Thanks for all the good wishes. I think that Shyla is on the mend. It seems that she ate something outdoors that made her very sick. Based on x-rays, the vet does not think that it will cause a blockage but we are feeding a high volume bland diet to try to push the rest of it through her. She is still not quite herself but she had more energy today, probably because she was hydrated with saline solution yesterday afternoon.
And, my migraine has abated. I think it was caused by not getting much sleep when Shyla was so sick on Thursday night. I feel almost back to normal today.
So, after all that excitement, you'd think we might have had a dull day today, right? Well, no. But the story is still evolving.
When we arrived home from the vet last night, we took a quick sunset hike. It was a pretty sunset, as the clouds from incoming storms hovered over the Divide.
Then, we walked home from the lookout point, with both dogs on leash. We passed a trail camera just behind our house at about 8 PM. Then, at 8:22 PM, a doe that was in the last minutes of her life passed the same camera.
When Shyla and I headed out this morning, we found that the doe had been killed by a mountain lion near the camera where that photo was taken. It was a classic scene - the lion had first removed the intestines and the rumen. Then he'd removed most of the deer's body fur. After those steps, he ate a lot of meat but there was still a fair bit left this morning.
I immediately went to the trail cameras near our house, none of which I'd checked in a while. The lion did not appear on them last night. I'm guessing that he hunted from above the doe, which is also above our house and cameras.
But, I did discover that a mountain lion went past them on 4/13. That makes sense because the elk herd was near our house from about 4/12-4/14. I've had trail cams near our house for at least 6 years, with no photos of lions passing them. Consequently, seeing a photo of a lion so close to our house shocked me.
Here he is, approaching our clearing on 4/13.
And, then he walked within about 15 yards of our house. We were asleep so all the lights were out.
Seeing that photo made my heart beat a little faster. Because I've never documented a lion in our clearing, I tend to feel a little safer there. Not anymore.
This morning, I pointed a trail camera at the deer carcass, hoping to get photos of the lion. I do know that the carcass was dragged about 15 yards between when I first saw it and when I put up a trail camera near it a little later. That makes me think that this lion isn't far away.
I'm very glad that our dogs were on leash last night. We always leash them when the world gets dusky. I'm thankful for that habit because there is little doubt that the lion was hunting near us during our hike last evening.
It's yet another example of how lions are very focused on their normal prey - deer and elk. Thank goodness for that!