am was born in a puppy mill for Golden Retrievers, but his mom was visited by a more indigenous creature one night. A coyote often travelled the puppy mill grounds, and one evening paid mom a visit. She birthed 5 perfect Goldens and 1 perfect Sam.
As soon as possible, the puppy mill sold the baby goldens for $500.00 each and then gave Sam to the nearest shelter. He spent many long days and nights in the hands of several unacceptable families, each treating him like a possession, rather than the special character he is. This situation necessitated change, in each case, so he, being an escape artist, made for the woods at the first opportunity. One time, he came back to the shelter of his own accord, with the remnants of a rope tied to his neck. He had chewed through it to escape.
Finally the perfect couple adopted Sam, and he was given the opportunity to live a life he always wanted, which included lots of love and caring, and lots of free-range time in the wilderness he loved. He honed his hunting talents, made friends, both human and animal, and amazed both with his tremendous speed and agility.
Sam gets to hike about 7-10 miles a day, and during that time, he is most like his father. He has a completely different demeanor while free-ranging. I should say we go 7-10 miles, and Sam probably puts in 15-20 in the same amount of time. When he is at the dogpark with other canines, he behaves more like his mom, and is nice to all the dogs, and adjusts his play to match the others, so no one gets hurt or scared. He drops his ears and saunters over to any new person who enters the dogpark, and quietly introduces himself.
Sam barks about once a week. It is not his preferred method of communication, but something he learned from the dogpark. He is very stealthy, and always know what's going on around him. His ears are independently directable, like a cat's, and constantly on the move, so it is impossible to sneak up on him. If you try and sneak into the house, you'll round a corner and come face to face with him suddenly, and get scared out of your wits. His eyes have a strange glow as evening comes, and you will often go down a dark hallway, only to see a pair of gold eyes coming towards you.
Sam doesn't eat very much. He'll leave food in his bowl quite often. He prefers grilled chicken, and anything else that looks like rabbit, occasionally catching and eating birds, lizards, chipmunks, and squirrels for his sustenance. This he acquired from his father.
Sam learned to locate and save both human and animal lost souls, and now has a search/rescue accreditation, as long as lifetime membership in the Hopi Coyote Clan. He has done service work in Kachina Point, a rehab facility in Sedona, Arizona, as well as several out-patient facilities in the area. He has been used by ranchers to find lost cattle, and several articles in local papers written about him to his credit. He carries the dogpark land-speed record of 45.6 miles/hour, measured while he was chasing and caught a jack rabbit.
Look for Sam in the Sedona area, while hiking or biking in the local forest. He won't be hard to miss, but you might mistake him for a coyote. Don't aim a gun at him unless you want to lose an arm. He knows about them, and you'll never get a shot off. He can smell the powder and gun oil from a mile away or more.
Coyotes don't know how to react around him. They often see him as a food group, and occasionally make the bad mistake of trying to take him. Instead, he runs their leader down, tosses him on the ground, and has a discussion with him. He has run off bands of 6 coyotes at a time, and though it scares us when he does this, he always returns unharmed, and the coyotes run for their lives. If he senses he is being followed, he breaks the group up and chases the leader off, while the band disperses. He never engages the coyotes in a fight, probably because they fear conflict and getting hurt as much as we fear the same for him.
On this site you will find pictures and videos depicting Sam's life today. Watching them makes me wish I was born in his shoes. We should have it so good!