Friday, January 30, 2009

Hawk Warning

The other day a friend of mine blogged about a hawk that had flown over her backyard while her small terrier was outside. After she consulted with several friends, it was confirmed that hawks can indeed pluck a small dog out of sight to devour.

Even though I was grateful for the knowledge, it left me extremely unsettled since we let our dogs out in the backyard several times a day. I made sure I remembered to let Double D know that our two chihuahuas could not be outside unsupervised anymore.

Imagine my surprise today when I read an article about a chihuahua named Sparky who had been attacked by a hawk.


Nine-year-old, seven-pound Dixie and 7-year-old, six-pound Sparky have been together for years now, with Dixie delivering 18 puppies over three litters. Like many old "married" couples, Sparky and Dixie bark and occasionally snap at one another, and now prefer to recline on separate sofas in the Stearns-Suarez living room.

But Dixie's loyalty knew no bounds last week in the backyard of the family's home in the unincorporated Wheatland View area near Naperville's far south side. Suarez said she watched as Dixie sprang into action, using her front paws to pummel a red-tailed hawk as it tried to fly away with Sparky in its talons.

"She reared up like a horse and attacked like a horse," Suarez said of Dixie. "That's the image I'll always have in my mind."

Fortunately, Sparky was saved by Dixie's bravery. He sustained puncture wounds on top of his head and will be okay - physically anyway. Needless to say, Sparky is now afraid of the backyard.

I shudder at the thought of the same fate happening to my little chi-chis. Not only birds of prey, but other predators such as coyotes can also strike; even in comfortable suburbia.


Mickey said...

It's a beautiful Saturday, and my terriers would like to spend half of the afternoon out sitting in the sun. But "no can do" now that we know about the hawk threat. Sometimes ignorance IS bliss!!

Awesome hawk picture by the way!!!

Louisiana Belle said...

I know! My chichis love nothing better than sunbathing in the backyard. If I had only read the news article, I could have said "Well, they're out of state. It couldn't happen here." But since you actually SAW one, I have no choice but to institute the WTH (Watch The Hawk) policy!

Autumn said...

Yikes! It's good to be cautious, especially with small pups.

Now, if a hawk tried to carry Loki off...well, it probably wouldn't get too far since she's so fat, but I'd probably laugh.