The Dogs of Dog Days & Other Pets We Love

The Canyon ChronicleBy The Canyon Chronicle

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The Dogs of Dog Days  & Other Pets We Love
Three Little Maids from School Persephone, Phoebe, and Princess It all started with Romulus, a burly handsome male, who strutted around campus with quite a style, quite in the vein of Pepé le Pew. He had discovered the droppings from the bird feeder that the doves would topple over in their effort to eat “ensemble.” Romulus stopped by in the evenings for a nibble. On one such occasion, he brought Persephone. It was a date! The peanuts, I’m sure, were the allure; they became regulars. One evening, Persephone came on her own! She was scratching away at the dirt in search of nutty treasures, when Romulus showed up... with another girl! I heard her shriek and ran down to see what on earth was going on. She blasted him. His new girl went running off into the woods with her tail between her legs, and Romulus, fully “baptized” followed, not to be seen again. Persephone claimed the turf her own. But “good eats” travels fast in these parts and soon Phoebe, then Princess, began to jostle Persephone in competition... I vowed to teach them manners, but quite honestly, the upside of this odorous story is coyotes are seen no longer. —Alexandra de la Vega
Three Little Dogs

The biggest is Claude (in back). He was found by hikers, abandoned up in the mountains, had to fend for himself for days. Needless to say, he’s a little insecure at times but he’s so bright.  He will look at you endlessly, asking, “What’s it all about?”
The two smaller ones, Simon (white), and Edith (dark), are like salt and pepper. We got them just a few months ago. They were very neglected by their previous people and there’s a lot they don’t know about how to be a dog, but thanks to Claude, they are learning fast. They watch and imitate him. 
—Jenise Blanc and Randy Chance
Turk & the Coyote

On a cool, dark October morning I was getting my boys ready for a
Topanga Elementary school day. Two weeks prior we had rescued an
Anatolian Shepherd from Agoura Animal Shelter, a one-year-old gentle giant,
one livestock guardian named Turk. Our local coyotes were not yet aware of our new
big boy and that morning they came into our yard to try and prise a hen from the henhouse or check for leftover kibble. I had let the little dogs out even though it was still dark knowing that they now had a bodyguard and they should be safe from the coyotes. Suddenly we heard crashing and banging and my dogs were all on our porch where Turk was holding a coyote by the scruff of its neck! I stood there stunned and my first words were, “Turk, drop it!” Which he did immediately. Clearly he was waiting for my instructions having collected a predator and brought it to me.

The horrified coyote took a moment to consider whether to flee outside or run inside past my legs, across furniture and hide behind a trunk next to the TV.  We watched, stunned, as he bolted through the living room and dived into his hiding place. The boys and I gathered all our dogs and shut them away upstairs. We opened all the doors to the outside, pulled the trunk out from the wall and attempted to shoo him out. He shrank further back and clearly had no intention of risking another meet-up with Turk outside. “Call Aunty Emma,” I shouted to Luc my eldest. She lived in a cottage at the other end of our property and within minutes, burst into the house donning leather riding gloves. We quickly gave her the update and she tried to use a broom to push him out. He did not budge. “I’m going to have to carry it out,” she declared, and reached in to airlift this frozen-with-fear coyote by its scruff yet again and carried it to the door. Emma let go and with that he sped down and away, faster than I have ever seen a coyote run.
The local coyotes were screaming as if they knew we had one of their own. They stopped when I presume the escapee made his miraculous close call public to coyotes across Topanga.  The boys turned to me and stated,  “Auntie Emma is savage!” I agreed as I cleaned up all the coyote had left behind...a lot of poop but not a speck of blood.

Terrified but unharmed he lived to tell the tale and to warn all coyotes never ever
to come in our yard. 
Since that day, this amazing rescue dog, Turk, has taken on and sent
packing bobcats and even a mountain lion. 
—Lisa Ward
The Canyon Chronicle

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