By Raetta Holdman

Evergreen Elks Gone Wild

Elk mating season can bring majestic images but the aggressive behavior can also pose dangers. One deputy in Jefferson County found out first hand in September when a bull elk charged her patrol car near the soccer fields at Evergreen High School. The deputy scared the elk away by turning on the lights and sirens.

The damage done by a bull elk to a Jeffco Sheriff's Office deputy's car (credit: CBS)

The damage done by a bull elk to a Jeffco Sheriff’s Office deputy’s car (credit: CBS)

Then there’s the story of the curious elk and the wine bottle. The elk tipped back the big cab before tossing the bottle aside.

(credit: Lori Vina Guelich)

(credit: Lori Vina Guelich)

Proof They Are Truly Man’s Best Friends

A lightning strike in June hit Mount Bierdstadt while 15 people were on the mountain. Three ended up in the hospital, including a man who believes his German shepherd saved his life. Seven-month-old Rambo was with his owner Jonathan Hardman when lightning struck him in his head. Hardman believes the electricity also went through Rambo, saving his life. Weeks later, Hardman ended up adopting one of Rambo’s little brothers. He named that little guy Blitz, which is German for lightning.

Jonathan Hardman (credit: CBS)

Jonathan Hardman (credit: CBS)

Flying can be stressful, even in the best of times. That’s why Denver International Airport officials invited comfort dogs to the concourses. There’s no set schedule for the 28 dogs and their handlers but they visit the airport about three times a month.

Pet therapy program dogs at DIA (credit: CBS)

Pet therapy program dogs at DIA (credit: CBS)

And how about Boozer? He disappeared from his family’s home in Tennessee in 2006. He turned up at the Table Mountain Animal Shelter in August. And boy was he glad to see his family!

Boozer (credit: CBS)

Boozer (credit: CBS)

Or maybe this is about how much we love our dogs? A woman in Highlands Ranch leapt into action to save her dog from a coyote by punching it in the face.

Nettie Blanco and her dog Sammy (credit: CBS)

Nettie Blanco and her dog Sammy (credit: CBS)

Talk About Crazy Cat Lady!

Service animals made lots of news, including one involving an international model, a cat and a diverted flight. A pilot diverted a flight heading from Las Vegas to Frankfurt to Denver because model Zaneta Hucikova allegedly made scene, demanding access to her comfort cat. This story even involved F-16s.

The woman on the Condor Airlines flight (credit: CBS)

The woman on the Condor Airlines flight (credit: CBS)

How ‘Bout Them Bears?

Every year brings a round of stories involving bears and humans. Unfortunately 2015 included two stories about humans shooting bears after encounters near their homes. The case against a man in Fort Collins was dropped but a man in Evergreen still faces charges. In Colorado it is illegal to kill wildlife to protect a pet.

BEAR SHOT FORT COLLINS mapEVERGREEN BEARS SHOT map

And we had more reminders of just how determined and destructive bears can be when they want to get to food. Residents of one Boulder neighborhood watched as a family of bears played in a yard but in other cases those bears got into vehicles, ripping them to shreds.

(credit: Christa Mayer)

(credit: Christa Mayer)

But who can resist a hungry cub looking for a bite to eat? Like the one that ended up in a pizza parlor in Colorado Springs?

(credit: Mike Steckley)

(credit: Mike Steckley)

Or maybe the bear who went looking for a drink in Estes Park?

A black bear wandered into Lonigan's Bar in Estes Park (credit: Daniel Lyell)

A black bear wandered into Lonigan’s Bar in Estes Park (credit: Daniel Lyell)

And Finally The Case Of The Big Cat Versus The Little Cat … And The Husband In Hot Water

Tom Mabe posted a YouTube video of a mountain lion and the family’s pet cat in staring contest through the deck door window. When his wife asks, “Where are the kids?” he replies, “Out back.” His wife was not amused.

(credit: Tom Mabe)

(credit: Tom Mabe)

RELATED: Top Colorado News Stories Of 2015 | Top Colorado Sports Stories Of 2015

Raetta Holdman is a veteran newscast producer. She’s been with CBS4 for more than 25 years, coordinating events — large and small — from the control room. Contact her by clicking here.

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