Dog attacked by cougar

Colton Davies

Under normal circumstances, Myrna Tischer walks with her dog Winston every day up a trail near their Penticton home, just off of Ridgedale Drive.

But Tischer hasn’t taken Winston up that way in almost two weeks — not since he was attacked by a cougar and almost killed.

She was walking early in the morning on Nov. 7 with a friend and with Winston off-leash, when they turned around and Winston was gone.

She said they walked back and found Winston's blood and hair on the trail, with a bloody path to a spot just off the trail, where intestines were.

"We were convinced that he had been taken by something," Tischer said. "It was devastating. It was my worst nightmare."

She hurried home and was shocked to find her dog at the front door.

Winston had found his way home when she thought he was dead.

"I came back down the pathway, heard his bark and there he was on the doorstep."

A neighbour went up the trail a while later and found a deer carcass near the bloodbath.

That led Tischer to believe that a cougar was protecting it’s kill, and didn’t chase her dog after the initial attack.

"(Winston) normally has a big mane of hair around his neck, and I think maybe the cougar couldn't quite a hold, and he was just agile enough to get away."

The attack was reported to WildSafeBC, which led to a cougar warning in the area being announced the following day.

Tischer said Winston is on his way to a full recovery, but she wants her dog's story to serve as a message to others.

"Be aware, and be smart. Be smart about what we're doing when we're in the wild."

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