Elmer & Emma

Elmer and his gal, Emma Emu, came walking down the creek on August 11th, 2000. Apparently they were abandoned by somebody who tried emu farming and failed. So we gave them a home.

They were nice animals, but the cougar got them. He chased them so that they jumped the fence and ran away, pursued by the cougar, who was in turn pursued by the dogs. The cougar lay low for a few hours, the dogs gave up, and then he moved in on Emma and got her. The dogs came back and chased him away before he could eat her.

We responded by tightening up all the fences to make sure the Elmo couldn't get out. Somehow, we still don't know how, he got out on Christmas Eve. That night the cougar caught him and mauled him badly, but Elmo somehow got away. When we found him, he had a big hole in his side, with internal organs exposed. We figured he was a goner, but we took him back to the barn, put him in a stall with clean straw, and soaked him down in topical antibiotics. I went out every day and cleaned and dressed that bird's wounds for weeks. Miracle of miracles, he made it!

After a month, he was well enough that we released him back into the pasture. Then I went on a business trip. One day in December, 2002, while Kathy was away from home, the neighbor dogs joined up with my dogs and they killed Elmo. More than two dogs, and you've got a pack, and they operate on different rules. They didn't realize they had done anything wrong; when Kathy got home and went over to look for Elmo, she found Moose standing over his body, looking at Kathy, wagging his tail. "Look what I did, Mom!" Moose isn't too swift.