200 Words with Paul Dini #5 – Cougar Hunting With Retarded Dogs

March 13, 2008

The best of the lot was a black Labrador with three legs. The other dogs included a golden retriever with one eye, a hyperactive puppy, a delicately coiffed French poodle and an obese St. Bernard.

I was fourteen when a cougar moved onto a friend’s ranch and started killing stock. Rather than risk more losses waiting for an experienced lion hunter, we decided to take care of the marauder ourselves with the ranch’s own dogs.

At dawn we loaded our rifles and set out on the trail with our team hobbling, staggering, yowling, flouncing and huffing behind us. The St. Bernard passed out after half a mile. The retriever got into a fight with a porcupine and nearly lost his other eye. The puppy refused to stop barking until the ranch foreman carried it. The poodle fell into a briar patch where the combination of his poofy fur and the briar’s thorns acted like nature’s Velcro to hold him fast. The three-legged Lab hobbled around whining with disgust at everyone else.

The next day a Ranger told us he had seen a cougar running from our place back up into the high country. He swore he had heard it laughing. 


Paul Dini is the Emmy and Eisner Award winning writer of Batman: The Animated Series,Superman: The Animated Series, Detective Comics, Countdown among many, many other things. You can find him online at either kingofbreakfast.livejournal.com or http://www.jinglebelle.com/.


  1. When I saw the title was about Cougar hunting I thought it was about hot older women picking up unsuspecting geeks.  🙂

    In all seriousness, I love these 200 word journal-like entries


    the Tiki 

  2. ha thats hilarious.  Good to come home to stuff like this to read after a long night of work.  THanks paul dini


  3. Fourteen, and fearless. Going after a cougar with a trio of handicapped pooches, that’s a ballsy move.

  4. This my fav artcle on the ifanboy site (sorry ifanboys).  This one the funnyest short storys i read. 🙂 

  5. "I was fourteen when a cougar moved onto a friend’s ranch and started killing stock."

    An often unreported symptom of menopause.  

  6. I think about how it much have been a much more innocent time when a 14 year old and a group of dogs thought they could track and kill a dangerous animal.  Today, 14 year olds can often be more scary than cougars.

  7. this made me giggle…. not a little … ALOT

    and I was having a pretty rough morning prior to this…


    Thanks for these 

  8. Great article. Short but sweet. I use to help a friend walk his pair of labradors in our nearby woods. Their energetic stupidity and the fact that no tree branch or rock was ever too big for them to try and drag home, never failed to amuse us.

  9. Great article sir. This one was hilarious.

  10. I’m trying to picture a porcupine taking on a retriever.  This will now lead to a youtube search that is sure to disturb me.