In the absorbing memoir Daily Coyote, city girl Shreve Stockton falls in love with Wyoming and, against all advice, moves to the tiny town of Ten Sleep. As if small-town life wasn’t a big enough change, she soon finds herself adopting a ten-day old orphaned coyote pup. Charlie, as he is christened, is both a constant joy and a constant challenge. Stockton chronicles the development of their relationship, plus that of Charlie and her cat Eli, during their first year together with insight, wonder, a hefty dash of humor, and her lovely photography interspersed throughout.
This is Installment 1 of 3 of our exclusive interview with Shreve Stockton, Daily Coyote author and blogger.
JENN NORTHINGTON: When you first adopted Charlie, I’m sure you never imagined that it would lead to an enormously popular blog and then a book. What did you imagine would happen?
SHREVE STOCKTON: I never imagined any of this! I actually believed that I would care for Charlie until he was able to take care of himself–perhaps four or five months–and then he would leave and go be a coyote. But he became so emotionally attached to me, Eli, and Mike, and became just accustomed enough to the ways of humans–two significant factors that prevented me releasing him in the wild. And so he has become permanent family! The blog and the book came about gradually and organically–I was so entranced by Charlie that I was taking photos of him every day and emailing them to friends and family. Those photos led to starting a blog, which then led to the book.
SS: At that point (Charlie was 9 months old), there was no way I could release him back into the wild. Since he was accustomed to people, houses, and cars, he would have been a danger both to himself and to other people if he had been set out in the wild. The chance that he would forage for food near homes or ranches, and then either been shot on sight or hurt someone in “self defense” was a risk I could not take in good conscience. And so Charlie and I worked through his aggression, slowly and steadily, and found a deeper, truer way to communicate.