Jazzy the Heroine
Three weeks ago a client of ours was taking her four Yorkshire Terriers outside for the last time before going to bed. She was standing in her driveway about ten feet from the garage when out of the shadows came a coyote. It grabbed one of her dogs and took off. Our client quickly shoed the other dogs inside (good thinking) and gave chase but could not find her precious little dog. The coyote returned later in the night to see what else it might get.
I’m telling all you dog lovers out there about this because this is the time of year when wild animals are once again on the move, and our household pets are more at risk. Stories like the one above are not all that uncommon. Some years ago I had a client with two dogs: a Labrador Retriever and a Pekinese. One day a coyote grabbed the Pekinese and the Lab gave chase. Fortunately, when the coyote got to the Invisible Fence™, he got shocked by his prey’s collar and dropped the little dog before he was able to harm him critically.
Our own Westie was a heroine in a similar situation when she still lived with her previous owner. A coyote grabbed one of her smaller canine housemates and headed for the woods. Jazzy gave chase and attacked the coyote causing it to drop its anticipated dinner and turn its attention on her. She needed some veterinary care but was mostly unscathed.
Electronic fences are a wonderful modern convenience but they do come with some downsides. One of them is that they keep your dog in, but don’t keep predators out. If you have a smaller dog and use an electronic fence, a run, or a tie out, it’s best to go out with your dog and be very aware of your surroundings. You may want to keep an air horn handy to scare away coyotes, bobcats, and bears.
A well trained dog that does a reliable recall is much less likely to get into trouble with wildlife than an untrained dog. There are few more rewarding dog training experiences than successfully calling your dog off of a skunk or a porcupine at ten o’clock at night. Not having to go to the emergency vet to have quills removed or give your dog multiple baths before going to bed is a pretty nice reward for all your hard work.
Here are some local vets that handle after hours emergencies:
CT Vet Center (in Glastonbury, Hartford, Kensington, West Hartford, and Windsor)
Pet Emergency Hospital for CT (in Canton)
Vet Specialists of CT (in West Hartford)
And here is a link to a handy formula for getting that skunk smell off your dog: