I blogged once in the past about Hotame and wanted to again when thinking about the initial event and what has transpired in the interim.
Hotame just wandered in one day from the woods battle scarred with open wounds and emaciated.
Stoic and standoffish as the result of what one can only imagine his experience had been with a burning hatred of anything coyote related which led us to believe he had more than one encounter with a pack or two – now a tail thumper, strong, solid, and always vigilant leader Winter and Sia flank if something is deemed to be amiss.
His appearance caused something of a stir for the unknown he was, but in approaching him I could see the pain in his eyes, perhaps even fear, but also a pathos that wanted to believe, wanted to have a friend, wanted to belong to something.
After a few moments I beckoned grandmother forward as she had stood aside after having warned me to be careful, she examined his wounds speaking calmly but confidently, then made a bed of sorts on the porch with a couple of blankets and began tending his wounds.
I’ll never forget once grandmother had made a place for him the tension in his body as I picked him up to carry him to the porch, then a shudder as he went completely limp as if to say it’s been a long road do what you will with me.
There were wounds to be cleaned and stitched, salves to be applied, healing songs to be sung and through it all he persevered never complaining, occasionally licking my hand, and once for a brief moment taking it between his teeth in such a manner as to only leave faint impressions.
Considering his condition I don’t believe he would have lasted much longer, but a genesis took place as wounds began to heal, weight was put back on and a gleam returned to the eyes.
Some memories die hard, some never do, and so it is when coyotes begin their song in the distance Hotame will bristle and grumble – he hasn’t forgotten, stands defiant and demonstrated on more than one occasion should any wander too close bad things will happen to them- and so they give a wide berth and confine any trash talking to a distance.
Dogs can suffer a broken spirit just as we can but having found his place hotame is a warrior, a valued clan member in every sense of the word.
Funny thing how friends such as these become family members, how bonds and mutual respect grow – a respect that celebrates the differences and allows them to be of the nation they belong to rather than a forced assimilation in an attempt to humanize them.
They are not of our nation and we are not of their’s, that’s not only the way it was meant to be but works for all concerned as it isn’t about “ownership” but friendship and respect.