Pint-sized pooch pays price for owners’ indolence

A small yappy dog in a San Francisco-area bedroom community was helped to its eternal reward early Monday morning, courtesy of a mountain lion that slipped into the canine owners’ home and made off with it.

A 15-pound Portuguese Podengo was grabbed from a bedroom in a Pescadero home after the residents reportedly left their French doors partially open for the dog to go outside, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The dog woke its owners around 3 a.m. by “barking aggressively.” A witness told authorities she saw the shadow of an animal come into the room through the French doors, grab the dog from the bed and walk out. When she grabbed a flashlight, she saw “large wet paw prints” near the bedroom’s entrance, and called 911.

When police arrived on scene, they discovered paw prints resembling those of a mountain lion, and notified the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

While certainly unfortunate, I have trouble mustering much sympathy for dogs that bark a great deal after hours, or, more particularly, for people who leave their doors open in the middle of the night.

Some will argue that the dog was making noise because it sensed the mountain lion and was being protective, but the fact remains there are too many dogs that bark continuously, disturbing everyone and their brother.

Perhaps if word gets around on the canine grapevine that mouthing off after hours could result in becoming a mountain lion’s late-night snack, a few pooches will think twice before baying all the livelong day (and night).

I don’t expect people who leave their dogs to bark nonstop to suddenly wise up and begin paying attention to their animals.

As for folks who leave their doors open so they don’t have to be bothered getting up and walking their pets, well, it’s hard to muster much sympathy for the indolent.

14 thoughts on “Pint-sized pooch pays price for owners’ indolence

  1. I think you’re being insensitive about the dog. This is unusual behavior for a cougar. My dog goes out the dog door at night to go to the bathroom.

    • Your dog goes out the *dog* door. You don’t leave your house door open so a large carnivore can help itself to the family pet. Big difference.

      And I think you’re being insensitive to my insensitivity.

  2. This is a pretty fantastic story, made better by your telling of it. Every time my cat escapes, I wish him luck to not be eaten by the foxes and coyotes. While I would be so sad, and feel quite badly if he did get eaten, I wouldn’t blame the fox or the coyote as I did offer the wild creatures whose space I share a rather plump snack.

  3. Lately there has been a large dog yapping very late on the warm nights. We’re short of mountain lions around here so I keep hoping a large coyote tries it’s luck with the large dog. I guess I’m mean.

  4. CB, I just lost my cat last week to a neighbor dog. The dog was probably just being friendly. I have a long history with barking dogs, biting dogs, pooping dogs, dogs that eat cat food, chase chickens, and now, eat cats, too.

    A few years ago, I got rid of some neighbors by driving up their driveway at 2 a.m., horn blaring, and yelling the whole way. Their dog barked constantly, day and night. That particular night was the last straw. Why make a complaint to police, I figured, when banging on the offending neighbor’s door was easier, and no paperwork. The offending dog owner shut the dog up thereafter, and the family soon moved away.

    • I think I’d turn vigilante on that dog, but I tend to take things like that personal.

      I like your solution to the ceaseless barking dog. Nothing gets the point across like a wee bit of the crazies, right?

      • Unfortunately, most men take one of two routes: put up with it like a wimpering sop or simply shoot the dog. Neither are really very good options. A stern but respectful word with a dog’s owner will usually set things straight, if the latter has any courtesy. A woman isn’t always taken seriously, however, particularly if the dog owner is a man, so crazy may be the only thing that works – unfortunately. It got the job done for you, so I applaud you.

      • A reasoned approach worked with another neighbor. I told him over the phone I live here because of peace and quiet. He agreed he likes it, too. He moved the dog indoors, and there have been no problems since.

  5. I also hate dogs that bark constantly — though I’m not sure this one would disturb its neighbors given the location of the house (from the pictures I saw, the home was smack in the middle of woods, well away from neighbors). What I found disturbing is that given this home’s isolated location, amid wildlife no less, that they would leave a door open for the dog to go in and out. I wouldn’t want to leave the door open (a convenient entry point for wild animals), let alone have a small dog outside unsupervised when obvious threats exist. I saw one comment on another article that said something along the lines of, “oh my god, what if it had been a child?? find and kill the mountain lion!” Well, I too am horrified at the idea that it might have been a child and I once again turn to the owners of the dog/parents of the child, not the mountain lion who was simply being a mountain lion — given where you are living, why on earth would you choose to leave doors open, inviting predators (of all sorts) into your home?? Common sense, people. Common sense.

    • I agree; if you’re going to leave your doors open, you’re tacitily inviting whatever’s outside to have at whatever’s inside. And I must say that while I’m am far from being a “helicopter” parent, I find the idea of leaving a door open with a child in the house rather odd.

  6. I appreciate the choices and would hope to leave door closed, as well as not encourage barking!
    This article carrie’s a few sad elements. I only hope to not come face to face with a cougar or mountain. Take it easy!

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