DERRY — Pamela Crawford of 7 Humphrey Road let her two miniature pinschers, Spike and Spanky, out into her back yard Saturday just like any other night.
But this time was different.
Crawford watched a violent scene unfold while her two dogs were out in in the back yard.
While she sat on the back steps, watching Spanky and Spike play in the yard equipped with an electric dog fence, a coyote ran across her driveway and into the back yard.
The spunky dogs, ages 10 and 13, chased after the intruder, nipping at its legs.
Ron Crawford saw what was happening, yelled and grabbed his gun.
The coyote ran behind the Crawfords’ shed with some dinner in its jaws. Spanky and Spike chased after it.
“I think the dogs recognized there was an intruder in their territory and tried to stop it,” Crawford said.
The coyote dropped whatever it was carrying and turned on the small dogs.
The Crawfords, distraught, could do nothing to stop the attack. By the time the coyote turned and ran off, Spanky, 10, was dying. Spike, 13, was badly injured.
The couple raced down the street with the dogs to their veterinarian’s house.
Immediately after, Crawford took her two dogs down the street to her veterinarian’s office.
“Thank god for Tim Butterfield,” Crawford said. “If it wasn’t for him, I probably would have lost both dogs.”
Butterfield, a veterinarian at the Windham Animal Hospital, assembled his staff to try to save the dogs.
It was too late for Spanky, who had collapsed lungs and broken ribs.
Spike survived the attack with a punctured lung and is expected to make a full recovery, Butterfield said.
“What really boggles my mind is, I didn’t hear any barking,” Crawford said. “My dogs are usually always barking.”
The Crawfords have four other dogs, all Chihuahuas, which were inside at the time.