An 8-year-old chihuahua named Spits is recovering after he faced off against a mountain lion 10 days ago.
“It’s so hard to believe it’s really happening," said Laurie Cullum, Spits' owner. "I thought, 'Oh that doesn’t happen to people like me who are so familiar with the outdoors.'”
Cullum said she was walking on a familiar trail near her neighborhood on August 28 when she heard Spits crying behind her. When she turned around she saw Spits on the trail covered in blood, and a mountain lion running away.
“I had to make a decision right there,” Cullum said. “Is he going to be able to live like this? Or can I try and save his life?”
Cullum knew she couldn’t leave Spits there, so she scooped him up, stopped the bleeding, and took him to Durango Animal Hospital where Dr. Charles Hawman treated him.
“The vet thought he had a chance and brought him home to his own house for 2 nights in a row to care for him throughout the night,” Cullum said.
Spits had puncture wounds to the neck and head. The mountain lion’s teeth went through the dog’s sinus and inner ear canals, which resulted in some balance issues for Spits. Now he's also blind in one eye.
“He’s not the same dog for sure, but he’s alive and walking in straight lines now,” Cullum said. “Initially the first week he could only walk in circles.”
Durango Animal Hospital was not able to say how long Spits’ recovery process will be, but Cullum and her family are just happy to have their best friend back.
CPW has since put up warning signs in the Durango neighborhood.