Predator Attack – Diesel’s Story

Predator Attack – Diesel’s Story

You did a great job on our little dog, thank you!


The following is a letter from Carole Adley of Parksville, BC and the story of her dog, Diesel, who was attacked by a cougar in 2003.


To Dr. Honey,


Remember Diesel and the cougar? The wired jaw held up, the hole through her palate never gave her trouble, nor big the two upper canine teeth that turned pink and then brown, but lasted all the rest of her life.You can see how well she looked after it healed up. She had a long, active and happy life and was deeply treasured by all her family.


This is the story  I wrote  a few weeks after the incident, which happened on Feb. 14, 2003, in the Alice Lake area.


You did a great job on our little dog, thank you!


Carole Adley
Parksville, BC




Diesel’s Story


[column]On Valentine’s Day, when Diesel’s puppies were two weeks old, our six dogs were again in the woods (we have now crossed Alice Lake Park off our list) and had a run-in with a bobcat. At least we thought it was a bobcat, we didn’t actually see it, but the vet says from the size of the den and the puncture wounds on Diesel, it was a juvenile cougar. The dogs all ran up a hill into the woods, barking like mad, then when we called they all ran back, except Diesel, and we heard her cry, twice.


My brother, who is visiting with me from Halifax, climbed the almost vertical hill and looked and called, then after a few minutes I also clambered up.


The bush is a tangle of fallen trees so I criss-crossed the slope, calling, and finally found a den dug into the hillside, the opening about 4 feet wide and 18″ high, and bending down and looking inside I saw one of Diesel’s front feet. I got a long stick and poked it in the hole and heard hissing and growling, and Diesel’s body moved and shifted and I could then see her face. The animal must have been on her holding her, and then moved back in the den when I jabbed it. My brother came (both of us creating a lot of noise) and we broke another pole and kept poking and yelling to keep it back off Diesel. I thought she was dead, she was motionless and her eyes were open, but then we saw life in the eyes, the pupils dilated and contracted as she focussed on me.
We hooked the prong of a garden rake behind Diesel’s leather collar and dragged her out. The animal inside growled and hissed but didn’t come out. We shared the carry down the hill, all of us with a lot of blood on us, Diesel was gasping with her nose pushed up and sideways and mangled, her lungs making a rattling noise, and a lot of body cuts. One gash was half under her collar, so I think it tried to bite her neck and the collar saved her, it has tooth marks on it.

The vet had been warned we were coming. Diesel went right onto IV and was left overnight to stabilize, then had surgery, she had a broken upper jaw, teeth still intact but she could lose her canines, there might not be enough bone to hold them. She has something wrong at the back rib area, but they didn’t operate there because they didn’t want to keep her under any longer, the jaw had taken a long time.


As I write this, two weeks have gone by. Diesel has had to have all food liquified and fed into the side of her lip with a turkey baster. She needed lots of fluids to combat the fever, and effects of the drugs. Just yesterday she ate her first solid food, and has gone down to three meals a day. She has lost some weight, but is bright-eyed and has a glossy coat, the drains and stitches are out, and everything has healed well except the jawbone. She had a bath, and had a visit with her puppies, which pleased her very much, she stood in the box and lowered her face into them, closed her eyes, breathed puppy smell, and sighed.


At last week’s checkup the jaw was still wobbly, so she made need another operation to remove the four teeth that have died, and maybe pin the jaw more. She will have lots of scars and they think her jaw will be lopsided, probably missing her two upper canines and the two small teeth in front of them, so I guess she will never get that last single point for her bench title, nor run again. She was so enjoying motherhood, and that is sad, but will re-join them for a time before they go to their new homes, and we will be keeping one.[/column]