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Video shows elderly dog saving fur-brother from coyotes in California

11-year-old Maltese mix jumps in to save his brother from coyotes
11-year-old Maltese mix jumps in to save his brother from coyotes 03:13

An elderly dog proved his bark was indeed worse than his bite. With only three teeth, Vinny saved his little fur-brother, Harley, from a pair of coyotes. 

Surveillance video captured the moment when the 11-year-old, 10-pound Maltese mix scared away a coyote as it was attacking the pup. The backyard encounter occurred earlier this month, according to CBS News Los Angeles

Mission Viejo home camera captures coyote attack on dog 01:22

"Vinny's a superhero," owner David Macaluso told the station. "He's always been a scrapper. He's just not afraid of anything."

After he and his wife, Erin, returned home from a short walk, they forgot to close the dog door and within moments, Harley ran out. The dog had heard something in the backyard, but soon came face-to-face with two coyotes. 

The wild animals chased and grabbed Harley by the neck. Upon hearing the dog yelp in pain, Vinny began running toward his little fur-brother — and growled. 

"I think he had a low-level growl that shocked the coyote," said Macaluso. 

The growl gave Harley just enough time to escape. The couple said the vets tended to Harley's wounds, and the dog took several weeks to recover.

"They think he was bitten three to four times is what the doctor said," Erin Macaluso recalled. "He had a bite on each shoulder."

He had to have 20 stitches. 

The Macalusos said they are very proud of their little superhero. Now, the couple will never underestimate the power and spirit of their aging rescue. 

"I'm looking for a doggie cape but I haven't found one," said Erin Macaluso. "I'd give him a steak but he has no teeth."  

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