Dogs are extremely loyal and protective animals, especially towards children. They have a great ability to sense when young ones are in danger, and will always step up to protect them — even if it means putting themselves in harm’s way.
That was the case recently, after one heroic dog died while defending her family from a mountain lion attack.
Virginia Havens, from Idaho Springs, Colorado, and her family loved their dog, a Chihuahua/pit bull mix named Lady. Virginia says Lady was especially great at protecting her kids, who are between the ages of 4 and 11.
“Any time the kids were outside, she was five steps behind them,” Virginia told KCNC. “They would play in the sandbox, she was keeping watch everywhere, all the time.”
Lady’s protective instincts soon proved to be life-saving. On June 14, Virginia, her husband and their four kids were in the backyard when Lady started acting strangely, barking aggressively.
Suddenly, they realized the dog was warning them about a “huge” mountain lion, at least five feet long, which was creeping into their backyard. “I heard my husband screaming, ‘Get in the house now’ and my kids crying, ‘Wolf!'” Virginia told Today Parents.
As the couple rushed to get their children inside, Lady stepped up to defend her family, fighting off the big cat. “Lady was posturing for defense and she took off the opposite direction here just to circle back to get momentum for her charge,” she told KCNC.
From inside, Virginia called the police and threw a skate at the mountain lion, but it was too dangerous to go out and help Lady. Virginia watched in horror as her dog was mauled by the wild animal.
“The mountain lion had her head in his jaws, and she was doing her best to, you know, get out of the hold,” she said. “I heard her crying out, which made me more frantic because she was my fur baby.”
Police arrived and shot the mountain lion with non-lethal bean bag rifle rounds, allowing Lady to escape, as the mountain lion retreated. But unfortunately, the big cat had taken a fatal toll on the dog.
“She had three holes in her skull and the underside of her snout was punctured, which is why she couldn’t breathe well,” Virginia told Today Parents. “Doctors couldn’t guarantee she’d live through the night.”
The family was heartbroken to see their beloved dog suffering, and made the difficult but humane decision to euthanize her.
“The kids were in a puddle of tears but seeing Lady like that also helped them understand the reason to let her go,” Virginia said. “We said goodbye and kissed Lady and thanked her.”
It was a heartbreaking end to an incident that has left the family shaken, although local park rangers assured them the mountain lion was unlikely to return.
While Lady is gone, the family will always remember and be grateful for her as the dog who gave her life for them. “Lady was our little angel,” Virginia said. “She was a warrior.”
“She was absolutely our hero,” she told KCNC.
Rest in peace, Lady. Thank you for so bravely protecting your family from a mountain lion, even though you lost your own life. You’ll always be remembered as a hero ❤️
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