We walk to the beach each morning along a fire road, often the first domesticated creatures of the day to make the trek. It's a wide, dirt path along a steep and deep ravine where, in the warmer weather, hundreds of hidden frogs ribbit their way to reproduction. We've come across roadrunners there, hawks and hummingbirds and coveys of quail, rabbits, of course, and coyotes.
Since a spate of construction has decimated one of the main wildlife corridors here, taken out valuable territory, the coyote visits have been halved. But when they come, they often use this little tunnel, a place so full of scent and suspense that Maisie invariably patrols it, even when it's been weeks since the last sighting.
And yes, that's a tennis ball in her mouth. One of these days we're going to have it surgically removed.