An Act of Valor

Smallest dog saves the family

A dog is a man’s best friend. Ask yourself the question: Would a best friend risk their own life to save yours? In Daisy’s case, the answer would be yes.

All five of my dogs started barking wildly.  I rushed out to them immediately, feeling an unease that became very real as my eyes landed on a coyote up on the stone wall above my backyard. He had fierce eyes, bared teeth, and was prepared to attack my dogs who were barking loudly in defense. I yelled to my dogs, but the coyote’s eyes were fixated on their every movement and they were fixated on it too that my commands dissolved in the tense atmosphere.  The message was clear, however. The coyote intended to take one of my dogs and as my brain started to think of solutions; another thing became clearer – my only choice was to pull whomever I could get to safety.

I had nothing to ward off the coyote with, neither did I have a defense tool save for a garden shovel beside me.  I grabbed it and rushed towards the unfolding scene.  There was no time to think. A hungry coyote is a horrifying creature. My dogs were all facing upward at the coyote, and the coyote was bearing down on them from the wall. Senselessly, I threw the shovel at the coyote, but he did not budge. Instead, he gritted his teeth more fiercely at my dogs, apparently vexed and more determined. Using their collars, I pulled away two of my dogs that were closest to me.

I felt so powerless because I did not know whom else I could I get to safety and I felt like I was condemning the other three to death, but they were in the coyote’s sights. My heart bled in pain for the fates of Bow, Daisy, and Indy.

I approached the scene again, thinking of what next to do when Daisy did something I did not understand, a move that would likely cost her her life. Daisy moved away from the others and stood in the middle of the yard just beyond the stairs leaving herself alone and more vulnerable. She was the smallest of all the dogs, an easier prey for that coyote. The coyote saw her alone and focused all his attention on her.  Her move allowed me to get the other two dogs in hand, and I dragged them to a safe spot with a sickening knowledge that it would be Daisy that would be lost to that coyote. To this day, I can see all the details of that moment.  Daisy was standing there on her own; her back legs were quivering. Otherwise, she was frozen on the spot she stood. I thought fear caused her to freeze, but I was wrong.  She was quivering with adrenaline and thinking strategically.

With the speed of lightning, Daisy switched from frozen mode to high-speed. She bolted for the safe spot and as she did the coyote lunged after her. With one last leap, she made it to safety. We were all safe, and the coyote went away after circling outside for what seemed like forever.

There is no doubt that she knowingly created that distraction, risking her own life, helping to save the others. She stepped up when she could have cowered in fear. My brave girl! Daisy amazed me time after time throughout our 14 years together.

I know my actions were reckless that day, but instinct drove me – instincts to save the ones I love regardless of the cost to me.  Daisy and I were unintentionally communicating that day, both of us taking risks for our loved ones.  I did not know it at the time but she was working with me, reading my thoughts and body language.

Daisy is my helper animal.  Sometimes during an animal communication session, she joins in and improves the reading by adding clarity to that animals messages.

As Mark Twain aptly quoted,

“It is not the size of the dog in the fight; it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”

Daisy: the smallest, the cleverest and the bravest of all.

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