On a whim, after passing through Wyoming on her way home to New York, Shreve Stockton decides to pack it all in and move to this absolutely foreign place. There, she discovers a life far different from what she had previously known. She finds herself in the role of caregiver of a coyote pup, whom she names Charlie, and begins sending out daily pictures to friends and family. Those e-mails grew into www.dailycoyote.net and later into this book, The Daily Coyote.
While the day to day challenges of raising a coyote pup amidst the animosity of local ranchers are interesting, the book bogs down in Charlie’s daily routine. There were many glimpses of Stockton’s personal experiences that would have been fascinating, but she always wound back down to the grind of raising Charlie. For instance, Stockton has a very interesting view of death and what it means for one’s soul, but she barely scratches the surface of how her ideas were formed. She makes mention of past hard times, but does not share how those experiences informed her worldview.
An example of how Stockton could have interwoven her personal history into The Daily Coyote is Chosen By a Horse. Susan Richards shares the heartbreaking story of the dissolution of her marriage and eventual journey through AA as a backdrop to the adoption of an abused and neglected horse. By sharing her earlier experiences Richards made the telling of her horse’s story so much richer. I wish Stockton had trusted her readers as much.
This is a wonderful book for readers who are interested in rustic living or stories of captured wildlife. For all www.dailycoyote.net is well worth taking a peek at, as many of the photographs from the book are included here and are magnificent.