Charging moose turns pet owner into 'crazy doggie momma' on St. John's trail

Penny Fifield says a walk with her two dogs on a familiar St. John's trail had an unexpected — and terrifying — ending after a moose aggressively chased her pets. 

"It went after one dog first ...[the moose] was trying to pound it with its hooves," said Fifield, who has taken her dogs along the Three Pond Barrens trail dozens of times in the past. 

Upon seeing her dogs, Fifield said, the moose's ears went back and its head went down.

"That's what scared me the most," said Fifield, whose two Maltese shih tzu dogs each weigh about 20 pounds. 

"It went crazy after the dogs."

Fifield said she started screaming at the dogs — Rami and Moka — to come to her, but the large animal didn't retreat. 

"I turned into crazy doggie momma because I didn't want my dogs injured or hurt, or killed even, at that point," she told CBC's St. John's Morning Show.

Fifield recounted it was then that the moose started charging at her, in addition to her dogs, so she ran into the woods and hid behind the biggest tree she could find. 

"But it kept trying to come through the trees after us ... and [when] I thought it was done, that it was just fed up with us, it turned to walk away from us and then it decided, "I'm not letting this go' and it charged  back at us again through the trees," she said.

Eventually, the moose retreated a bit farther down the trail and Fifield was able to get her dogs unharmed to her vehicle. 

Who's intruding on who? 

Three Pond Barrens is a popular trail in Pippy Park in St. John's that residents use for hiking, biking, snowshoeing and off-leash dog-walking. Ski trails are also popular in the area in winter. 

Fifield said she wants people to know the moose encounter didn't happen deep in the woods, but near the start of the trail. She reported the incident, but is unsure if anything came of it.

"Do something that the public could at least be safe going in and coming out of there," Fifield said when asked what she would like to see done. 

But some people have taken to Twitter to argue they don't think there is much action to take.

Others who said they have frequented the same trail empathize with Fifield.

For her part, Fifield said her dogs are "best kind" after the terrifying ordeal, and said she will continue to use the trails.

"I have not encountered anything like that in all my years of going up there and I've been hiking and biking and skiing and snowshoeing that area for close to 30 years," said Fifield.

"It was pretty scary, I got to tell you."