Dee Gallant and her husky Murphy. (Photo submitted)

Dee Gallant and her husky Murphy. (Photo submitted)

Cougar not a fan of Metallica, Cowichan Valley woman discovers

Tune from her playlist clears the path while walking dog in south Cowichan

Metallica’s Don’t Tread On Me is already on Dee Gallant’s Favourites playlist.

Now, it’s clearly at the top of the list after playing the first few notes of the song on her phone scared off a cougar in her sights.

Gallant, who’s from Chemainus, was walking her husky dog Murphy July 23 on a logging road south of Duncan when they encountered a cougar.

“I just had the feeling I was being watched,” she said. “I looked over to the right and there he was.

”I stopped and looked at him and he didn’t stop. I looked at him and said, ‘hey, you, stop it’ and he stopped. That’s when I started filming.”

She continued video-taping for what seemed like several minutes and it became a staredown after that.

Gallant can be heard on the video barking out instructions to make the big cat go away. “Get out of here.” “Bad kitty.” “Go on, get.” “I’ll fight you.”

But none of it worked so she pulled out the heavy artillery – the heavy metal version, at least.

“I quickly rifled through my iTunes and found Metallica ‘Don’t Tread On Me’,” she explained. “As soon as it started to play, he buggered off into the bush.

”I guess he didn’t want to eat anything that leaves a Metallica taste in his mouth,” Gallant joked.

Through it all, “I wasn’t scared,” she said.

Her dog Murphy didn’t even flinch or bark. Gallant doesn’t think Murphy even saw the cougar which she’s thinking is a good thing in hindsight so it didn’t become more agitated.

“As soon as he turned sideways, I saw how big he was,” she added.

Gallant made the decision to carry on after the encounter, but didn’t come across the cougar again.

“I had just started my walk, I went a couple of more kilometres in and turned around and came back,” she indicated.

Gallant has been inundated with calls from the media to tell her story about a new method for frightening cougars.

“It’s not the first time I’ve seen one,” she said. “It’s the first time I’ve seen one that long.”

There’s no word yet on whether Metallica has heard about it and might write a song about using its music for warding off cougars.

The experience has Gallant thinking a Wildlife playlist might be in order, with maybe some selections from John Cougar Mellencamp, Def Leppard and the Stray Cats – just to name a few.

Gallant is a regular player in the annual Georgina Falt Memorial Mind Games Music Trivia tournament in Duncan, organized by Don Bodger of Black Press as a benefit for the Alzheimer Society of B.C.