By Rose Aleman
Editor’s Note: This article by Montecito Heights resident Rose Aleman was posted this past week on the ASNC News Yahoo Groups site.
This story told to me by my neighbor, Nate Mooney:
Thursday early evening, Nate and his dog Ray (mixed Corgi-type) were taking their nightly stroll to Debs Park and decided to enter through the Reynolds/Roberta Street back entrance. They both enter, Nate first and he takes the lease off Ray as is their usual custom as he knows his doggy likes to sniff his way through the path and will usually lag behind.
Nate continues to walk down along the path and starts to descend toward the small back end of the park where the benches and cement path are. He waits about 30-40 seconds for Ray to catch up but no Ray so he decides to walk up the path to see what his curious dog has found or what was the delay.
Going back up he
looks to his left and sees what he thinks is Ray running down the hillside but
looks again and realizes a coyote has Ray by the throat and is dragging him as
quickly as he can down to his lair, Ray is dangling from the coyote's jaws
stiff as a board, not even struggling!
Nate immediately starts making noise, rushes down to save his dog; coyote realizing he would have to fight for this meal, decides it is wiser to drop his hold on Ray and runs off and quickly disappears back into the brush. Nate reaches his dog who is stiff as a board, is obviously in shock and carries his dog back up the hill to home. He places Ray in the car to run off to the emergency clinic and Ray revives somewhat and shows signs of life in the car.
They reach the vet who starts work on Ray. He lives! One lucky dog! The vet says Ray has a lot of extra throat skin which the coyote hung unto as verified by the puncture wounds, bruised but not crushed larynx and throat and no arteries broken. A very close call.
Nate, reflecting on the moment, realizes there was no noise from Ray before the incident, no bark, no scuffle sound, nothing, but so quick. If he had hesitated even a few seconds more, the coyote would have taken Ray into the bushes to the family of pups waiting for dinner and not a sound made. Coyote is a stealthy hunter and a patient one, he may have been studying their pattern for some time and made a calculated risk to strike when they were separated.
Please be aware when walking in Debs Park or Flattop in whatever location, you are probably being watched by a coyote. Take a walking stick if you can, as you really don't want a coyote biting you. No stick? Carry a rock but do make a lot of noise and be prepared to fight for your faithful friend. Ray has a good owner who was willing to fight for him. Thought you should know.