SWAN VALLEY, Idaho - Living right next to the mountains has its perks, but it also comes with its fair share of danger. One Swan Valley man and his pet had a close encounter over the weekend with one very big cat.
Lynn Dixon has lived in Swan Valley for 26 years, the first time he saw a mountain lion was Friday ? with his Yorkie, Sammy, in tow.
?I ran over there, as fast as I could go,? said Dixon. ?I got over there and I kicked her, tried to get her to let go of the dog. I started chasing her toward the river. I lost my balance and fell into the river then I looked around and saw the dog lying 4 or 5 feet away from me in the shallow part of the river.?
Sammy miraculously survived.
?She's got puncture wounds to her forehead and damage to her left leg,? said Dixon. ?She went through a lot of trauma but I tell ya she's a tough little dog.?
There are still signs of a struggle here where the lion jumped over the fence with the dog in her mouth. And while what Dixon did was incredibly heroic, it was also very dangerous.
?Even though your first instinct might be to get between the two of them it's the last thing you should do,? said Gregg Losinski.
?If I'd have thought I wouldn't have chased the cat, it's that simple,? said Dixon. ?But you don't think, you just try to save your dog.?
Mountain lion sitings are not unusual, especially near the mountains.
?Mountain lions are felines so they often act like your house cats, they like to sun themselves, they like to get up on a wood pile maybe,? said Losinski.
If you do find a cat on your porch: ?the term 'Fraidy Cat' applies even to mountain lions,? said Losinski. ?They don't want to mess with people, if you get out there and start yelling at it generally it'll run of.?
And after Lynn's close encounter, he's just grateful.
?For what she went through, it really is a miracle,? said Dixon.
If you do take actions into your own hands and kill a mountain lion in self defense, be sure to report it to Idaho Fish and Game immediately.