An Ontario woman is expressing gratitude towards a helpful neighbour who intervened when she and her small dog came face to face with an aggressive coyote during a walk in a suburb northeast of Toronto.

Ravinder Malhi was taking her eight-year-old miniature pinscher “Coco” for a walk at approximately 11 a.m. on Monday morning near her home in Markham, Ont. when she came across a wild coyote.

“I looked on the left-hand side and I see a big coyote staring at me,” she recalled to CTV Toronto on Thursday. “I was terrified. I was thinking, ‘I’m done for today.’ There was nobody, not a single human being [around].”

Malhi said she immediately scooped up her little dog in her arms and started screaming for help. She also threw snow at the wild animal in an attempt to scare it away.

Luckily, Malhi’s cries were heard by Muriah Umoquit, who lives nearby. Umoquit told CTV Toronto that she was working from home when she heard the yelling outside.

“I saw someone throwing snow and I thought, ‘That’s a weird scream for a snowball fight,’” she said. “I kind of ignored it because I thought someone was just playing, but when I looked again I saw the woman was throwing snow at a coyote.”

Umoquit said she rushed outside with a snow shovel in hand to try and scare off the coyote. Security footage from her home shows Umoquit banging the shovel against and the porch and calling out to Malhi to come inside.

Unfortunately, Umoquit said her attempts to frighten the animal failed and the coyote stood its ground with its eyes fixated on Malhi’s little dog.

“It ended up being really persistent,” Umoquit said.

Malhi ran over to Umoquit’s home but slipped in the snow along the way and dropped Coco on the ground. That’s when the coyote lunged at the dog.

But Malhi grabbed Coco and both women and the dog made it inside safely.

The coyote lingered in the area for a little while longer before it finally ran off, Malhi said.

Malhi said she’s just thankful Umoquit was there in her moment of need.

“I’m blessed to have a neighbour like that,” she said. “I wouldn’t even know what I would’ve done without her. Seriously, it was just like an angel in my life at that moment.”

In light of the scare, Malhi suggests people in the neighbourhood, especially with children or small pets, take extra precautions when they’re outside.

For information on what to do in the event of an encounter with a coyote, the City of Toronto has a list of recommendations on their website.

With a report from CTV Toronto’s Scott Lightfoot