Last night Robb and I wanted to get out and get the dogs some exercise, so we headed up to the Marquam trailhead. We had just crossed over Terwilliger into the woods when i un-hooked Mona's leash to let her cruise the path. Just as she started to trot off, we heard this horrible screeching & yelping coming from behind us. I put Mona's leash back on and ran as fast as I could back down to the road. I was convinced that the animal had been hit by a car. But when i got back down to the road, the traffic was flowing like usual and the sounds from the hurt animal had stopped. We were a bit confused and unsure of what to do, so started back on the trail again. We had made it in to about the same spot as before when we heard a woman far off to our right calling for her dog. My heart dropped to the bottom of my stomach. There I was with our dog that is let off her leash all the time in the woods to run and play at her own freedom. This woman had probably done the same with her own pet. I couldn't imagine what she must have been feeling. She was headed closer to us, so Robb trekked thru the overgrown forest to see what had happened and what we could do to help. She said she was on the same path as us just about to leash her dogs before they got close to the road. The same area where we usually leash Mona. Then her dog Pearl (she had another dog with her Dharma), bolted to the left off the path and disappeared. She said she didn't think she had been hit, b/c no cars had stopped and we all agreed we hadn't heard any screeching tires or anything. She said she thought she had been attacked by something. Her biggest concern was that Pearl wasn't making any noise anymore...
Let me rewind for just a sec. After the woman said this, the first thing that popped into my head was a story our neighbor had told us this past weekend. That she was up on the same trail, the same time of day, around dusk with her dog and a dog she was watching. When she came upon what she thought to be a wolf. Being freaked out, she headed back the way she came and met up with some people on the path. Telling them she just thought she saw a wolf, they informed her that it was most likely a coyote. After returning home she did some research on coyotes in the area and found out that they were usually harmless but did occasionally go after small dogs. Pearl was only about 30 lbs.
It's all i could think of but i didn't mention anything to the woman about it.
It continued to get darker as we scanned the sides of the road, all in the forest and down in gullies. It was hard enough to see where we were walking let alone an injured animal. But we still called whistled and called out to her. Robb and i decided to check over on the other side of Terwilliger, wondering if she had wandered across the road. Nothing. We hadn't heard her in over 20 mins, which was unsettling to all of us. The woman's husband showed up with a flashlight and a whistle. By this point it was completely dark and Robb and I were feeling more like we were in the way than helpful at that point. So we left them and decided to just take the dogs for a walk up the road. On our way back thru, we noticed that their cars had gone from where they were parked. I'm not sure that they found her, I can't think that they did, it was so dark. I just hope she didn't suffer too much.
Anyone who lives in our area, please be aware if you are up there at that time of day with a smaller dog. Here's some info: