Readers of Wild Muse know that I am fascinated by wolf ecology, and I often post on wolf research. A little while ago, I wrote up a review on the best kinds of livestock guarding dogs based on the writing and research of Cat Urbigkit. A reader named Jennifer commented on the post, referring to a run in her dogs had with wolves a few weeks back. I emailed Jennifer for more information and then extended an invite for her to share her story here on Wild Muse. She accepted, and I thank her for her time in writing up the events. I hope readers will appreciate the opportunity to share her experiences. For me, it is always fun to pontificate upon ecology in the abstract; but for some, it can get deeply personal. - DeLene
I live on a remote island between the mainland of British Columbia and the central part of Vancouver Island. My family of six has been here for eight years now. We own over 30 acres and are surrounded by crown land that stretches for miles beyond that. It’s wild and beautiful and a great place to raise children.
In the first year that we were here however, we lost a dog right off our front porch to a cougar. It was a very traumatizing situation mostly for myself, as she was my best bud who came everywhere with me. It was a big wake up call for us all, as it could very well have been one of our children. We had been told by many residents in the area that it was only a matter of time before we saw or had an interaction with a cougar as they are fairly common and prevalent here. I suffered post traumatic stress and depression after the death of my dog and had irrational fears of going outside and cougars breaking into our house. It was quite debilitating for me.
Several months later my husband brought home two rottweiler black lab cross puppies, males from the same litter. They were 12 weeks old. The pain from the loss of my previous dog was still fresh but my husband felt it important to have two dogs for the safety of the family. My husband grew up on a farm and always had working dogs that lived outdoors and had specific jobs, whereas I always had dogs that were inside dogs and more or less pampered pets when I was growing up. I had fears that the same fate would meet these new dogs and a cougar would take them down. I was very apprehensive. But in the end, I realized I needed these dogs to help me heal and get past my fears. (more…)