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Sun, Oct. 20

All About Pets: The amazing wildlife around us

Duke rests on a couch as he recuperates from his injuries. But he has excellent caregivers, including his little brother, Doogie. (Christy Powers/Courtesy)

Duke rests on a couch as he recuperates from his injuries. But he has excellent caregivers, including his little brother, Doogie. (Christy Powers/Courtesy)

We, the fortunate ones who live among the trees, get to see wildlife constantly. Primarily, it is the deer rambling up and down the hills around us, some with new babies at their side. Then there are the javelina and the skunks — the ones we are less excited about encountering.

We all love seeing the deer. They are beautiful and so very gentle looking.

However, I just learned that my neighbor’s 15-year-old Yorkie, Duke, was following the man of the house, Larry, down to the car unnoticed, when suddenly he was stomped on by a deer. The lady of the house, Linda, immediately brought him to the emergency vet office but because of his injuries, they said he needed more extensive treatment and needed to go down to the Valley. The vet there said that injuries to dogs from deer are not that uncommon. News to me.

They stitched up the puncture wounds on his neck and the tear in his back and treated his bruised spine. Fortunately, he was able to come back home where he is being given exceptional royal treatment by his human caregivers and also by his Yorki siblings.

It is hard to believe that a deer actually stomped on this little guy and he survived. You do every so often hear about owls and coyotes coming into the yard and snatching up a small dog or a cat, but a deer?

Duke is being very well taken care. Because of his age and his injuries, he needs to wear a diaper. And Larry is providing physical therapy regularly to keep his limbs supple while he is recuperating. He is one lucky boy to live in such a loving household.

I had never heard of a deer attacking any creature before this, but since this incident, I have been hearing all sorts of stories. Apparently, there is a video floating around of a man being stomped by a deer. And I have since heard several stories of deer attacks, including a deer stomping a coyote to death.

We are seeing many deer with their young at their side wandering around. All animals are going to protect their young. Certainly that is when javelina are the most dangerous. You never want to get caught between a mama and her babies. They can be very nasty.

Recently, from my front window, I saw a coyote running across the road and between the houses. And then, while walking my dogs through a vacant property, I was stooping down to pick up a deposit and when I looked up, a coyote was trotting by us, not four feet away. But he had a destination in mind so he did not stop, fortunately. My dogs were too stunned to react, that was two sightings within a week, and my first real up-close and personal encounter with a coyote in the past two years of living here.

And then there are skunks —they do not need to inflict physical damage to prove their power over us!

But the message for today is — we need to be ever vigilant, especially for our very little guys. Deer and coyotes can get over our fences without our knowledge. And skunks are rather skilled at sneaking under, around and through our fences.

We love watching the wildlife around us, but we must remember, they are wild creatures and are committed to protecting their own.

Christy Powers is a freelance writer whose passion is studying and writing about pet health, nutrition and training. She can be reached at cpowerspak@gmail.com.

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