83-year-old Winnipeg man saves small dog from coyote

A Winnipeg man sprung into action to save his dog after it was attacked by a coyote in the evening earlier this week.

Late Tuesday night, Cliff Reykdal was getting ready for bed, letting his small dog Nala, a shih tzu-yorkie mix, out to do her business, a regular routine for the 83-year-old and his 10-year-old dog.

Usually, Reykdal will let ten-pound Nala out for five minutes while he relaxes on his chesterfield.

This time, however, while standing at the door, Reykdal spotted a pack of four coyotes approaching Nala. Then one of the coyotes grabbed Nala in its mouth and ran off.

“One has come down the street but never a pack of four,” said Reykdal, who has lived with his wife in his Nottingham Avenue home for 43 years.

Reykdal reacted immediately and, despite only wearing boxer shorts and a pair of socks, took chase.

“I wasn’t thinking of that,” said Reykdal, admitting his outfit wasn’t exactly normal for running down the street at almost midnight. “I was thinking about getting my dog back before they got away with her.”

Despite the dark of night, Nala’s blond fur let Reykdal track the group of coyotes as he ran after them, the one holding Nala in its mouth eventually breaking from the pack.

“I thought she was gone for good,” he said, “I’m 83, I can’t outrun a coyote.”

Fortunately, Reykdal didn’t need to. When the coyote ran across the street, Reykdal picked up a large rock (about eight ounces in weight, he said) and heaved it towards the animal.

That’s when the coyote dropped Nala and backed off, letting Reykdal scoop the pup up and bring her back to the safety of home.

“After I brought her in the house the coyotes were staying in the yard,” said Reykdal, “Then they eventually moved on because supper was gone.”

It was then that Reykdal’s wife noticed Nala was bleeding, prompting a late-night trip to the veterinarian.

Nala is going to be fine, says Reykdal.

The incident, while harrowing, has turned Reykdal into a bit of a local celebrity.

“Maybe I’m going to Hollywood next, be in a movie or something,” he joked.

“It’s over with and the dog is safe, that’s all I want.”

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