Last night while cooking dinner, I had the sudden urge to step outside. Our house is designed to block sound from the freeway which is not so far away and I had heard nothing of interest. Yet, something was encouraging me to step out and so, with Maya at my heals, I opened the front door and stepped onto the deck.
I was stopped in my tracks by the housemates tiny dog who was standing just off the deck screaming. I cannot describe what she was doing any better than that, it was screaming. Next I head V, my housemate, also screaming and adrenaline flooded my body as I finally figured out what she was saying, "GET INSIDE! INSIDE!"
I grabbed Maya by the collar and barked an order to her, which she quickly obeyed. I reached for Mocha (the little screaming dog) but she would not let me touch her, instead running past me into the house. My housemates other dog rushed past me as well and finally V, struggling and crying and panicked, rushed onto the deck and finally spoke the words that made her panic clear, "Coyote. Mocha!"
We raced into the house to find her husband who was desperate to know what had happened. We were searching frantically for Mocha and he managed to get her into his arms, her little bark still more a scream than anything, and then whisked her off to their room so he could inspect her thoroughly while V collapsed on the stairs, clutching her other dog to her. I put my arms around her and got the full story:
She had taken the dogs out to pee when a coyote came sauntering around the small mound next to the house, picked up her five pound dog and took off into the darkness. V started screaming and ran after them, falling down and struggling to get back up in her very pregnant state. Her other dog, not more than ten pounds big, went after her sister and somehow, by some miracle, they both came out of the darkness together without a coyote attached to either of them. That's about the point at which I stepped onto the porch to discover a screaming Mocha.
Here's the really amazing thing: Mocha is fine. She's frightened and moving slowly but there are no puncture wounds or cuts or anything. She (and everyone else) is traumatized, but alive and well. I still can't figure out what that pair of tiny dogs did to escape that coyote, but they did it, mostly likely together, and survived what should have been a much more tragic story.
Of course, I had an adrenaline hangover and spent the night dreaming about coyotes trying to drag off Anya. But I awoke this morning with a new found respect for those silly little dogs with which we live. They may be small, but they truly were mighty. And V? To charge off into the darkness after a wild creature is brave, but it's also what a mother would do. Further proof that when her baby does come, it'll be the luckiest bean in the world, to have a mother that powerful and brave.
PS I'm going to go smother my kids in kisses now.