I’m a little late sharing this story, but it’s a good one. Back in May on a Saturday I took Parka out on his first hike. We live at the base of the Southern Rockies and I spend a good amount of my time hiking the mountains. I had wanted to get Parka out on the trails for a few weeks, to get him used to hiking with me, and finally I got some time to do it. We hiked a trail called the North Boundary Trail, it’s a trail that starts close to town but snakes up into the mountains to a big meadow at about 11,000 feet.
So Parka and I were on the North Boundary trail, we had been hiking for about 2 hours. We stopped and took some pictures, then I decided we should turn around before it started to get dark. This whole hike Parka had been very alert and watchful, but I thought nothing of it (he’s a guardian, after all)…
Well, about 30 minutes after we turned to head back, as we were going around a blind ridge, Parka stopped dead. His eyes got very large, his nostrils got very large, and his lips started to wrinkle – then he let out a very deep growl. I figured it was due to a person coming toward us on the trail or something, so I reached for my treats to redirect Parka and move off the trail. While I was looking down in the treat bag Parka does this massive display – growling, barking, and dragging me forward (I almost lost my balance)…
Then out shot a Mountain Lion!!! It ran up the mountain away from us, it was apparently hanging out behind a rock on the ridge to the left (about 4 feet above the trail)… If we had walked by we would have walked right under him!!!
At first I thought it was a deer or something, but then I could see his long tail, and he clearly didn’t move like a deer or a Coyote. Crazy. I mean, he could have jumped right out and got both of us! I had NO IDEA he was there.
Maybe the lion was just napping, or chilling out in the sun. I dunno. But it was a kinda close-call even if he didn’t want to eat us. This thing was BIG too… scary big.
Every year there is at least one person who is attacked by a cougar in this area (laster year the attack was only 15 minutes from our house)… I gotta wonder, if it wasn’t for Parka, would we have been one of those victims this year?
I take dogs with me on hikes a lot, and always thought they might be useful in a situation like this, but I never thought it’d actually happen. I’m so proud of Mr. Parka, he did his job!
I don’t typically buy into much of the text written about a breed’s history, especially with these recreated breeds, but I’ll admit it: there is something rather romantic about my Boerboel protecting me from a lion!