☆ December 1, 2020

It’s been intense over here. Two weeks after Charlie died, Mike’s dog Pita died. And two weeks later, my 18-year-old cat Rue died. Pita was a year older than Charlie. She had really slowed down this summer but we wondered if she had six months left, or a year? But after Charlie died, Pita cratered. She stopped eating and got very weak very quickly and died in her sleep.

Rue was a feral cat I met at the barn when I got Daisy. She moved into the cabin with her kittens in 2010 and she and Mushy (one of her kittens) have been with me ever since. I haven’t written much about Rue in recent years, but she was an angel in kitty form. She was the sweetest. I loved her so much, and learned so much from her.

She had cancer, which I caught very early almost three years ago. Because of her age and the fact that she was extremely afraid of all humans other than me and Mike (and it took her years to warm up to Mike), I decided not to address her cancer. I really believed that a trip to the vet would give her a heart attack.

Her tumor grew but she didn’t show any discomfort – her appetite and activity level stayed normal and she loved to cuddle. Then suddenly, a few days after Pita died, Rue began eating less and moving around less. For the past several years, she always slept right next to my head, but she started spending nights in her favorite chair in my bedroom.

I pulled her favorite chair right next to my bed so that I could check on her and pet her during the nights. One night, I woke up around 1am and found Rue purring right next to my head, like she always had. I knew she was going to die the next day. I spent the morning on a cushion on the floor beside her favorite chair, just hanging out with her while she rested. Around noon, Rue jumped off the chair and curled up against my chest and died in my arms.

We lost half our house Farmily in one month (I do not count Ivan; he is a demon who lives in this house and who I tolerate because Sage loves him). It’s been rough. And still I choose love. This is something to be proud of.


My web magician has set up some really cool code for Charlie’s blog. Starting on Thursday, the top blog post will feature a photo of Charlie from our vast archives, which will change every time you visit the blog. I didn’t want the daily pictures to end, or for the blog to become static. With this new feature, there will always be a surprise from Charlie when you visit The Daily Coyote. I hope you enjoy it as much as I will.


Mike is picking up the first batch of Charlie Calendars today. All international orders and orders with more than one calendar will fly out tomorrow, and single calendar orders will follow later in the week. Everything ordered to date should be en route by Monday. You’ll get a tracking number automatically via email when your order ships.

There will not be another shop update until next year. I know there’s demand for prints and chew toys and more but I’m not taking on more than I can handle right now, and I just can’t handle overseeing orders other than calendars at the moment.


It’s the last chance to be part of the Food Bank Cooperation Donation for 2020! This awesome program will close for the year in mid-December and reopen in January.

I hope you all are able to revel in moments of peace and beauty every day. Trust that I am, too.


30 Responses to “”

  1. Marg
    December 1st, 2020 @ 7:58 am

    You’ve said a lot of goodbyes this year so I hope 2021 is full of “hellos”! Choosing love never fails. Hugs.

  2. Andi
    December 1st, 2020 @ 8:05 am

    I have followed you and Charlie since he was a pup. Tears in my eyes this morning. I am so sorry…..

  3. Lila T Forro
    December 1st, 2020 @ 8:11 am

    Just when you think your heart can’t take anymore, there it is. Thank you for loving these wonderful creatures.

  4. Jane Rose
    December 1st, 2020 @ 8:32 am

    I am so sorry for your losses. It’s hard to imagine that Charlie has left you (and us) , let alone all the other members of your house farmily.

  5. Amy
    December 1st, 2020 @ 8:36 am

    My god, you have had it this year. I’m so sorry about all those that have moved beyond the veil. I hope you and Mike get a little peace in the weeks and months to come. Sending love.

  6. P and C
    December 1st, 2020 @ 8:39 am

    We are so sorry for your losses and greatly admire your strength and commitment to your beautiful farmily. You are loved.

  7. Lisa AR
    December 1st, 2020 @ 9:21 am

    Shreve…I am so, so sorry. Such painful losses. There are many times where I’ve heard of one spouse dying and then the other follows shortly, “dying of a broken heart,” and I think this can apply to our fur families, too. One thing I know is this: any animal who walks into your life will be blessed beyond measure…and vice versa. Thanks for sharing–and choosing love. Love to you, as well.

  8. Moni
    December 1st, 2020 @ 11:19 am

    This year is cursed. Can’t wait to end. I am sorry to hear about the passing of these animals. There are like hard thumps on one’s heart.

  9. Theresa Szpila
    December 1st, 2020 @ 12:52 pm

    Oh, Shreve, I’m so, so sorry you and Mike have suffered so many losses. I’m at a loss for words. Please take care of yourself.
    This year has been so awful in so many ways. I can’t wait for 2020 to come to an end, and I pray for better in 2021.
    Sending hugs and blessings to you and Mike!

  10. torre
    December 1st, 2020 @ 1:01 pm

    wow so many loses for you and Mike and the farmly – heartbreaking. Rue sounds so sweet and i’m glad you were with her when she died.

    the blog updates sounds fun! i’m glade you aren’t taking on more right now and giving yourself the break. looking forward to the calendar

    i love your work with the food bank – donated for their thanksgiving drive in honor of Charlie.

  11. Ginger Klein
    December 1st, 2020 @ 5:48 pm

    I’m so sorry for all you have been though, Shreve. What a horrible, horrible year on all levels. I hope the coming year will be better. Thank you for sharing Charlie with us. His memory is a blessing.

  12. Deborah
    December 1st, 2020 @ 6:26 pm

    Oh, Shreve, my heart broke when you told us Charlie died (and reading the daily blog is hard, knowing that Charlie’s life is waning, and yet seeing his constant stoicism and coyote-ism that yield no clues). Now it breaks more. What a terrible, awful, no-good year this has been for you…and for others.

    Like Mr. Rogers, I look for the helpers. Sometimes those are people, sometimes beloved 4-legged family members, sometimes the helpers are books. Reading “Meditations with Cows” is my current Helper. I don’t have enough thanks that aren’t hugs to share here. Love from Cowtown in NorCal.

  13. Anonypilgrim
    December 1st, 2020 @ 6:53 pm

    *uff* That’s rough. My sympathies.

  14. Sorrel Wunderlin
    December 1st, 2020 @ 7:30 pm

    our animals come to us when we need them and they leave us when their job is done ❤

  15. Karen A Todd
    December 2nd, 2020 @ 8:46 am

    Oh Shreve, I have just found out Charlie passed. My wish for you & Mike is peace and love through these difficult times and beyond. I first came across you & Charlie in Borders bookstore. Your book was featured on their waLL. I picked it up and read the first page. I bought the book right away and have been on your & Charlie’s life adventure ever since. My deepest sympathies to you and Mike.

  16. Dove Sky
    December 2nd, 2020 @ 2:27 pm

    Im so sorry for all your losses. Thats way too many in such a short time. They will not be forgotten.

  17. ailsaf
    December 2nd, 2020 @ 6:51 pm

    Oh, my heart is breaking at the thought of you losing Charlie and now hearing that you have suffered these other losses too, it just shatters it even more. I am sending all my love to add to that which you have chosen, in the hopes that you will continue to see past the grief and revel in the beautiful lives that were shared with yours. Thinking of you and Mike and wishing you both peace and healing.

  18. Pammertime
    December 2nd, 2020 @ 7:06 pm

    I have just found that Charlie passed, I am so sorry. Thank you for making it easier for me to find that post today. Out of the blue yesterday I thought about you, Charlie and the family. I took a long hiatus from the internet. But, before that I followed your pages from the beginning. I still have jewelry you used to sell years ago. Anyway, finding out about Charlie and reading your other losses of Pita and Rue reminded me of a saying that touched me when I lost my 16 year old dog a couple years ago.
    “When you are ready the Teacher will appear. When you are truly ready, the Teacher will disappear”.
    Tao the Ching

  19. mlaiuppa
    December 2nd, 2020 @ 8:45 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. Rue was your connection to Eli. I just went back and read the story of her coming to own you. She was 17. That’s a ripe old age for a cat, especially one that spent the first 7 years of her life feral.

    We lost Candy just 3 months after my Ramses died. I wonder if his loss triggered her in some way to simply lose the will to live. She, too, lost interest in food which was a 180 from her normal self. I house sat for them while they were on a cruise (two years ago) and I think she held on until they got back. A few days after they returned she passed away.

    How is Chloe taking all this? She has lost quite a few of her “pack” in the last month. She is getting on in years as well. She had Charlie and Eli since she was a puppy. She must be aware of her pack members slowly disappearing.

  20. Lesley
    December 5th, 2020 @ 11:32 pm

    Just when I thought 2020 couldn’t suck harder, this! Charlie, Rue and Pita couldn’t have had finer humans to love them and be their guardians and companions. You are the best possible person any creature on this earth could find. I’m so sorry your beloved friends have passed and I want to believe Charlie and Eli, Rue and Pita are all still there, walking with you, sitting by you, and snuggling in the late hours. Hugs from me!

  21. Tammy Olson
    December 6th, 2020 @ 7:30 am

    My most sincere sympathies to you and Mike. I am just learning of Charlie’s death and it brings tears. I’ve followed you almost from the start about Charlie and adore all of his pictures. So much loss; my heart grieves for you. Thank you for sharing him with us. We learned about coyotes, and so much about inter-species relationships and love. My best wishes to you both.

  22. sybil
    December 11th, 2020 @ 11:05 am

    I have been thinking of you a lot. I hold you all in my heart and wish for you softness and light. I lost two elderly kitties this year. The unconditional love they bring us is priceless.

  23. Leanne
    December 26th, 2020 @ 4:30 pm

    2020 seems to be the year of loss for so many of us. I have to believe there’s a lesson in all this. I’m not yet sure what it is though. We carry on with love and gratitude for what remains.

  24. cindy
    December 30th, 2020 @ 4:06 pm

    Love to you through your grief & blessings to the fur angel souls who blessed you

  25. jamie smith
    December 31st, 2020 @ 8:16 pm

    Loving and living can be such painful adventures. Overwhelming. Hang in there.
    Meditations came to me as a Christmas gift from a friend who thought, as a fellow ‘cow freak’, I could catch your drift. I started this evening and plan to binge my way through all night.
    I had a team of Brown Swiss oxen. The absolute loves of my life, both passed now. I gave up a long time ago trying to explain and defend my love for them. Glad to know someone out there gets its.

  26. Lesley
    December 31st, 2020 @ 11:55 pm

    It’s New Year’s Eve on the west coast still and you’re one of the people I’m thinking of and thankful for.

    Raising a glass to you and dear Charlie where ever he may be…


  27. Bob
    January 2nd, 2021 @ 7:26 am

    It’s been well over a decade since I started following the exploits of a lovely young woman’s fateful Wyoming roadside encounter,her cowboy,her coyote and the rest of her eclectic posse. What a life that lovely young woman forged for herself in what was at first basically a foreign land but more importantly, what a life she provided for those incredibly fortunate creatures(man and beast)in her orbit.
    I haven’t followed as closely as I have in the past with the goings on of the last year and I wanted to share my hart felt condolences on the loss of the Big Man on Campus. Charlie was a difference maker…..plain and simple and thank you so much for sharing him in the way you did,it brought joy into so many lives!

  28. Janice Dyer
    January 19th, 2021 @ 1:00 am

    No words, Shreve. Just hugs.

  29. Elizabeth Dewey
    February 4th, 2021 @ 4:37 pm

    Heartbreaking. I am so sorry.

  30. Claire
    April 23rd, 2021 @ 7:33 am

    I felt if I sent you and Mike an acknowledgement of sympathy I then had to accept that Charlie was really gone. Thanks for all the memories! I apologize for not writing sooner. I have thought of you both often. Saying good-bye to animals is devastating. Love and prayers from Nova Scotia.

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