With a layer of freshly fallen snow glistening under a full moon, a rural Greencastle man sent his shivering dog out into the cold one last time on a recent frigid February night.
The mutt pawed at the ground and sniffed at the snow, contently seeking out a familiar spot in the yard to take care of whatever business had sent him outside in the middle of the night to begin with.
But about 50 feet away, in the shadow of a neighbor’s garage, sudden movement caught the eye of both dog and master.
Too big for a cat, too ugly for a pet, the critter froze as the dog rose up on its hind legs.
“I scooped together some snow,” the man said, “and tossed a snowball in its direction, figuring to scare off what I thought was a neighbor’s cat.”
Instead, what he saw trot away, illuminated under a nearby dusk-to-dawn light, was unmistakably a coyote, he said.