God's Dog: A Celebration of the North American Coyote
by Hope Ryden
For two years naturalist/photographer Hope Ryden camped in remote areas of the West observing and photographing coyotes. With eloquence and clarity, she describes the private life of this much-maligned animal in a book that has been heralded as the classic treatise on the subject. While observing her controversial subjects, Hope endured hardships and peril, events she weav...more
Paperback, 340 pages
Published May 31st 2005 by Backinprint.com
(first published 1975)
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This was such a joy to read. It was fascinating to learn more about coyotes, but I enjoyed seeing the author's approach to her work even more. Ryden was conducting some of the first in depth, in the field research on coyotes, and was continually presented with information from both ranchers and other biologists that was completely wrong. Not only that, but she was a woman scientist in the 70's doing field research surrounded by ranchers with a violent hatred towards her study subjects.
Hope Ryden spent two years among the Coyotes, observing and writing about their lives. This book has real insight into the life and history of the coyote, and is a bit of history itself, reflecting the challenges environmentalists faced when it was written, in the 1970s. I also found myself mulling over some of the human questions she raises in the book – does a creature need to be capable of cruelty or violence to be capable of love? Of generosity? Some of the philosophical musings come off as...more
I continue to derive pleasure from reading about the foolishness of mankind in general when it attempts to modify the natural world. This book goes a long way in reinforcing my core beliefs that most people are completely ignorant of the complexity of nature. I do not understand it any more than the next person, but I am content to leave it be and respect other creature's right to life.
This book was very well written and was interesting but it was written in 1975 and is now outdated. The author states that coyotes are found mainly west of the Mississippi and in some NE states. Now they're almost everywhere and snacking on lapdogs in the suburbs. I guess I will have to find a more current book to read about behavior of coyotes in Ohio.