A New Hampshire woman attacked by a coyote is recovering along with her dog, who protected her through the 10-minute ordeal.
The woman's husband didn't want his family's name published, but told NECN the entire story that unfolded at about 8:30 a.m. Monday.
At Crescent Moon Farm in Greenland, the couple has about 100 acres of wilderness at their fingertips. They spend most mornings walking with their dog, Mack. The man says he was in the shower and heard his wife's blood-curdling scream. He grabbed his pistol and jumped in his truck toward the chaos. In the middle of their expansive backyard near a small pond, he found a large coyote attacking his Mack, who was trying to protect his wife.
The 4-year-old Chesapeake Bay Retriever is recovering. The bites on his hind legs, the punctures on his back, and his sliced ear are all proof that he was in a fight for his life.
"This is extremely strange behavior for a coyote," New Hampshire Fish and Game Lt. Michael Eastman explained.
Eastman says most coyotes are afraid of humans, but this one, according to the husband, was relentless, like nothing he had seen before.
"This was more indicative of a diseased animal," Lt. Eastman said. "They don't hang around, they don't like to be around human beings so something is very wrong with this coyote."
The man fired several shots and finally scared off the coyote. After 10 agonizing minutes, the attack left this wife with a bite on her hand, Mack with wounds all over his body, and neighbors rattled.
"My dog is the sweetest thing in the world but he would not give up a fight for anything, so it's very scary," said Elizabeth Tallman, who lives right next door.
Tallman says it is not uncommon to see coyotes in the area off Post Road.
"They come in packs, you can hear them yipping, if I go to open the door to go out, they all run off," she explained.
But Tallman says over the years it seems the coyotes are getting bigger. Wildlife officials say that's true, because the smaller Western Coyotes are migrating east through Canada, breeding with Canadian wolves, and then traveling south to New Hampshire.
"I've seen 75, 80 pound coyotes, German Shepard sized coyotes," Lt. Eastman said.
But Lt. Eastman says their size doesn't make them more aggressive, which makes this attack so alarming.
"It must have been terrifying for her, but I am glad she and the dog are going to make it," Tallman said.
The couple says this incident won't keep them from enjoying their property with Mack. The man tells us they are both licensed to carry, and that from here on out, they'll take a gun with them when they go for a walk in their backyard.
New Hampshire Fish and Game officials say they believe the coyote was diseased and that if anyone sees a wild animal acting strange, contact local authorities.