It was with sadness that I read the story of a Mississauga family that lost their beloved pet to a coyote attack. My wife, Dr. Buller and I have been much luckier but we ourselves have now experienced, at close hand, two attempted attacks on our own puppy while walking the park system in Brampton. These coyotes are bold and each time worked in pairs. Silently they got within 20 feet of us before we even noticed them. Each time I had to charge them back into the bushes away from my family.
The other night my wife had a strong inclination to carry a Bo with us on our late evening walk with the pup. She felt silly taking it along, but felt that strong inner voice insisting that she should. A Bo is a five- foot wooden pole that we both trained with during our karate years. We were concerned that the coyotes may not back off next time and, much like the Mississauga family, we would be devastated if anything happened to our wonderful pup, “Skye “. The walk was uneventful, but when we arrived back to our driveway we both noticed a racoon approaching us in a direct line. It was interesting at eighty feet away, but worrisome at 60 feet, then 40 feet, then 20. He kept approaching us. At the ten-foot mark, it was obvious that he was intent on reaching us. His determination was completely abnormal. I pushed him gently away three times with the Bo, but he had other plans. My wife rushed Skye into the house so that I could now back away from the racoon. At that point he switched directions came for me from between two parked cars. I pushed him away one last time and backed into our house. You can imagine my surprise when he came up the stairs of our home and tried to get in the front door. Eventually he gave up and left. Racoon rabies is highly likely.
In one month, we have been charged by two coyotes on two separate occasions and stalked by a potentially rabid racoon. If your pet is not up to date on his or her vaccines, especially the Rabies component, we strongly suggest that you rectify this as soon as possible. I always thought that walking our pet in a park would be a happy form of relaxation. Lately it has been an exercise of super awareness because of possible threats coming from beyond the brush line. Be aware of this changing reality and report to the local animal control offices any such experiences especially those involving abnormal behavior in racoons.
– Dr. Bob