Cougar!

Aug. 6th, 2015 12:20 am
furtech: (no cookie)
I recorded an animal lifer on the dogwalk tonight: Cougar.

Honestly, this is the one lifer I -never- wanted to see. Coyotes are annoying (and city coyotes are more mellow then their wilder relatives); raccoons are moderately dangerous (more so than coyotes, really); skunks are just a pain.

Cougars scare the crap out of me. None of the others are capable of killing an eighty-five pound male husky and then leaping over an 8-foot fence carrying it (which happened around here a few years ago). Cougars are seriously scary.

We were walking/hiking around midnight (too hot to walk during the days now) near a gated community, at the north end of the neighborhood near the foothills. The border collies had been restless this evening and at one point took off after something. I heard a new sound in the darkness (never a good thing), a brief kind of "Rackh!" sound. Something bounded down the hill and leap a drainage ditch: for a moment I saw it silhouetted against the night sky: a long, lean shape.

My first reaction was, "Huh." Too big for a cat; too big and too long for a bobcat; and that tail-- uh-oh. The long, fat tail. Fuck. Fortunately, it had to be a yearling: The dogs were able to startle it into running and from the brief sighting, it had the smaller size of a yearling. She took off and the dogs returned to me, good boys!

I'll say that getting back to the car was unnerving. I kept fearing the cougar would change her mind and circle around to snatch one of the dogs. We were still a mile away from the car.

I'm still freaked.

R0ndo

May. 26th, 2014 07:05 pm
furtech: (R0ndo Goodbye)
[Memorial Day is as good a day as any to take care of this: I had been putting off the public post about this for a while now.]

R0ndo

R0ndo Bordercollie died on February 11, 2014. He had been recovering from a neck injury for several weeks when he unexpectedly went into cardiac arrest. We were all blindsided by an undiagnosed heart condition (Hypertropic Cardiomyopathy, for those curious). R0ndo was my Great Dog and my best buddy.

The last four months have been an emotional hell-- a rollercoaster of events brought on by his passing. He was only nine years old and I had fully expected to have him around for at least another six years.

Friends and family who knew him well have been my anchor. The BCR folk have been especially supportive with stories about their Great Dogs and loss and moving on. There will never be another dog like R0ndo and it took me four months to begin to understand this.

N00b

One action that has helped is the addition of a new dog to our reduced pack: An00bis, a year-old Kelpie-bordercollie mix. The road to this point has been torturous, but we're still here. And by we, I mean Apache and I. She was just as unsettled by R0ndo's passing as I was. She is *slowly* warming to the Noob, but she is definitely happier and calmer since Noob arrived about a month ago.

R0ndobye

So long, R0ndo. You took a big chunk of me with you when you went.

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