This past Sunday, Cary Leppert was out on a hike in Colorado’s Mount Evans Wilderness along his Labradoodle named Tieg, and a friend, when suddenly the trio encountered a mountain lion. On instinct Tieg darted towards the wild animal. Luckily the two quadrupeds did not engage in a fatal match and both humans and dog were able to leave the woods unharmed.
“I hear a scream and instantaneously I knew it was mountain lion,” Leppert told Denver Local CBS News. “It was a roar — really loud like a scream. And in front of him I see Tieg darting through the trees and they were like within three feet of each other. He was just full of speed.”
The concerned dog owner yelled after his dog for the pet to retrieve. At that moment the mountain lion crouched as if getting ready to attack.
“He was crouched down and he would hiss,” said Leppert.
The dog owner and his friend spent the next 10 minutes taking pictures and video tapping the wild animal. Tieg eventually obeyed his owner’s call-back command and the three left the wilderness.
Leppert says he wasn’t scared and never feared for his life, but it wasn’t until that Sunday’s night that he realized how close he and his dog were to danger.
“It just really hit me, I was almost shaking on Sunday night thinking that I could have lost Tieg,” Leppert said. “Two feet and he would have been dead. I could have ran up there and gotten killed.”
Fortunately, this was not the outcome of this wild encounter. Leppert says from now on Tieg will be leashed on all future hikes.