This weekend our family dog, the world's largest Maltese at over 12 pounds but still a small dog, was attacked by a coyote. They redid the golf course nearby into a links course and ever since we have had an enormous pack of coyotes out there -- the other night I saw a dozen hanging out together.
Yesterday the coyote got into a fenced area and grabbed Snuggles (please no name jokes today) in its jaws and was carrying her off when my daughter saw it and screamed and yelled until it dropped our dog and went away. If my daughter had had a gun, that coyote would have been blown away -- my daughter was in total mama bear mode.
We took the dog to the emergency animal hospital, and eventually to their surgery center. Snuggles was put on oxygen and an IV and within a few hours had a surgeon operate on her chest, stitching closed holes in her chest wall on both sides of her body. So that is how we spent our weekend.
Today she is doing OK, but is still sluggish and won't eat. We are hoping for the best, and that she will beat the odds (most dogs this size are DOA from coyote attacks). Here she is with her pink bandages, still in the oxygen tent.
Postscript: It was interesting to go through the process of getting emergency care in the veterinary world. At each step of the process we got a detailed cost estimate in advance of the charges we could expect. We were able to request her medical records at any time, and they were both detailed and impressive. Every step was documented. We saw her x-rays and got pictures and video from the surgery to show us exactly what damage had to be repaired and how they did it. The two locations we have been to (the local hospital and the surgery center) both are part of VCA, It has not been cheap, but the care has been impressive.
One odd conclusion to this is that there is something to be said for the old-style communal hospital ward vs. the private rooms of today. One of the reasons I feel good that they are keeping an eye on Snuggs (as the men of the household call her to avoid embarassment) is that all the critical animals are essentially in cages and enclosures in the same room, where someone always is there to see immediately if they are in distress.
Update: Got the bill today for the surgery. Pretty much exactly what they promised in advance. Not cheap -- I think I am going to rename this dog Steve Austin
Update #2: I don't really blame the coyote - nature red in tooth and claw and all that. Anger at the coyote is just cover for my personal guilt that we did not make things safer for her. We are making changes right now to give her a safer area to run around and do her business.