One Saturday last October, Cherie Page was traveling up Highway 101 near her home in Cosmopolis, Washington when she came upon several people staring at something on the side of the road. Cherie pulled over to find that the "something" was a dazed and wounded wild animal. Because of the small size, Cherie thought at first the creature was a fox, but soon discovered she was a young female Coyote. Since no one else seemed to be taking action, Cherie put the Coyote in her car and drove home.
Once there, she secured the Coyote in a straw-lined crate and then began making phone calls. Disappointingly, no one in the area could help, but one veterinarian gave her the number to PAWS Wildlife Center, more than 120 miles away. Cherie called immediately.
"I had an event planned at my house that evening, so I asked if I could bring the Coyote in the morning— a Sunday," recalled Cherie. "I fully expected the woman to say PAWS was closed, but she said to come on in. I was touched by her graciousness." Without hesitation, Cherie made the two-and-a-half-hour drive to PAWS the next day.
X-rays taken at PAWS' wildlife hospital showed the Coyote had a broken hind leg. To stabilize the fracture, PAWS' wildlife veterinarian splinted her leg and prescribed confinement and rest. During the Coyote's recovery Cherie periodically checked in, amazed by the specialized, professional care this wild animal received.
The Coyote healed quickly, and was soon running, jumping and behaving normally. In early November, PAWS' naturalist took the Coyote back to her home territory near Cosmopolis, where he met Cherie. Together they drove to a remote, forested site where Cherie did the honors of opening the crate door and setting the Coyote free.
When Cherie was asked what motivated her to go to such great lengths for this one creature, she replied, "To me, that little Coyote is my relative. I believe that's what we do for all life."