What was she thinking?

Fierce Bichon1

We all can be impulsive from time to time. We don’t think before speaking or can behave recklessly. I size up most situations, but sometimes it’s difficult to anticipate the reactions to our actions.

I’ll never understand my dog, Roxy. She’s a Bichon who is pint-sized at a whomping fifteen pounds of fur and energy. She’s submissive to us although she can be “independent” like most dogs.

When a dog is about Roxy’s size, she will play for hours. The kennel workers love her since she is “gregarious” and “super friendly,” much like her owner. She shies away from larger dogs.

With coyotes she gets a Wild Hair. We have a pack who frequently sniffs around our yard. It’s a part of living in Boulder County. We live in their territory. I respect them and try to stay out of their way.

Roxy doesn’t see it that way. She thinks she owns this plot of land and God help anyone or thing that trespasses.

Fierce 3

My office is upstairs with the best views of the house. While typing yet another query letter late yesterday afternoon, Roxy sat in her usual spot up on the back of couch. She likes to keep a watchful eye from her perch.

She growled and then barked. I assumed someone walked by with a dog. I kept typing. When she flew off the couch and rocketed through the house with a frenzied howl, I knew it was trouble. That particular yap is reserved for coyotes.

I peeked out the window and there it was. A huge male coyote strutted through the yard. Either a half-breed or fat and sassy after a summer of munching rabbits, it resembled a wolf. It was nothing like the straggly coyotes I am used to seeing.

Adrenaline pumped and I bolted after her while screaming, “Roxy! Come!” The doggie door swung shut.

“Oh shit!” I said and ran as fast as I could down the steps. As my feet hit the floor, I heard her yelping. It was more like a scream. My heart clenched.

It must have her in his mouth! 

I was dusk. Guilt trickled into my gut knowing this is the coyotes’ favorite hunting time. It was a quarter moon so they start early. I should have shut her doggie door an hour ago.

I followed the sound of her high-pitched shriek to the back door where she re-entered. Thank God! For a moment I wondered if the coyote tried to scoot through after her. I found Roxy panting and barking at the back door. As I lunged to close it, she slipped outside again. She continued barking as if to say, “Neener neener neener. You can’t get me!”

Are you freakin’ kidding me? I opened the door and demanded she come inside. There was no sign of the coyote. She sulked and obeyed. I locked her doggie door.

She rip-roared through the house to my study while I caught my breath. Roxy growled and barked for another hour. It never occurred to me that she had been bit.

Later I noticed she licked her flank. She bled from four puncture wounds. The coyote had her in its mouth! How did she get away?

Roxy, being pretty agile for a seven-year-old, side-stepped  the shaggy beast’s mouth full of sharp teeth. It didn’t get a good hold of her.

I pieced together the story:

Roxy ran right up to that coyote and warned it to stay off her property. “GET OFF MY LAWN! GET OFF MY LAWN! GET OFF MY LAWN!”

It must have looked down at the puffy and white, ridiculous creature circling him. “You are the dumbest dog I’ve ever met.”

“GET OFF MY LAWN! GET OFF MY LAWN! GET OFF MY LAWN!” She raised her miniature hackles.

“Do you have any idea who I am?” asked the coyote amazed at the ignorance of this pesky creature.

“GET OFF MY LAWN! GET OFF MY LAWN! GET OFF MY LAWN!” Roxy bared her teeth with a mouth the size of a half dollar.

The coyote rolled his eyes. “I am Adolf, alpha-male of my pack.”

Oblivious to the importance of his pecking order, Roxy continued yapping. “GET OFF MY LAWN! GET OFF MY LAWN! GET OFF MY LAWN!”

The coyote yawned and then said, “You bore me and your pitchy bark is giving me a headache.”


This is too easy. He snapped at her.

Roxy screamed like it took a hunk out of her side. “HE BIT ME! HE BIT ME! HE BIT ME! HE BIT ME! HE BIT ME! HE BIT ME! HE BIT ME! HE BIT ME!”

“You didn’t see that coming?” Adolf shook his mangy coat and trotted toward the scent of a rabbit hiding in the thicket.

Roxy barked all night.

Do I think she was scared? Sure she was, she even tried to weasel into our bed. I suspect that coyote has lurked around our yard the last few nights.

Do I think she will attack another coyote? Hell, yes.

The doggy door is shut until further notice.

The vet concurred with Adolf. “You have a very stupid dog,” he said while filling her prescription for antibiotics.

This might be a safer place for her. Ha!

snowshoeing with Roxy

Happy Birthday, Danny! Woohoo!

Can you believe a small dog can be delusional? Where does she get her fearlessness? Do you feel for Adolf’s sensitive ears?

Related post: Roxy. The Bravest Bichon in the West?

82 thoughts on “What was she thinking?

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  1. Great piece! We live along the foothills in southwest Jefferson County and see coyotes almost daily in the winter when their tan camouflage is anything but silent against the snow. Our 35-pound border collie will bark at any animal except the coyotes. When they howl, she sits quietly, ears pinned down, imagining she is invisible. It’s funny what inspires us (both animals and humans) to bravery or cowardice. Glad Roxy escaped relatively unscathed. Something to be thankful for!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So nice to meet another Coloradan!
      Your dog is so much smarter. Ha!
      I can’t believe how territorial Roxy becomes. This isn’t the first time. One day she ran after a coyote in the yard while I watched through my kitchen window. I ran outside in the snow with stocking feet to scare it off. I think it was so surprised by her behavior, it didn’t know what to do! It skirted the property line for hours.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Glad Roxy is ok! I don’t think animals have any idea what size they are, especially these little girls. I used to have a wee female cat who chased trucks. My current little girl kitty, Arwen, attacks my bigger boy cats with regularity. It doesn’t seem to occur to her that they could take her out with one paw. 😉


  3. How scary that must’ve been for you (and Roxy). So glad she wasn’t hurt too badly. But I love your humorous take on it. As for those booties and parka? Roxy looks pretty bad-arse in them. Or not. 😉


    1. This isn’t the first time she has gone after a coyote. She’s lucky her doggy door was open or she would have broken her nose plowing into it! I’m hoping she’s learned her lesson, but I have a feeling by all the growling and barking, she can’t wait to get a piece of him!
      Ha! She loves dressing up and is a total ham.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Roxy needs to be careful – sometimes a pack of coyotes send one in to attract what they consider prey and lure it back to the pack – Scary! – I am glad she is okay – maybe she has learned her lesson to not go on the attack. She is brazen when it comes to protecting her territory, but she seems to lose her mind a bit. Happy Weekend – Be Safe & Take Care 🙂


    1. A bit? You are being too kind. At first I thought she had learned her lesson, but he’s been sniffing around and Roxy has been spitting and growling. I think she’d go after him again!
      Thanks, Renee! Have a super weekend!


  5. Some of them have no concept of body size. Attitude and having the heart of a lion. Surprise attack! All teeth no fear.
    We had a Westie that we described as telephone pole on pill bottle size legs. He forced a poor meter reader under a bush and we had to rescue him (he’d just jumped from the dobernman’s yard behind us avoiding the shepherd one house down. (According to the Westie you are known by the company you keep?). We did get rid of the dog door.
    Roxy’s outfit is adorable…along with her “ride”.
    She is so not stupid! Simply adamant, full of self esteem, and she’d protect you with her life. (Got the message, now please stay inside…you can be like those cats on YouTube attacking animals on the other side of the window…much warmer inside , too)


    1. Hahaha! That poor meter reader!
      It’s weird since she is meek around big dogs and runs the other way. If they even come close to her, she squeals. She never barks at them if they come into the yard even if they are owned by a worker next door. But coyotes? She HATES them. This isn’t the first time she has gone after one.
      I’ll have to do another Ghetto Mitten video. You’re right. I’ll keep her occupied INSIDE!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I love that visual!!!
      She thinks she is super-sized, but most little dogs avoid them or run away. According to my vet, all little dogs. I think the coyotes stand there in shock and she is able to run away. Ha!


      1. Of course, the coyote might succumb to the same feelings a notorious cat-killing German Shepherd that got free from down the road from us had – our Siamese went for him as he passed, and he got such a shock that he fled. The cat then jumped onto his hindquarters and rode him. The dog screamed and emptied his bowels all the way back to his home – and avoided our gateway like poison thereafter!


  6. Romeo the Boston terrier is like that. Axel nearly killed him twice. Had him in his mouth shaking him. He got lose and still ran after Axel. Thank goodness Romeo no longer lives here.. My arm was almost bitten off in the last attack. Some little dogs have the minds of 200 pounds humans. Glad she is okay… Maybe she used the shark attack approach? yikes


  7. Wow, that’s one brave, stupid (and did I say brave?) dog! She was protecting her people, I’m sure.

    And as to that puffy, pink outfit with the matching sockies, I can’t even… Adorable! Do you think she tried to bite him for laughing at her?


    1. THAT’S WHAT HAPPENED! He laughed so hard, he couldn’t get a good grip. You should see her now after being groomed. She’s got the whole French poodle thing going on with a bow tied over one ear after being groomed. She’s probably really safe outside now…


  8. Oh man, oh man, oh man. I remember coming home one night and finding my dog sleeping. That’s right, he somehow got out of our fenced yard and wandered to, God only knows where, then, being tired and cold, decided to take a nap on the warm asphalt. I thought I was going to have a heart attack when I saw him just laying there. Then I screamed at him to get into the car and threatened to never let him outside the house again.

    I know exactly how hard your heart was hammering. Stupid, brave, stupid, Roxy. I am so glad she’s okay.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt


    1. That would give me a heart attack too! Wow! She is brave and stupid all rolled into one. She’s decked out for the holidays complete with a little bow. It’s a full moon tonight, so I’m sure we’ll hear them howling!


  9. I’m so glad to hear the encounter ended well. We spent ten years living along the Pueblo State Park border and heard/seen lots of small dog tales not ending so well. Love Roxy’s little outfit…. booties and a hooded down coat – how Coloradan 🙂


    1. She usually fits right in with the trail runners. Ha! But now she is wearing a little bow in her hair after being groomed. I have never heard of a little dog getting that close to being munched and living either. Can you imagine the tale she could tell???
      Thanks, Ingrid!


    1. After she was bit and came inside, my neighbor saw it and thought it was a big dog. It had that shaggy mottled coat, but seemed too broad for a coyote. I bet you’re right and they breed once in a while. I’ll have to remember, coywolf!


  10. Oh, wow! I’m so glad she was all right and Adolf decided to let her be and just get away from her barking!! How crazy, I agree she is dumb, but also brave in a stupid way. 😉


  11. Eek, glad it wasn’t worse! I often think domestic animals behave oddly because they retain part of their wild instincts, but they’re generally protected by us, so aren’t always as streetwise as they think they are, and hence don’t always make the best decisions! We have three cats, we don’t have any dogs but we sometimes have dogs to visit – all three of our cats have a healthy initial wariness of dogs, but then if it becomes clear that it’s not a cat-chasing dog, they sometimes push it too far – a few weeks ago we had a dog stay over, he was a mixed breed, fairly big, labrador sized, didn’t take much notice of the cats, and at one point he was eating his dinner and one of my stupid cats went over and shoved his head into the food bowl next to the dog’s mouth! What a wally, even the most gentle dog can turn if you mess with its food! But thankfully the dog didn’t react at all.


    1. I think you are spot on! That’s exactly why she did it. She reacted by instinct, but has no clue how dangerous it is. This being the first time she has been bitten by one, maybe she will learn….. or not.
      Your cat is just as brave! Ha!


  12. How terrifying! How alarming to lose sight of Roxy, but to hear her squeal! She obviously doesn’t see herself as “just” a ball of fluff! LOL! She may not have a lot of common sense, but you have to admire her desire to protect her turf. I don’t now if a doggy door is a great thing for such an impetuous pup! 🙂


    1. You’re right and I’ve closed the door for most of the winter. The vet thought it would be safe around noon, but I need to be around to watch, just in case.
      We have flocks of geese that squeakily honk overhead before splashing into the pond in the backyard and at first I thought it was them. When I realized it was her, I just about had a heart attack. She is super lucky. 🙂


  13. I love your delusional dog Roxy. I’ve always adored Bichons and yours is the bombdiggity. Great story, but I can only imagine how fast your heart must have been pumping when you realized what was going on. Glad all is well. Will the doggy door ever be opened again?


    1. She is delusional and thinks she’s enormous! Ha! I can laugh now, but boy was that scary. I don’t open the door very often, only during midday when I’m watching her. Next spring when the yard is filled with baby rabbits, it will be safe again. 🙂
      Thanks, Ally and Happy Thanksgiving!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m so glad it wasnt any worse and I hope she’s healing.
    My Gertie is half bichon and she’s also quite fearless. She would never bear her teeth at anyone or anything (we have a yorkie who is quite proud to do that, it’s his “thing”, he does it all the time to his stuffed rats), she is a barker at heart. Of course, in her backyard, the thing to bark at is squirrells, which don’t normally fight back (although she has had it out with a bird or two, and has stalked frogs on occasion, to what end I’m not sure).


    1. Thanks so much, Jay! She only has one little scab left after a week of healing. She was never tender in that spot which is unbelievable. It must not have had time to bite down. My guess is Roxy burst its ear drums with her squeal before it really nipped her. She does that around big dogs. Either that or the coyote was laughing too hard to sink its teeth into her. 🙂


  15. She’s lucky, you’re lucky. I’d buy a lotto ticket, quick and not let her out at dusk without supervision. Not dumb, protective of her pack – you and Danny. Happy Birthday! Bichon’s are tough. Our pup – a Brittany Spaniels weighs in at about 50 and I’m not sure how she’d fare with a coyote – we have ’em here, too. I always worry when she barks and I let her out, we have an invisible fence which keeps her in, but doesn’t keep other critters out. She got a squirrel a month or so ago – after years of chasing ’em and a bunny last winter, but a coyote… I am not so sure.Hope you had a great Thanksgiving.


    1. Thanks, Clay! She is one lucky pup. We’ve been keeping her inside where she is safe. A coyote has been hanging around the yard, so it’s a good place for her. She’s not much of an outdoor dog anyway. Good thing!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Her winter outfit is very cute….may she be around for a long time. My partner’s mother had a dog similar breed to yours and yes, she yapped from the living rm. window. A good protector for a 85+ yr. old woman.

    Liked by 1 person

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