Maybe you heard the story a couple of weekends ago and maybe you didn’t. It happened outside a home in BC’s Fraser Valley.
Angel, an 18 month old Golden Retriever, saved an 11 year old boy from a cougar by jumping and intercepting the cat as it tried to lunge at the lad. Angel and the cougar fought and Angel was badly injured. The dog’s actions allowed the boy to run into the house and his Mom called 911. An RCMP constable shot the cougar and killed it. The boy didn’t get a scratch. He didn’t even know the cougar had been stalking him. It’s an amazing example of the selfless love a dog gives you.
The Toronto Star talked to a psychology professor who wrote a book called Why Does My Dog Act That Way? Stanley Coren says Angel believed she was protecting a sibling and that if it had been just the dog and the cougar, the dog likely wouldn’t have taken it on. But acting in the moment, the dog deduced that the boy was in danger and so it put itself in harm’s way to save him. A veterinarian the Star talked to said dogs are very smart at determining different relationships with each family member. They figure out who is important for which task, like opening the door or feeding them. But with kids, it’s more like they’re littermates.
Dr. Coren says lots of examples of dogs saving humans go unreported every year. I hope Angel recovers quickly and has a good long life full of appreciation, long walks and plenty of hugs and treats.