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Dog honored for protecting family from coyote

May 5, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Ronnie, a 9-year-old wire fox terrier who stood his ground and protected his family from a coyote was named Hero Dog of the Year by the Los Angeles chapter of the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals on Wednesday.Last summer, a coyote jumped into his yard and faced off against his owner, Janis Christensen, and her husband, Eric, along with another family dog, a yorkie named Annie.

While his owners scrambled to save the smaller dog, Ronnie jumped between the coyote and the family. The coyote bit Ronnie, who bit him back, and then charged at the intruder. The coyote jumped back over the fence and ran away.

Ronnie's owner was surprised by her pet's behavior. "Ronnie has always been extremely timid," Janis Christensen said. "But he knew what to do what he was confronted by the coyote."

Ronnie and his owners received a plaque, a year's supply of dog food, and a weekend getaway at Hotel Maya in Long Beach.

City News Service contributed to this story.