Larry: I have to share a story with you about my puppy Touchdown, one which initially would have been too awful to even tell you about, but which has a happy ending. On Sunday morning at a quarter to six, I let Touchdown and my rescue dog Ladybug outside to do their business before their breakfast. Within moments, I heard the most horrific sounds – a violent struggle, Touchdown screaming – I ran out the door and a very, very large mountain lion had Touchdown. This was right at the bottom of my porch steps! Touchdown put up a fight, but within mere seconds he had gone quiet and went limp. I have since learned that most likely he fainted, and that saved his life. When he went limp, the mountain lion lost its incentive to break his neck or crush his skull. Anyway, the lion took off into the woods with Touchdown, held by the head, in his jaws. I was in hot pursuit, as was Ladybug. My son Travis and his wife Rachel were staying here for the 4th of July holiday, and they heard the attack and were out the door in seconds, also, yelling and screaming. But the lion was gone, with Touchdown. I spent all day Sunday and half of Monday tramping through the woods, looking for Touchdown’s body.
On Monday afternoon, a friend had come over to console me on the loss of my puppy. We were sitting outside and I thought I saw something coming out of the woods – it was Touchdown, 34 hours after he disappeared. He was blind, in shock, wobbly on his feet, his head hugely swollen, but he got into the yard and collapsed. I simply could not believe it. Rushed him to the vet. He has severe head trauma, multiple puncture wounds and a few other injuries but the vet guardedly believes he will fully recover, even his eyesight. He is already able to see out of one of his eyes. The likeliest scenario is that the lion stashed him – threw dirt and leaves over him and intended to get back to him later (he looked like he’d been buried). Possibly because of my hours of tramping through the woods, the lion never went back to its “kill” and Touchdown somehow found the strength to get home. I have not left his side. He is very traumatized, but so happy to be home.
This story spread like wildfire locally. The friend who was with me called everyone she knew; my sons also spread the story and I have been contacted by reporters who have come out to do a story about Touchdown. I believe you might be mentioned in one of the stories. Anyway: thought I’d left you know. Touchdown is doing OK. He is very resilient.
Update: The photo above shows Touchdown resting comfortably on Mommy’s bed after surgery. He
is feeling so much better today – a huge improvement. He is really on
the mend now. You’ll probably be relieved to know I won’t send any
more updates because I think now he is really going to be ok. Still
afraid of the outdoors, though! We’ll work on that. Thank you
everybody for all your good wishes for Touchdown.