Roxy, the Bravest Bichon in the West?

Fierce Bichon1My Bichon Roxy has many talents. She has mastered all kinds of tricks (anything for a treat), pulls us along while hiking snowy mountains and rocks her Ghetto Mittens. But last week she impressed me as the fiercest Bichon in the land when she came in contact with a coyote.

Of course I reacted like anyone with a computer and added an update on Facebook. In my defense, it did ask me, “What’s going on Susie?”

Roxy and the Coyote

Coyotes have been very aggressive here in Boulder County. Several people have been attacked and nipped on trails during the day. It is not unusual to lose a small pet to a coyote’s insatiable appetite, but they no longer have any fear of humans.

In response, the Police Department began patrolling the Boulder Creek Trail in an attempt to scare them off.

When I heard that there may be a logical reason for their strange behavior, I wrote an editorial for the Boulder Daily Camera Newspaper. It was printed today!

Susie Lindau: Fine Residents for Feeding Coyotes

Posted:   01/24/2013 01:00:00 AM MST

Last week, my 15-pound Bichon Frise started yipping outside. Our Niwot backyard borders a pond and open space. I raced to the window and watched her chase, yes chase, a coyote across the lawn. It stopped on the property line while I ran out in stocking feet and screamed at my dog to come inside. This happened at 11 a.m. That coyote cruised our property for three hours.

They used to be more aggressive during dusk and dawn, but now they’re active throughout the day.

I mentioned this story to my daughter’s friend whose family lives in Longmont. Last summer, she stepped into the backyard with her Chihuahua. A huge coyote charged them. She scooped up her petite pooch and raced inside. Her parents called their homeowner’s association. Apparently, someone from their neighborhood had been feeding them. They were informed that the pack had gotten used to people and were no longer afraid.

This could explain why one followed a woman “like a dog” on the Boulder Creek Path.

I know the location of coyote dens in my neighborhood and believe they have every right to be here. I’m responsible for my little dog’s safety and take steps accordingly, but feeding them is changing the coyote’s natural behavior. This could result in more attacks on pets, humans and overpopulation. It’s cramping my style since I can’t let my pup run out her doggy door during the day without the fear that she could get munched.

Here’s a big shout out to everyone who thinks that feeding wild animals is helping them. You aren’t! You’re messing with the ecosystem! You may even be indirectly responsible for the harm they are causing humans and their pets.

Maybe there should be a fine imposed for feeding coyotes. What do you think?

SUSIE LINDAU

Niwot

Fierce Bichon2

Danny and I woke up at 2:00 AM this morning to a wildly howling coyote on our deck right outside our window. It screamed its unearthly yelp for a minute as if to say, “Roxy. I know where you live. I’ll be watching.” Okay. That’s normal behavior. Now, for God’s sake, sleep during the day so she can go back outside!

Fierce 3

What do you think about feeding coyotes or any wild furry creatures?

Related Articles:

To Feed or Not to Feed Wildlife – The Humane Society

Urban Coyotes – Boulder County, Colorado

Susie Lindau: Fine Residents for Feeding Coyotes

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126 thoughts on “Roxy, the Bravest Bichon in the West?

Add yours

  1. Go Roxie!

    We’re having problems with urban foxes in the cities in the UK. In London they attacked babies (twins) in their cots a couple of summers ago by sliding into the house via patio doors. And it’s all down to humans feeding them and the amount of garbage left around in cities.

    I don’t feed wildlife, it’s just asking for trouble. There’s a reason country people shoot foxes.

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    1. We have fox here and they haven’t been aggressive at all! That is so insane!
      We all have to be vigilant about how we effect the environment around us or it comes back to bite us – literally!

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  2. I think there is a good intention behind the idea of feeding the wild animals, but in reality it really is harming their natural instincts. I actually watched a group of Seagulls ignore a bucket of bait while attacking a 3 year old with cheese curls…that’s crazy. Do not feed the animals means, do not feed the animals.
    Tell Roxy thanks for scaring me, now I have to dye my hair to cover those additional grays!

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    1. Hahaha! You reminded me to book my own appointment!
      Seagulls, otherwise known as sky rats, come all the way to Colorado and feast in the garbage dumps. How messed up is that?????
      Thanks for coming by Lisa! Roxy rules, coyotes drool!!!

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  3. Oh lordy. Coyotes are NOT meant to be fed. They do fine on their own, and are one of the most adaptable critters ever. That’s why they now live in NYC and other city areas, they are omnivores and can eat pretty much anything. But as you say, often they prefer small dogs and cats. Or human toddlers. Roxy was VERY lucky! Be aware coyotes have been known to allow themselves to be chased and then join waiting brethren to overpower the chasing pet (even big dogs).

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    1. I had heard about them luring dogs away from their yards and I bet that is what it was doing. I hadn’t looked up their eating habits and wondered because the coyote appeared to be eating apples in the neighbor’s yard.
      Thanks so much for your expert input Amy!

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  4. My ex-father-in-law lives in San Luis Obispo, CA. One day he heard his dogs going nuts in the back yard. When he opened the door to reprimand them they came running into the house. There was a mountain lion in his backyard.

    When I lived out west of Utah Lake we had golden and bald eagles that lived nearby. People had to be very careful with their small pets. It was a healthfood store for the birds. They are amazing to watch though.

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    1. Wow! Now that is wildlife!
      We do have to be careful. While growing up in Madison, the only wildlife we encountered in the city was the usual suspects. Over the years, deer have become prevalent. Last year they poisoned them and this year, my brother says he has not seen one. So very sad! It seems to be so hard to keep a balance when we become a part of the animal’s environment.
      Thanks for coming by with your stories!

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        1. That’s true and yet it is going to be in the 60’s again today! They are dressed for any kind of weather in their fur coats, so when the temps drop, they will still be hunting and howling at the moon!

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  5. Wile E Coyote comes a-visiting!
    Bad idea to feed them, I suppose. We feed the monkeys in lean times, but then their environment has been messed up a lot by urbanisation. Still, probably not a good idea.
    Your Bichon looks just like what we call a Maltese poodle, and ours of that ilk have always suffered under the delusion of being lions. They would take on anything! Also reminds me of our Siamese who herded a whole flock of billy goats out of the property once.

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    1. Your Siamese was Fierce! I agree about the monkeys. 🙂 How cool that you can watch them where you live!

      My brother-in-law and family just visited Viet Nam and my nephew’s girlfriend was bit by a monkey and had to get rabies shots! I think they got waaaay too close.
      Maltese poodle is exactly what a Bichon is! 🙂
      Thanks for coming by!

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  6. Coyotes are not elusive here in California either. It’s not uncommon to see them during the day. It’s scary that people leave food out for them though. Really? Not cool.

    I’m thinking little Roxy would have a better chance of giving chase without the purple ghetto mittens, but, who knows, maybe it’s the entire ensemble that scares off the coyotes. Poor coyotes are in shock to see such a creature charging at them.

    Cool article too. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again – Susie Lindau for President!

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

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    1. Hahaha! Luckily, Roxy was bare naked when running off that coyote (probably just luring her to its pack).
      I would wonder what they would make of her in that get up… 🙂
      It has been interesting to get comments on this at the Daily Camera. It is an issue everyone can relate to in some way.
      I’ll start on the posters…. Hahaha!

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  7. Susie- Great job on that piece, and I agree; we leave nature be nature. As for Roxie, she’s the Baddest Bichon on the Planet. And you really should make a YouTube version of her in that “The Most Interesting Man in the World”… spot.

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    1. Thanks so much!
      Danny didn’t see it since they used a different title. I had “Feeding and Aggressive Appetite.”

      That’s a great idea! Hahaha! I just wrote three of them and then deleted them. i think I’ll do that sometime and give you credit of course….

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  8. I love Bichons by the way. And they can be tough little doggies. And the booties rock! When we lived in Phoenix we had Coyotes along the wash that backed up to our house. We lived in the desert. We expected it. But we now live in Huntington Beach and they are having a terrible problem with Coyotes. People are feeding them and the mother coyotes are having larger litters. But the city doesn’t want to disturb them, so they won’t chase them off. So now everytime there is a siren, a howling chorus begins. Iy, yi, yi. Who knows what the answer is. But watch them Susie. They are really smart and they do go after dogs. They know how to bark and call the dog out. And then the pack comes in. So keep an eye on Roxy.

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    1. That is crazy! I can’t believe they are protecting them like that. Here, they are trying to scare them and teach them that humans can be menacing too. Without harming them of course.
      I am keeping a close eye. It is lucky I was in the kitchen when it happened!
      Thanks Karen!

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  9. Oh.. we used to hear those screams at night and then silence (I think they were catching rabbits) and the silence was awful! No Feeding the Coyotes.. people!!! Your little pup looks like a rock star or a super hero in those sparkly clothes… Maybe that coyote has a crush on Roxy:) xx

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    1. You are so right!
      Could be that he was crushing! She is pretty cute! The shoes glow in the dark which would be great for those late night dates….
      Hahaha!
      Actually, I’ve shut her doggy door and am keeping a close eye out. It wouldn’t take much to snatch her away…

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  10. Feeding any wild, predatory animal should be outlawed. We have coyotes on the ranch behind our home, but they have never crossed into our yard. To be safe, we shine a flashlight along the fence line before letting our dogs out for after-dark runs. We’ve seen as many as 4 running in a pack.

    My husband, shotgun loaded. (It’s Texas! ’nuff said?) approached the fence where they lurked. They ran. Imagine if they were used to being fed & no longer perceived humans to be a threat? *shudder*

    Laughed out loud at the pics of Roxie in her winter gear, Susie. Too cute!

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    1. Thanks Gloria!
      They have been attacking humans. Can you imagine? I just wanted to get the word out there about them being fed since I think that is happening in several places. Your husband sounds fierce! He’ll protect you!
      Roxy is a fashion statement to behold… 🙂

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  11. I admire Roxy’s inclination to guard home and hearth, but she’s no match for a pissed off coyote. I sure wouldn’t want her to end up in the jaws of death. I agree with your editorial observations that dolts that feed them are making this problem much worse. Would they also feed bears, wolves and serial killers? I kinda wish you had photographed the coyote howling on your deck, but that might only encourage them to want to have their picture taken and posted on your site. It sounds to me that there’s already far too much messing with natural order and we don’t need wild beasts clamoring for a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame unless they go by the name Russell Brand.

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    1. Hahaha! I agree!
      I had tried to capture the critters on film several times, but they seem to sense it and always scamper away right when I am about to click. One of these days maybe I’ll get a good picture, but I agree that we don’t need anymore wild beastly egos trotting around! 🙂

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  12. Roxy has the greatest fashion sense. We have coyotes as well. They come up in the street, although we haven’t had them in the yard yet. Good for you for standing up. I agree, it should be totally out lawed. It does far more harm than good. People are clueless that do these things..

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    1. I am sure the coyotes are all over the place since they jump fences and are more active at night. You are right. Some people are clueless!
      Roxy is one fashionista!
      Thanks Debra!

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  13. I totally love your attitude, Susie. I agree that coyotes have every right to live where they live, and that humans need to leave them alone. This includes killing them for sport as well as feeding them. We also live in an area that is populated by coyotes, bear, fox, fisher cats — but it’s crucial to let them be so as not to mess with the natural balance.

    I’m proud of Roxie for standing her ground.

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    1. Thanks so much for reading! It was great to have the opportunity to get the word out there. Most people didn’t realize they were being fed.
      Roxy surprised me, but I think you’re right. She stood her ground! I don’t know how long that would have lasted, but she could have dived through her doggy door if it came back.

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  14. Your Roxy is so freaking cute. We’ve got coyotes here and several of our cats have gone missing over the years. Sometimes I’ll see them slinking up the street, but it’s usually early morning or dusk, like it should be. Only a few times have I seen them in broad daylight, but they were always by the canyons, never in someone’s yard!

    As for feeding them? Nope, not a fan. Wild animals need to stay afraid of us and we need to let them stay wild. Like you said, it’s messing with the ecosystem. If we’re feeding them, they have no inclination to hunt, which only serves to increase the rodent population. Not good.

    Keep Roxy safe! I’d hate it if anything happened to the ghetto dancing queen.

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    1. I am keeping Rxoy safe. Now that I wrote the article, I feel watched by my neighbors if I let her out to run, but I am careful.
      I had no idea that anyone was feeding them. Their aggressive behavior and being out during the day makes so much sense to me now! Hopefully those idiots will come to their senses. Thanks Tameri!

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  15. here in northeastern Illinois we have plenty of critters, too. Coyote have been munching on little dogs and Ivy my 45 pound Britanny Spaniel has been barking at night, I suspect from hearing things patrolling ‘her territory.’ I’ve been letting her out early in the morning worrying she’ll encounter a pack.. but folks here haven’t been feeding or at least don’t think they have. but to answer the prompt, NO, HECK NO! If you feed ’em they won;t be wild and they’ll become dependent on us…..

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    1. Exactly! They are usually more active at dusk and dawn so be careful of your Spaniel. One can “draw” them out of the yard to the pack. Thanks so much for coming by Clay!

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  16. First snakes and now coyotes. They could’ve used Roxy’s help in Tokyo when Godzilla showed up.

    We have coyotes here, too, although I see many more foxes walking around. Some of them look as though they haven’t eaten in weeks, and it’s tempting to feed them — but definitely a bad idea.

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    1. We have a wide variety of wildlife out here. Last year two moose paraded by the lift on Peak 7 in Breckenridge. I fritzed out and couldn’t snap a picture in time.
      Amy Shojai is an animal expert and said that coyotes are the most adaptable of the mammals. My guess is they are eating really well, but they have a high metabolism like Mick Jagger.

      Like

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