by Carol Dunn
When we first moved here, we only had a small terrier dog. She was as brave as a little dog can be, since even a large squirrel could consume her in one meal. So imagine our fright one evening when we heard her yipping and yarking for dear life. Our first thought was that a coyote had grabbed her and was making off with his prize. We scrambled to the front door and found her cowering there, facing down not a coyote, not a wolf, not a badger, not a bear, but a DEER. This vicious night stalker had climbed up on the porch to get her. Having grown up in the country, I thought I knew a fair amount about wildlife. I had absolutely no idea that Huerfano deer were bloodthirsty, carnivorous beasts, but here was the proof. This deer was going to eat our dog. We foiled its heinous plan, however – and got the evil eye in return – when we opened the door and rescued the terrified, spastic terrier.
In Pennsylvania, where I grew up, it was absolutely forbidden for a dog to chase a deer. This was an offense punishable by banishment to Siberia forever. Since there are about a million deer in my home state (I am not making that up), there is a lot of temptation for rural dogs. I can only imagine the disastrous consequences if the tables were turned. Let’s say we turned a million of our vicious Huerfano deer loose in Pennsylvania. You’d have deer chasing the dogs, which is highly in violation of IBOD (International Brotherhood of Dogs) regulations. You’d have deer chasing cars. You’d have deer chasing hunters out of the woods. Pandemonium would ensue.
But here in Huerfano, we’ve adjusted pretty well to our vicious deer population. I’m not sure how many Huerfano deer actually catch dogs. Or, worse, how many dogs suffer the humiliation of being bitten by deer. It’s so embarrassing, the dogs are not talking. And if the deer brag about it outside Huerfano County, none of the other animals believe them anyway. Apparently some of our deer occasionally travel to exotic locations, because two deer attacks have been reported in the past couple years: one in Colorado Springs this past May and another one in Florissant in October, 2009. Of course in both cases, the women were trying to poke out the deer’s eyes – oh wait a minute, the reports say “pet the deer.” We’re not sure how a deer knows someone is going to pet it instead of poking out its eyes though. And recently, a rut-crazed buck in La Veta had to be tranquilized and banished to Siberia. Anyway, stay clear of the deer. And keep your terriers inside at night. You never know what’s lurking in the dark.