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Duke, a 16-month-old Australian cattle dog, was rescued by a Calgary bus driver from two circling coyotes Tuesday. ((CBC))

The owner of a dog that a Calgary bus driver rescued from circling coyotes says he is grateful for her intervention.

Hugh Magill was walking his two dogs at about 6:30 a.m. Tuesday when they ran off to chase a coyote. He couldn't find Duke, a shy 16-month-old Australian cattle dog, and feared the worst.

"I was pretty heart sick that I might lose him," said Magill.

He didn't know that Duke was hiding under his parked truck at Greenwood Village Road N.W.

That's where community shuttle driver Dawn Hagel spotted him a short time later after noticing two coyotes circling the truck. Hagel parked her shuttle and opened the door.

"I just said, 'Hey, puppy,' and he just jumped on the bus in a heartbeat," she said. "The 10 or 13 people who were on the bus were immediately petting him, looking at his tag to get him to the rightful owner."

She contacted animal control officers. After checking Duke's licence information, they were able to reunite him with Magill.

"It's terrific," said Magill. "He already had been bitten twice and the two of them were circling the truck. I think they might have caught him if the transit driver hadn't stopped. I think it may have saved him from more serious injury or even worse."