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Dog protects owner, fights off coyote

'Ronnie' named after former President Ronald Reagan
August 4, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A normally shy dog fought off an aggressive coyote in Orange County, protecting his owner. The dog was hurt in the attack, but is going to be okay.Janis Christensen points to a six-foot wall that a coyote jumped over last Saturday to get into her backyard in Rossmoor.

"I screamed very loud," said Christensen. "My husband heard me scream."

Ronnie, her nine-year-old, 30-pound Wire Fox Terrier, was in the backyard when the 45-pound coyote moved closer. Christensen at the time was holding her smaller Silky Terrier. Another dog was safe inside the house.

"Ronnie turned around and tried to stop the coyote from coming toward me," said Christensen.

Christensen says a fight broke out between Ronnie and the coyote.

"The coyote bit him. I saw him bite him, then Ronnie turned around and bit him back," said Christensen. "Coyote got spooked and Ronnie started chasing him."

Ronnie chased the coyote off the property. The dog suffered three puncture wounds, but they're already almost healed and he's going to be okay.

"It's really shocking to us, because he's timid when he's off our property," said Christensen. "To see him be that way and go after the coyote was surprising."

Authorities did investigate the Saturday night attack. The coyote was nowhere to be seen.

"Smaller animals, unfortunately, do get attacked from time to time by coyotes," said Ryan Drabek from Orange County Animal Care Services. "Which is why we recommend keep small pets under close observation when outdoors, or keep inside."

Ronnie is now getting lots of attention, and gifts from other dog owners in the neighborhood.

His owner says has lived up to his name.

"He's named after Ronald Reagan," said Christensen. "President Reagan was a hero of mine."

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