Did you see it, sol? I pictured you up on some rocks somewhere staring at the sky. You didn’t usually look up, and when you did, your perspective was a little off. Like there was that time at the beach when someone was flying a kite in the distance and you thought it was a bug and tried to jump for it. There was really no chance of your catching it, but the attempt was heroic and adorable, although you thought you were a fierce bug hunter.
You didn’t howl at the moon, that’s for sure. I’m not sure that you could. Once we played a wolf howl for you on the computer. You didn’t like it at all. You looked around for what was making the sound and then put your ears down and crawled under Andrew’s legs. It’s the alpha’s job to protect you against bigger, scarier things, after all, and we always tried to do so.
It’s hard to know what to write day after day, sol, especially when we don’t have any big updates with sightings. I’m trying to figure out a better spot for the feeding station. The coyote came back enough times that I’m pretty sure you won’t return to that spot, especially because it appears to have marked its territory. Who knew coyotes were such fans of peanut butter?
There have been some good outreach ideas in the comments, like reaching out to mountain bikers. We hit all of the mailing lists and bike stores in the fall and did some follow up, but a fresh round of outreach would be awesome. There were some other ideas about trying to scare you up by flooding the area which we aren’t as comfortable with — it isn’t a bad idea, and the ARL has done it in the past, but we flooded the area you’d settled into 2 weeks after you went missing and you disappeared for a week and then kept on the move for months. Of course it’s an option we’re keeping open, but it’s only possible if we know where you are, and right now I think Mr. Coyote may have bumped you out of your turf, and I’d much rather have you find a new spot and stay on the move than try to defend your territory, little one.
Stay safe, stay warm, find food, and know there’s an army behind you and an extended pack looking for you. I know you’re probably a scruffy little scraggly thing right now, like when we first got you (scrappy — that’s the word for a tough little sato), and you probably smell terrible and think that’s the one good part of this ordeal (NO BATHS!), but underneath it all is this sweet and smart little face. Missing you is becoming normal, sol, and I don’t like it. Sometimes I feel like I have to write down everything about you so I don’t forget anything. But I don’t want to talk about what you were like. I took so many photos to try to capture what you are like — all of your personality and quirks. People who’ve never met you can see it, sol, so you have to be okay, and you have to make it home. We miss you.