Friday, February 20, 2015

Ryder Lake News

Rock of the Westies

Little dog wasn't about to be dinner for a famished bobcat

Staff/Submitted photo


Wallace the Westie tangled with some of the local wildlife in Ryder Lake and lived to tell the tale.


o most, Friday the 13th is known as an unlucky day. To Wallace the Westie, it's now a lucky day. Lucky because he valiantly fought off a deadly attack from a hungry bobcat that wanted dinner and wasn't taking no for an answer.

Wallace the Brave, as he is now known to his owners Afton and Pat, were all living happily up in Ryder Lake until that dark and rainy night when the feisty Westie had his fateful encounter.

It was around dinner time when the couple noticed their family dog was missing. Curious, they went out to look for him and ended up searching in vain for hours, but could find no trace of their beloved Westie.

"Wallace, Wallace," they called. But despite searching for four hours in the rain, there was no sign of him. It was all they could do for the night.

"Early the next morning we were astounded to find a blood soaked, severely injured little Wally on our deck," said Afton in an email to The Voice. "We were astounded to find the blood-soaked and severely injured little Wally on our deck."

They rushed him to their very capable veterinarian who preformed miraculous surgery on the dog's gaping wounds.

"Three hours of surgery by the amazing Dr. Kuldeep Chahal of Cheam View Veterinary Hospital and hands on nursing has brought our little fella through. Looks like he will make it," she said. "We are most grateful to Dr.Chahal who set aside time from a busy Saturday schedule and used his fine surgical his skills to save our pet's life."

Afton was mad at that a rogue bobcat almost killed her little guy. She wanted that cat in no uncertain terms. So she called the Wildlife Conservation office to see about a speedy execution.

After her conversation, Afton felt that perhaps on the scale of things, that "pets are not as important as livestock."

"Could it be that Wallace the wonder dog was a second class citizen in the animal world?" she asked herself. "How could that be possible? My Westie is a Registered purebred and expensive dog."

That's capital Westie with a capital W.

"The fellow (officer) I spoke with yesterday, said there are no records of bobcats attacking humans. Chickens, goats, sheep and small deer yes," she said.

Afton was told at the time that apparently due to the overwhelming number of bear and cougar complaints, and the strained resources, and low manpower, Wildlife Officers do not respond to coyote and bobcat complaints.

She says they have to be more vigilant when it comes to wildlife and our pets.

"The message I want our community to hear is that it is our responsibility to be vigilant when living with/amoung the wild animals. Watch our children, pets and livestock closely and do not become complacent."

The best part of this story is that somehow the gravely wounded diminutive dog made it and is back home recovering nicely.

And Ryder Lake has their new Mel Gibson.

Dorothy, another Ryder Lake resident, has run-ins with the area's wildlife, but she has some help.

"Bobcats are protected and they are endangered, just like the bald eagles. The last few years they can become a royal pain. I personally love watching them," she said in an email. "Even though I am a falconer, I am however starting to detest the bald eagles."

She says the bald eagles are snatching new born lambs and taking them up a couple hundred feet and dropping them onto the road.

But Dorothy has a secret weapon. And like Wallace, he's a pure bred. A Jack Daniel with a capital J, and he doesn't let the eagles get away with that on his shift.

"The only reason the eagle dropped this one is we have trained our Jack Russell to chase them out of our lambing field," she says.

Like Afton, Dorothy reigns herself to the fact that Ryder Lake has a plethora of wildlife that they have to co-exist with.

"What can I say, we live in an area that is full of wildlife and more beautiful for it." explains Dorothy.

She wants to try using cats to chase away other pests like skunks and raccoon, and also has success using mothballs to help ward off the critters.

"Puncture a few coffee cans, fill with mothballs, put the lid back on and put out at the corners of the areas that the pests frequent. The smell will last about two weeks."

Update:  We are sad to announce that our brave Wallace died Sunday evening. He had spent two days at the hospital with Dr. Chahal trying to clear out the dead tissue and infection to allow for fresh growth and blood flow . I took him home around 6:00pm on Sunday and an hour later he went into shock, had a seizure and died. Wally had massive wounds to his throat and infection had set in. We all tried our best to save him during the past week, including the brave struggle he also put forth. With not enough resources to fall back on, the vet felt the infection must have won out by going to his brain. It looks like Wally surely had stood his ground and protected his companion Lucy who sustained only one puncture wound to her back. Knowing Wally, I know that he stood his ground and fought bravely.

These days our hearts are hurting badly. For almost six years, Wallace had given us great companionship,  fun and love. What a joyful, happy guy as he embraced each day! He loved jumping up on the patio doors with absolute muddy feet just to announce that he was ready to come in for dinner or go for a walk! He was one of those dogs who smiled and gave air kisses/love nips. We will miss our wonderful, loving little friend.



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