My eight year old and fifteen year old sons and I had a near wild animal encounter today at Notch hill. Approximately half way around and exhausted from running we heard the crackling of tree branches in the bushes. I stopped and turned towards the noise. I stood there screaming loudly, and deep as if I were a man! I told my sons to come close to me. I was prepping myself to jump on this animal and fight. Within seconds I envisioned me protecting my children, I was ready to be attacked while attacking, thinking to go for the animals eyes. It was a weird few moments of thought. My eight year old was crying. My fifteen year old was stating he was having a heart attack. It was minutes of preparing to kill or be killed. The animal was huge, light brown in color and was moving fast, straight towards us. Once I had a better glimpse of the animal, I screamed even louder....it was only steps away from us. I thought for sure there was going to be a boxing match. Then it turned to the right while running off into the forest. Chasing after it was a dog. It was so scared it didn't even see us. My older son starting yelling at me, "Mom, you almost gave me a heart attack!" My poor eight year old sobbing was glued to my side. While finishing our journey through Notch Hill I explained that I saved our lives. It doesn't matter if it wasn't a cougar. What matters is, we stood our ground, and we frightened the animal towards a different direction. I asked, "Haven't you watched those deer attack clips off of YouTube!?" They can be vicious! One kick to your face, you will be scarred for life! All kidding aside, we didn't notice it was a deer until it was almost on our footsteps. It was scary and what it made me realize was even when we weren't prepared for an attack, my adrenaline kicked in, and with some common sense to remain calm; while screaming and acting like a crazy giant ready to kill, it was exactly what I needed to do. Our wild animal encounter was accomplished safely except for my sore throat! While finishing Notch Hill we ran into the owner of the dog. She asked us if we knew what all that noise was about.....I was hesitant to explain, then I said, "We were screaming at a deer thinking it was a cougar racing towards its prey, my eight year old" Then she said she knew me. She was my moms neighbour. If my mother doesn't think I'm crazy now, she might after hearing how I startled her neighbour on Notch Hill! The three of us all started laughing hysterically. Especially me. I should have known how a deer runs through the bushes, crackling every branch like a clumsy ox while a cat is so quiet and stealthy. Regardless, better ready then sorry... the next time it might not be a dog chasing a deer, it could be a cougar.