Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Boy And His Angel

Sometimes angels appear in our lives in the most unsuspecting guises, and if ever there were a dog more appropriately named, it is Angel the Golden Retriever. Angel belongs to an 11 year-old boy named Austin, who loves in a small town not far from Vancouver. Austin was in his back yard collecting firewood when he was attacked by a cougar. Angel leapt into action and threw herself between the boy and the cougar. Sherri Forman, Austin's mother, said her son was outside with Angel around 5:30 p.m. gathering firewood from their backyard. She explained that Angel normally runs around and plays when she is outside, but on this afternoon she was behaving differently.

"He had come in at one point to tell me how cute Angel was being because she was sticking pretty close to him in the yard, which was unusual for her," Forman told CNN. In hindsight she realizes that Angel was protecting her son from an unseen danger. "She intercepted the cougar," Forman said. "Austin came into the house very upset, and I had to get him to calm down so I could understand what he was saying. Finally he said 'there's a cougar eating Angel.'"

Angel and the cougar fought under the family's deck, while Austin's mother called 911 for help. An RCMP constable was in the area and able to make it to their home and kill the cougar quickly. Forman said when her nephew pulled the cougar's body off Angel, who at first appeared fatally injured, the dog sucked in a "big breath of air and then got up." Ever the protector, Angel "walked to Austin, sniffed him to make sure he was alright, then sat down." Despite receiving a few deep bites and scratches Angel's prognosis is good. ... CNN

Okay, I know what you're thinking -- we have encroached on these wild animals' territories. The minute humankind climbed out of the trees and stood upright on the ground, we were encroaching on some other creature's territory. Cougars are magnificent animals. Where I lived on Vancouver Island, we had cougars in our back yard. For the most part, we have learned to live in harmony with these animals, as they have learned to live in harmony with us -- until they decide to have an 11 year-old boy for dinner. Thank goodness that little boy's Angel was looking after him.



Cheers,

25 comments:

The Bug said...

This post made me cry - what a good dog!

Charles Gramlich said...

Oh wow. Once again we see how Dogs are often the best part of the human race.

Elise said...

I so loved this post of yours ! Thank you

Whitney Lee said...

Au contraire! I was thinking what a lazy cougar to come to eat a little boy when there is wildlife galore...

What a touching story; I'm so glad that the dog isn't dead. That would have been a horrific end to a heroic story.

There's a reason that dog spelled backwards reads god. They are far more loving, accepting, and compassionate than I could ever hope to be.

A human kind of human said...

A wonderful story. Thanks for posting it.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

I was so afraid that Angel was going to go to heaven! I was reading while eating lunch and couldn't swallow! We are having a problem with bobcats on our property right now and have traps out. My biggest fear is that one will thing my tiny dashchund is a treat. She weighs only 6 lbs, so that would be about the size of a rabbit. I have been going out with the dogs and will continue to until they are all trapped!

Alissa said...

I'm so glad this story had a happy ending!

Carla said...

This story brought tears to my eyes when I saw it on the news this AM and again when I read your post. Sometimes I think dogs love people more than people love people. I'm so glad the boy is okay and the dog will be okay. An Angel, indeed!!

Amy said...

Oh Jo, what a beautiful story. That dog is a hero, no doubt about it!

We have cougers around us and I walk trails that are pretty remote for being 2 miles from the city. I always think that Jack (our 80 lb+ Flat Coat) would protect me if I was threatened. But now, after reading your post, I'm thinking - well, what about Jack? How would I protect him?

Very thought provoking - so happy for a good outcome!

houndstooth said...

I saw this story on the news last night and again this morning. Angel's story is the sort of thing that becomes a legend. Obviously, she is deeply attached to Austin. I saw him say this morning that he went to the store and bought her a steak for when she comes home.

Russell said...

I showed Bailey this post. He thought it was incredible but, then again, he said he knows dogs do things like that! (But he is biased as he is, well, a dog! Sort of...!)

Bailey then went on to mention he is very glad there are no cougars or mountain lions in Iowa! Some am I!

(Okay, there are a few but they are quite rare.)

Canarybird said...

I saw this on European CNN this evening and am so happy that Angel survived. My daughter on Vancouver Island has seen cougars when out walking in her neighbourhood, which is why I don't walk in the forest when I visit her.

Many people living here don't know what is a cougar and so I have to explain it's a type of mountain lion, very common in B.C. and especially on Vancouver Island. Glad nobody was hurt this time!

Wenderina said...

Frightening and heartwarming. In our area it is the bear that often find themselves unwelcome in backyards. Mostly they aim for garbage, but there have been some terrible tragedies with young children and pets as well. Sorry the cougar had to die, but as you said, between cougar and son/pet, I'd have a clear choice myself.

Nancy said...

We have always had golden retrievers (until Lucy), and they were always very protective of our girls. If they were in the water or dogs would stay right with them - swimming in circles around them. Or if they were outside the dogs would bark at anyone who came near them. We learned to depend on our dogs to let us know if anyone was near our yard. What is weird is all of the attacks. Cougars are usually so shy with humans. Scary. Glad it turned out the way it did.

Cloudia said...

My heart is as joyous as a puppy!




Aloha, Jo


Comfort Spiral

Michelle said...

How incredible! What a great story.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Cool!

the walking man said...

The thing about habitat encroachment is that cougars are normally night hunters. Dusk to Dawn, this attack was in full light of day, which means that normal prey and habits of the species are being changed and the cougars forced into un natural rhythms.

Maybe you could introduce wolves because they are a cougars only natural predator.

Although the dog is fortunate that the sheriff got there because it's size is right in the middle of what a cougar would hunt size wise. They will take any animal up to the size of a deer.

Mia said...

We invaded their territory but even the most bleeding-hearted treehugger would tear an animal apart if it was eating their child.

That dog is going to own the house from now on.

Land of shimp said...

What a good, good dog and what a fun story. Like everyone else here I was not thinking, "But the poor cougar!" I am sorry that animal had to be destroyed, but given the circumstances? The animal had to be destroyed.

We have cougars here also and the very fact that a cougar would go after an 11-year-old -- just in terms of size, they usually prey on much smaller animals -- suggests that the cougar was pretty darned dangerous. A Golden is fairly large for a cougar to take on, but an 11-year-old is just plain alarming.

I'm so glad the dog was all right, also.

Paula Slade said...

I saw this in the news the other day and thought what a blessing that dog was and what an appropriate name! I understand the dog is doing much better.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Wow. What an amazing story! I like your balanced account of this horrifying event -- I love animals and believe that we are encroaching on their territory, but we cannot sacrifice innocent human life under any circumstances. I specify "innocent" because I also believe that people who deliberately abuse wild animals for sport deserve what they get.

That dog, Angel, is a true hero.

Carol E. said...

Oh this story is awful and wonderful. I read it just now before I climb into bed. I hope it doesn't give me bad dreams! It is so awesome how smart animals are about some things we can't detect, and how loyal and loving, unconditionally. It is heart breaking and very heart warming. Thank God Angel is still alive!

Country Girl said...

I loved this story, Jo. Terrific.

Genny said...

What an incredible story. The heart of our dogs is so strong and love unconditional. I'm so glad that she recovered and the little boy was unharmed. Did you do the painting of the Golden Retriever? It's so beautiful.