Did I Ever Tell You The Story...

... about when a mountain lion ate my dog?

You see...
 my parents live in Dallas, Texas. 

Right smack dab in the middle of the city.

I grew up five minutes from the Galleria,
but the plot of land I grew up on
sits on a giant flood plain 
that (by law) can't ever be developed.

A creek extends through the plain
 creating some gorgeous ravines and
offering some untouched relief from the busy metroplex.

But here's the thing:

As this city grows bigger and denser,
this forgotten area is becoming a bit of a wildlife shelter.

Coyotes are constantly cruising the field,
bobcats and their babies are always tumbling in the hedges,
and snakes slither their way into our pool in the summer heat.

No big deal, right?


But everything took a turn for the worst
when we returned from Italy last year 
to the shocking news that our yorkie-poo, Winston, 
had been eaten on my parents back porch 
by a mountain lion.

a. mountain. lion.

{also know as a "cougar"}
I agree. Winston WAS the cutest thing ever.

No one was quite sure what had happened 
until a tracker, sent by the city, 
found it's enormously huge and scary paw prints
in the flower beds by the pool.

Obviously, we were devastated.

I got a phone call upon landing at O'Hare
and proceed to sob pathetically after hearing the news
{like, the snotty, gasping, ugly kind}
all the way home to Dallas.

A year and half later,
 I'm okay.

To be honest- 
I have no clue how I would exist in England 
taking care of a dog right now.

But even that journey of self-healing couldn't prepare me 
to find THIS at my feet last night
while chatting on the back porch.

A tarantula?

Sick. Ew. Gross. Blech.

Is a tarantula better or worse than a mountain lion?

I really don't know,
but I do know this:

England is free of natural disasters and poisonous animals.

Take me home, country roads.

*all photos original to Aspiring Kennedy


  1. Seriously!! Everything really is bigger in Texas. A mountain lion! I would have said only in Africa but even something like that has never happened to us (although my cousins dogs were often taken by crocs! Oh actually come to think of it they might have lost a horse to a lion...) Phew time to get back to safehaven England..safe travels.

  2. That is CRAZY! And scary and sad! You know the tarantula-4G phone commercial on tv? I would be the screaming redhead. Totally.

  3. Oh my nightmare- both lion and tarantula stories are horrible- so sorry about your sweet pooch:( Definitely time to go back to England!

  4. Oh my goodness!!! That is SO sad! I'm originally from Missouri (my family still lives there) and two times a year or so we get news that there have been bobcat sightings. It makes me SO nervous because our dogs just roam the farm and the land! I'm so sorry for you and your parents loss - how awful :(

    And that spider...YIKES. Pretty sure I would have peed my pants.

  5. Just seeing a picture of that tarantula makes me shiver! So sorry about your adorable pup :(

  6. Oh my gosh!!! That's crazy! Once we had a black bear come down from the mountains and roam our tiny town... we were scared to let your dogs out for that very reason!

  7. lauren that is so sad. but i'm 100% certain winston and murphy are best friends now up in poodle puppy (and cougar-free) heaven.

    and please keep the scary spiders in your part of Big D. there shall be none in preston hollow. i decree.

  8. that is a horrible thing to happen!! he was cute!! my pug's name is winston. :) ummm....i got bit by a spider the other night on my thumb. it bit me twice. but, i would have screamed like a child at the sight of that tarantula. we have quite the wildlife here...deer prancing around, wild turkeys walking across driveways, bobcats, wild boar...the first week we moved out here i was driving home on I-35 behind a huge truck that had Bambi's dad tied up in the back (tied by it's antlers), it's hair blowing in the wind. i cried. i hate the country. it wasn't hunting season either.

  9. holy moly that spider is HUGE! and i am SO sorry about your pup. he was SO cute. i recently found out that our doggie (my parents jack russell of 14yrs) never returned home the other night... my parents live on a farm in IL so they think that a coyote got her :( UGH so sad.. anyways i feel your pain lady. xoxo jillian:: cornflake dreams

  10. Goodness. I live in Scotland and have always wanted to move to the US but I'm not sure that I'm made of strong enough mettle. That is so upsetting about your dog, it must have been heartbreaking.

  11. So sorry to hear about your doggie! I don't know what I'd do if this happened to one of mine. So sad! He was just darling!

  12. NOOOOOOO! Okay, that is one nasty spider. And your puppy? Oh my heart just goes out to him. Sniff. So sad.

  13. Lauren, my heart breaks for you! How sad that must have been. I grew up in the mid-cities between DFW and I remember ginormo scorpions...yeesh. :/

  14. I think I'd prefer the lion, at least you can see it come up on you!!

    One of your visits we need to hook up!!

  15. Oh my gosh.. so sorry to hear about your pup :( And yikes! about the tarantula... Glad to see you have it under control though!


  16. Sorry to hear about your little dog!! I know the feeling of losing a pet, it's devastating.

    Things I do not miss about living in central TX (I grew up in Austin): opening the backdoor and finding possums on the deck; raccoons digging through your trash; deer eating your lawn; scorpions in your shoes at summer camp.

    Things I do miss: the sound of locusts in the summer; lightning bugs; the hill country.

  17. I thought I lived in a little wilderness...deer, turkeys, bunnies, birds and the occassional coyote tumble through. But, this is beyond!!!

    I can't believe what happened to you little pup....I would fall apart if a wild animal got a hold of Molly.

    But, a tarantula....head on back to England as fast as you can! Safe travels, Lauren. I DO hope you had a marvelous visit!!!

    xoxo Elizabeth

  18. OH, that is so devastating about your dog. Poor little guy. You must have been sick over it, and yes, he was a cutie. Ugh, spiders.. even the small ones are nasty! On, the other hand, it must have been a wonderful place to grow up! xo


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