A sculptured cougar is one of a pair poised on pedestals outside Washington State University's Beasley Coliseum. The sculptures are by Avard T. Fairbanks.

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In the unending battle between mascots, Huskies and Cougars, I’ve always preferred the husky, that most beautiful of all dogs, simply because my wife and I rescued one from the pound and enjoyed her company for almost a dozen years.

Husky owners endlessly trade stories at the off-leash park about misdeeds. Ours ate the interior of an Accord down to the wires. His consumed kitchen drywall already in place.

Bad dog. I mean BAD DAWG.

Cougar stories are another matter.

I’ve seen one in the wilds once, crossing Highway 395 north of Burns in Eastern Oregon at dusk. A really big cat, it effortlessly vaulted the road shoulder up a 10-foot embankment and out of sight. Silent power.

Then there was that time last spring outside Beasley Coliseum on the Washington State University campus. The evening was bathed in purple and gold, and I had a sense of being watched.

High atop a column crouched their mascot, a lean, muscular cat, unblinking, wide-eyed, ready to pounce.

Huskies beware.