“Nina the Wonderdog” has fought off snakes, a protective mother deer in Princeton and a truck that hit her in Parksville last month.
Last week, the six-kilogram (13-pound), eight-year-old Chihuahua who recently moved to Qualicum Bay survived what may have been her toughest battle of all — a skirmish with a young cougar.
Joe Sparrow was sitting in his backyard in Dunne’s Mobile Home Park July 29 with Nina close by and on a leash when the cougar came out of the nearby bush and attacked. Joe’s wife Sherry was inside the house when she heard what she called a “terrible noise.”
When she ran to the backyard, she saw Nina in the jaws of the big cat and Joe holding on to Nina’s leash. The cougar was dragging all three into the bush.
Joe gave Sherry the lease and went to fetch a stick. Sherry said the lease was cutting into her hands as the cat kept trying to drag them into the bush. Sherry said she stuck her hands under Nina’s collar while the dog was still in the jaws of the cougar, trying to free her pet. Sherry said later “that may have been the dumbest thing to do.” Within seconds, Joe was back at the scene with a four-foot-long piece of lumber and proceeded to beat the cougar.
“I was just shouting, ‘drop my dog, drop my dog’,” said Joe. “I don’t know how many times I hit it.”
Sherry said Joe hit the cougar “dozens of times” before the cat dropped a bloody Nina on the lawn and skulked into the bush.
Nina still wasn’t about to back down, however. Sherry said it was a challenge to get the dog into the house.
“Full of blood, she is running back toward the bush,” said Sherry.
Nina has serious lacerations on her head and neck. She had a drain attached to her skull, which was removed Friday and it seems she is going to survive this close encounter with a cougar.
“That’s why we call her Nina the Wonderdog,” said Sherry, who added that she was still shaking when talking about the incident four days after it happened.
The Sparrows said Conservation Officer Steve Ackles responded to the scene and eventually the cougar was shot and killed. The Sparrows said the same big cat killed a black lab dog in their neighbourhood earlier the same day as the incident with Nina.
The Sparrows did see, and take photos, of the dead cougar in the back of the conservation officer’s truck. The cougar was said to be young, perhaps one year old, and was about four feet long, not including the tail.
The NEWS was unable to reach Ackles for comment by press time.
The Sparrows and Nina moved to Qualicum Bay only two weeks ago.