Coyote Jones

Why coywolf?

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The following is part of my introductory post from another therian hangout. It's very brief, but I thought I'd share anyhow. What makes me think I'm a coywolf and not a coyote or a wolf?

My story is long, very long, life-long. It tends to get detailed and poetic. I'll try to summarize here, as difficult as it is to summarize an identity. ("Why do you feel male?" to an FTM trans person, for example. Long story!)

I started out on the fringes of the community around 2001. I had my own message board which taught me a lot about responsibility. I became friends with many therians. The most memorable are those who caused me to question myself. How could a wolf like me identify as a "loner"? Why did I dislike coyotes so much? I saw coyotes as scrawny and weak, a joke, nothing compared to the wolf I shifted to and saw myself as in dreams.

I went to a Gathering, kind of like a Howl, in Colorado 2007. After this, I disappeared from the internet and almost lost my identity entirely. In losing myself, I found myself.

My animal traits were stubbornly persistent. The more I learned about coyotes, the more I felt as if I were reading an unflattering view of myself. I couldn't decide whether I identified as wolf or coyote. I was smaller than a wolf, according to phantom and dream shifts, and my fearful reactions around timber wolves and timber wolf therians. I was not a timber wolf. But western coyotes felt too small for me, the paws especially, too scrawny, with too high a voice.

I started to track my local coywolf pack. Coywolves are native to where I live in Ontario. The howls resonated with me: a deep, wolflike howl, ending in a series of yips.

I can identify with both wolf behaviour and coyote behaviour. One coyote behaviour that seems almost human is my visceral response to violin and sawblade, an instrument which can be struck to get a coyote pack howling. A wolf pack would do no such thing. Their voices are deeper.

As an animal who experiences shifting, I am neither fully pack-oriented nor a loner. I can do with either extreme, and I have. Or it can be somewhere in between.

Coywolf bodies are the perfect size, and I identify with the reddish colouration, but that's superficial and you can disregard it if you please.

The more you quiz me, the deeper into the rabbithole I'll go. Basically, though, I'm neither a timber wolf nor a western coyote, but something in between. Finally, I've resolved the puzzle that haunted me for years.


  1. Charliepaw's Avatar
    I love reading what you have to say. This was almost inspiring to read. Thanks for sharing Coyote Jones.
  2. Wilhelm's Avatar
    "my visceral response to violin and sawblade"
    Very interesting. I'm a (admittedly pretty amateurish) composer of classical music and always fascinated by the sound of string instruments. Many young composers are very fond of using huge brass sections because of their powerful and lyrical expressions (and for some time I was, as well, to a certain extent), but to me the sounds of especially violins in the higher register have a much more expressive quality full of a certain kind of longing ... hard to put into words, actually. Besides, a contrapuntal texture with three or four totally independent voices is wonderful, too, be it in string instruments or choir singing.
    I've only recently stumbled upon the musical saw and instantly fell in love with the timbre and the way the individual notes bend into each other. Much like with strings, the higher notes are moving in a certain way.
  3. Coyote Jones's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Charliepaw
    I love reading what you have to say. This was almost inspiring to read. Thanks for sharing Coyote Jones.
    Awww, thank you, Charliepaw!