to fight another day.” They often tend to get in the face of the stranger and not worry about the danger. “C’mon, big boy. Let’s see what you got?” they bark in soprano. It can be a deadly mistake.
Rule one is keep your pet on a leash. Even if it’s a long one, you’ve got control of the situation. If you are at the dog park, better to let the dog run with its leash attached than with no leash. While not as safe as being tethered, it increases the odds in your favor. Or your dog’s favor. Now that coyotes are in evidence, before you go to the park, or hiking in the woods, call animal control and see if there are any reports of sightings. If there are—don’t go. If you’re one of the folks who like a little diversity in pet ownership, and you happen to own a chihuahua and a Great Dane or boxer, bring them both. Coyotes have been around for so long because they are smart.
Now comes the curve ball. If you think wolf-whistle you’ll get closer to where we are going. Stay with me.
Last week, TAPinto Coral Springs reported on one of the most depraved crimes imaginable: A man was arrested for placing a camera in the smoke detector of a lady’s restroom. It had a photo hook up. Need I add any more description? I think not. Some of you, even repelled, may be prone to saying, “Well he’s sick.” Well…yes he is. But where do we go from there? Even though sick, this guy needs to be unplugged and his screen turned off. My concern here is not the punishment. He will have a psyche eval and the court will decide if he goes to jail or to treatment or to jail for treatment. My concern here is how you and your daughter, niece, or the child for whom you are a nanny or babysitter defend yourself against such a crime. Remember no one is going to approach anyone; this is a crime in the sky. There are no phone calls, no texts, or emails. Most people don’t know they are being spied on. What to do? What to do?
My wife takes this to an extreme, but it is an option worth considering. Unless she feels there is going to be a re-run of the Johnstown Flood she simply does not use public restrooms, not in theaters, supermarkets. Neiman-Marcus? Could be. Big box stores? Not happening. The reason is her assumption that the security isn’t as tight or as well-trained. Thus “going” before you go and having an idea where you can go when you leave are key to this working.
My second suggestion may strike you as gross. Look before you go. For most men (those who aren’t thoughtless slobs) it’s easy. A man lifts the seat and that makes it a lot easier to see if something is in the bowl. Females should do the same thing. Pardon me but look before you leak.
There is more to it than this. You don’t have to make a big deal about it but there’s a little Colombo in us all. Use it. You are in a stall. The space, therefore, is small and confined. Look where the door and stall come together. Let’s make it simple. You’re looking for anything because nothing should be in there. Look above you at the ceiling, especially if there is a joint where walls meet. What you want to do is give the space a thorough but reasonably quick overview.
Finally, this. If you see something, say something. So, what if you are wrong. Doing it is right in another manner. And let’s say it’s there but not in your stall. Or let’s say someone is scoping out the place and sees that now it’s being watched. He’s gone from that area probably for good. There is no such thing as a victimless crime. You’re not looking to tackle a criminal running away from the crime scene. You’re just trying to make your little corner of the world a little safer for you and those others who use it.
So what does a coyote have to do with all of this? Like being prepared against a coyote strike, be on the lookout for the wolves among us.
Remember, in this kind of case, there are more wolves than coyotes.
Read William A. Gralnick’s recent columns for TAPinto Coral Springs:
A resident of South Florida for more than 30 years, Bill Gralnick has written more than 900 op-eds and columns for newspapers around the country, including columns for the Brooklyn Eagle.
His latest book, found on Amazon.com, Kindle or paperback, is the coming-of-age memoir, “The War of the Itchy Balls and Other Tales from Brooklyn.”
His writings and a link to his book can be found on his website: williamgralnickauthor.com
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