This is the photo of himself James Hetfield sent to Dee Gallant after contacting her about Metallica’s music saving her from a volatile situation with a cougar. (Photo submitted)

Metallica lead singer glad to be a life-saver for Chemainus woman

Heavy metal song that scares away cougar drawing world-wide attention

Word travels fast in today’s world.

The story about the Chemainus woman who cranked up a Metallica tune on her phone to scare away a cougar recently while on a walk with her dog on a logging road south of Duncan has been picked up by news agencies and specialty websites and channels around the world.

CNN. Fox News. Global. Billboard. They’ve all been in contact with Dee Gallant as well as countless others on an ongoing basis since the story broke after she posted a video on her Facebook page showing her standoff with a cougar. A quick flip through her iTunes to the loud hit ‘Don’t Tread Of Me’ and the big cat went scurrying away.

You just knew Metallica was going to hear about the incident.

“The artist liaison messaged me and asked if she could give my contact information to the band,” said Gallant.

That was early Friday and by the afternoon Metallica lead singer James Hetfield, who just happened to be on the eve of his 56th birthday celebration the next day, was on the phone to Gallant.

“Like he needed an introduction,” chuckled Gallant. “I said, ‘how do I know it’s really you?’”

Hetfield texted a photo of himself after the call just to eliminate the doubt.

Gallant said they had a pleasant conversation for a few minutes, talking about the Cowichan Valley, dogs and, of course, the story that’s garnered world-wide attention and connected the two of them.

“He said he saw on one post you wanted to know we saved your life so I’m calling to let you know we’re glad we saved your life,” Gallant related of Hetfield’s remarks.

Everything about this experience has been surreal for Gallant. Receiving the call from Hetfield was the icing on the cake.

“I was hoping, definitely,” said Gallant about hearing from him.

“I was super excited. It’s so amazing he reached out like that.”

Gallant’s friends are all expecting she’ll hear from Ellen DeGeneres or Jimmy Kimmel for some television appearances as the logical next step in the saga.

More than two weeks since this all started, the calls keep coming day and night at work and at home.

“My boss has been pretty understanding,” Gallant praised.

She’s continually surprised how this story has captured the imagination of so many people and garnered such interest.

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