About 14 years ago one of my sons got married to his high school sweety. We all thought it was wrong but they were 18 and what could you do. They got the small apartment and he got a decent job for a kid. To keep her company he got her a full blooded Chow puppy.
Well things fell apart and the pup came to stay with us. He grew into one of those sweet kid loving fur balls. He was too big for the house so I ran a cable the length of the yard overhead and he could run the whole yard and then some. He died last summer from something that moved fast and just left him unable to even move or drink.
About 3 or 4 years ago we started seeing a Red Fox in the area. I saw it in the lot next door and in the evenings it would bark from the field behind the house if I went out at night. I once noticed it under the storage shed in the back yard.
I wondered why it was hanging around. I had seen that the dog would greet everything with a wagging tail, and no matter how much food he had at sundown it was always gone by morning, so I figured he shared with something.
As I said he died last summer and this year I have been cleaning up the yard. He had several hideouts around the yard to escape the heat of summer and to sleep in. He seemed to save the dog house for his "winter quarters". As I uncovered them I leveled the ground and smoothed things out. One of these was under a pallet set on 8 inch blocks where I kept a stack of lumber. He had a tunnel under one end that he could wiggle under to where the cross members opened up to a larger space.
As I removed the pallet after moving the lumber I saw a skull in the leaves. I picked it up and found the remains of a Red Fox curled in the hollow where the dog used to lay. It hadn't been there all that long, maybe over the winter it was next to my garden and I would have smelled it last summer.
I though of that Fox that stayed close to the yard. I had always though it was staying close to avoid the local Coyotes. Maybe it missed it's friend.
I buried it under the same Cypress tree.