Jeanette Sekan
Jeanette Sekan
By Jeanette Sekan
The Cody (Wyo.) Enterprise

Me and critters.

I love animals of all shapes and sizes. I have my two pet dogs, who really just let me live in their house, providing I feed and play with them. I have birds, rabbits, deer, fox, the occasional skunk and other assorted creatures great and small. That’s just at home.

At my office, there are dogs, birds, birds of prey, bobcats, horses, deer, elk, fox, coyote, bear, wolf, wild turkeys, cattle, snakes and other things that slither, meander, roam and forage. We’re pretty fortunate to be surrounded by such a plethora of wildlife to see and enjoy.

After a near scare with almost losing my BeBe and Toby a few weeks ago, I realized again how important they are to me. They greet me with enthusiasm and unconditional love when I return home. Both are needy for hugs and kisses many times during the day.

Toby’s sad howl in the morning when I leave for work is enough to break one’s heart. BeBe is getting grayer and slower, and I’m reminded she is aging right along with me. She’s been a little sister and a big sister to three different pals since she joined my family.

Toby’s stubbornness is still something both frustrating and amusing. The fact I still find it amusing is undoubtedly why he feels quite safe exercising his stubbornness at will. Apparently, I haven’t been successful in establishing myself as the alpha of my pack.

At work, I occasionally toss bird feed to the wild turkeys and other birds, probably to an eye roll of those around me. They showed up a couple of months ago and have taken refuge in the trees and apparently decided to stick around for a while and wander the yard.

I find it quite fun and satisfying when I hear the gobbles as they stand by the office door. The young tom is quite insistent and impatient and there is a chorus they sing that is quite enchanting.

Maybe “wild” applies a little less today than a few months ago. Then, the chase begins as the dogs decide to do their job. It’s all quite comical and adds a dimension to my work day that I thoroughly enjoy.

During the fall when I hear the sound of the elk and see the herds taking refuge in the meadows, it is a sight that still takes my breath away after all these years. But I have that feeling many times with all the other critters at one time or another.

The owl on the fence in the pre-dawn hours, the bobcat that scampered across the road in front of me, the coyote running up the hill, all are reminders to me that we share this space and time with many incredible species.

We don’t always coexist so easily or happily, but there is a kind of symbiosis happening even if we don’t pay close attention. I know many have a variety of views about these various species that surround us. For me, it’s nothing less than magical.

Critters … great and small, wild or domestic are a sight to behold.

Jeanette Sekan is a columnist for the Cody Enterprise in Cody, Wyo. and a former resident of Ohio. The award-winning newspaper is owned by Sage Publishing Co. of Cody, Wyo. Jeanette’s columns are published in The Highland County Press, courtesy of the author and the Cody Enterprise (