What Did We See?

Since I normally walk the dogs at 4:30 in the morning, we routinely  run across deer, raccoons and possums.  Some mornings I can hear hoot owls calling each other.  But this morning as we topped a hill, there at the bottom of the hill standing very still watching us was a fairly large animal.  The animal had a large full tail that curved down to the ground.  It had its’ left front leg lifted as if it was in mid stride when it spotted us.  I could tell it was brown in color.  Not a real dark brown and not a tan color either.  The head was squat and did not have a pointed snout like a dog.  But it could have been a dog.  The animal had large powerful looking legs.  It wasn’t a deer.  It wasn’t tall enough and deer don’t have long tails.

The dogs stood very still with their ears at attention, and watched the animal with their whole being.  You know how you can tell when a dog is totally fixated on something.  None of the three dogs moved a muscle toward it.   That’s why I not so sure it was a dog.  After an eternity, maybe fifteen seconds, the animal gave us a final look and walked quietly away into the dark wooded area at the bottom of the hill. 

Did we see a dog or maybe just maybe we saw a mountain lion?