How Mimi the chihuahua is alive, her owner isn’t certain.
The 12-pound dog was taken from the backyard of her Cibolo, Texas, home by a coyote, Zoey Ward told McClatchy News, but later returned on its own four legs, bloodied but alive.
It happened around 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 13, Ward said. It was nice out, at least by February standards, and Ward, her beagle, Joey, and her chihuahua, Mimi, hadn’t been outside more than 15 minutes when the commotion started, she said.
Mimi’s barks turned into yelps and then into silence, while the howls of her beagle companion continued.
Ward hurried over but Mimi was gone.
“The coyote took Mimi from a little opening in the fence … it snatched her and I guess took off with her,” Ward told McClatchy.
“It was extremely bold,” she said.
Calling the dog’s name, she looked out over the greenbelt by her house and saw no sign there either. She could hear yelping in the distance, she said.
Ward’s fears that her pet chihuahua might be gone for good were growing. Mimi’s fate seemed even more certain when Ward glanced over at the greenbelt again and saw the coyote.
“The coyote was looking at me and I was looking at it,” she said. “It was a beautiful creature.”
But it was too soon to count Mimi out, as a short time later the tiny dog reappeared, scampering toward the fence, bloodied but alive, Ward said.
With Joey the beagle safely inside, Ward grabbed Mimi and immediately headed to an emergency animal clinic in San Antonio.
Mimi suffered four puncture wounds, two on either side of the ribs, plus “really bad bruising” on the stomach, Ward said, but x-rays show no serious internal injuries.
Ward hopes other dog owners learn from her experience.
“Honestly I didn’t think coyotes would get that close if a human was there too,” she said, adding that she will be much more aware from now on.
Her neighbors fixed the gap in her fence, she said, something she didn’t think she needed to worry about with her pets.
“Take precautions. Even if it’s a small gap, even if you know your dog is not going to escape, try to fill it as soon as possible.”
How Mimi escaped the coyote, or why it let her go, Ward isn’t sure. The 7-year-old chihuahua is feisty and not afraid to use her teeth, but she couldn’t have been much of a match for the coyote.
Whatever the case, Ward is glad Mimi survived and is recovering well.
“For what happened I think she’s doing good,” she said.
While direct attacks on humans are rare, human and coyote conflict often centers on pets, usually cats and dogs, experts say.
“Attacks on dogs usually occur in the presence of people, or on residential properties associated with people,” according to a University of Nebraska study. “Small dogs may be taken at any time of year, but attacks on larger dogs are usually associated with the mating and breeding season (January through April).”
Cibolo is roughly 10 miles northeast of San Antonio.