Will Gibb says he didn't realize it was a cougar that had caught his beloved pet husky by the neck until after he pummelled the wild animal in the head.
"I wasn't really analyzing it too much at the time," Gibb said. "All that was going through my mind is that I had to protect my dog.
"It was just very instinctual. My dogs are like my children."
The Red Deer man was meeting a friend for coffee at the Whitecourt Tim Hortons on Dec. 26, when he let his two dogs Sasha and Mongo out into the parking lot for a short run.
Within seconds, he said he heard Sasha, the female of the pair, start yelping.
A cougar had emerged from the woods nearby and pounced, he said.
"She (Sasha) was crying out in pain and distress so I went running," said Gibb, a 31-year-old technician. "And I saw something wrapped around her so I ran up and punched it in the side of the head.