One of my co-workers, Susan, occasionally brings her dog to work. The seniors like to visit with the dog. But today, the dog that Susan brought to work was not a dog I recognized, so I inquired about it. Susan said that she used to have two dogs, the other of which she would bring to work, but unfortunately, the dog had died.
“I’m sorry to hear that,” I said. “How did he die?”
“I think he was killed by a cougar.”
“Killed by a cougar? Wow, how do you know that?”
Susan rents a cabin on a property twenty minutes south of Rocky Mountain House. She likes it there because it’s inexpensive and she gets to keep her horse there for free. Susan said that about six or seven dogs have gone missing from the area in the last month or so.
Of course, my first thought was that it was less than a miniscule possibility that a cougar had taken the dogs. It was more likely human interference. Or just a coincidence.
“Missing dogs, eh?” I said. “But how do you know for sure it was a cougar?”
Susan said that last week, she was out riding her horse with her landlord’s dog running alongside. Suddenly, a cougar sprang from the woods and attacked the dog right in front of her. Luckily, the horse remained calm and didn’t try to throw her. The dog tried to get away into the woods, but the cougar pounced on it again. And it was in that moment that Susan kicked her heels into the horse and fled the scene.
I was gobsmacked! A cougar attack! Right in front of Susan! People who live in the woods can go an entire lifetime without seeing a cougar in the wild. But Susan saw one up close! And lived to tell about it!
What’s even better is that the dog actually escaped. It took a while to stitch up all of his wounds, and he probably looks like a hound from Dr. Frankenstein’s lab, but no doubt the little bugger is bragging to his dog pals about his courageous escape from the jaws of death.
I suggested to Susan that she was right; it was probably a good guess that the missing dogs are a result of the cougar.
What made me laugh is that Susan said she called the authorities and the dispatcher said he would send out the “cougar-tracking dogs”. Somehow, I’m not sure it’s a good idea to send “cougar-tracking dogs” after a “dog-eating cougar”.