Roxy the dog, pictured with owner Tracy Logan, was snatched by a hungry owl on March 7th, but survived to bark again. Photo by Joshua Estabrooks

By Joshua Estabrooks

Pioneer Staff

March 7th was an ordinary Wednesday night at the Logan household in Invermere. Their miniature Chihuahua Roxy had just been let out into the backyard when all hell broke loose, owner Tracy Logan, said.

Both longtime Invermereians, Brad and Tracy Logan have never thought twice about letting either of their small dogs out into their fenced backyard.

On this particular night, however, a large owl was perched in one of the big trees behind their neighbours house, and was instantly attracted to the tasty looking little morsel heading down the stairs of their patio.

The big bird swooped down from its perch, snatching Roxy in its talons.

She got to about the second or third step when we heard her scream, Tracy said. The owl must have got its wings caught in the railing and had to drop her in order to fly away.

Their neighbour saw the owl fly past her bedroom window, and thinking back to earlier in the evening, Tracy remembers seeing a large owl around the Invermere Public Library, which is right across the street from their house.

I remember thinking, What a great big bird that is. It was about two feet tall but it had a huge wingspan.

Tracy could not have guessed the majestic bird would grab their little dog just hours later.

Right after the attack, the Logans noticed that their beloved little Roxy couldnt move her back end and was screaming in a way they had never heard before.

The owls talon marks left no blood, and having only heard the attack, the Logans werent quite sure what had happened. Roxy had a bowel obstruction the previous week, so the couple assumed it was something related to that, and called the vet immediately.

The vet met us at the clinic and after taking a quick look at her he knew right away they were talon marks. The owl had grabbed her on her back end, leaving three holes where its claws had dug in, Tracy explained.

There was also some initial concern about how deep the talons penetrated, so they brought her back the next day for further analysis.

It was very similar to a stab wound, Tracy said. It truly did paralyze her for a little while. Her whole hind end was frozen.

Dr. Bruce Thiessen at the Invermere Veterinary Clinic told the Logans that birds of prey could attempt to take any small pet up to around 18 pounds, including dogs and cats.

He also said that Roxy is incredibly lucky to be alive: had she been in a more open area she would most likely have been carried away by the massive owl.

It wasnt afraid to come right onto our deck. We see ospreys circling high above from time to time, but this is the first time a bird like this has entered our yard, Tracy added.

Roxy is currently recovering well, although she doesnt care much to venture outside since the incident.

The Logans are planning to build her a covered run in the backyard so they wont have to worry about threats from above in the future, and hope that their story will alert other small pet owners to pay close attention to their canine or feline companions when they are outside.