Dog-walking these days involves facing the elements of a bad Canadian winter, and does well to both distract me from work and focuses my attention on surviving the cold, if only for a short while. Today I walk nervously as last week, coyotes killed a neighborhood dog. I see coyotes daily as their den is across the creek that runs behind our property. Three times I've faced a coyote while walking Shaq. Twice I've been able to avoid them, but the last time when we were almost home, the coyote stood in the middle of my street, like it was a Western showdown. Shaq must have been distracted by a squirrel not to see him and when I waved my arms around hollering, Shaq thought I wanted to play. He usually barks at them at the back fence, so a new higher fence is needed...soon. Coyotes, I've recently learned, can climb chain link. My acting like a crazy woman worked; the coyote ran off and we ran to the house.
I love watching the coyotes play or hunt from the safety of our living room window--so does Shaq--but when dogs are attacked, I find myself avoiding the creek altogether and walk Shaq in the opposite direction. They say coyotes don't go for large dogs, but that's not true. In a local large city park, coyotes attacked two large dogs a year ago while the dog owner walked them on-leash. The coyotes cost this dog-owner $1700 in vet fees after attacking one of her dog's hinds. If you're interested to read more, click here for the Mississauga new link and story by Louie Rosella.
Today, I had no coyote sightings during our walk, but will stay vigilant and be my dog's watchdog.