A Vancouver Island woman credits a famous heavy metal band Metallica for saving her life, and in the surprise of a lifetime, she got to personally thank the lead vocalist himself.

A couple of weeks ago, Denise Gallant was walking her dog on a logging road south of Duncan when she felt something following them. It turned out to be a cougar.

She did everything she could to scare it off, including making herself appear big and shouting.

But when that failed and the big cat continued to stalk her, she went through her iTunes and began blasting Metallica's "Don't Tread On Me."

“The first three, four notes of the intro and he was just gone,” Gallant told CTV News last week.

The story caught the attention of media outlets from around the globe and it eventually piqued the interest of the band itself.

It started with lead guitarist Kirk Hammett posting an article about Gallant's story on his Facebook page.

Then she got a call from the band's liaison before the long weekend, saying somebody would be in touch with her.

But she said she never could've anticipated who was going to be on the other line.

When she saw a foreign numbers pop up on her screen, she thought it was another reporter wanting to do a story. But to her surprise, it was the band’s frontman.

"I was a little bit lost for words," she told CTV News Monday. "It's surreal how quickly it happened and how far it's gone. The fact that he's so down to earth and such a great person, I'm very pleased to find that out first-hand."

Like fast friends, she and James Hetfield discussed their dogs, living on the island and living in California.

"I can't believe he knows my dog's name," she gushed.

"If you had told the 18-year-old me that this would happen, I never would've believed it. I would've just fallen out of my skin with excitement."

Hetfield likely got the sense she was in disbelief.

Shortly after the phone call ended, he sent her a selfie with the "rock on" symbol and a message that said: "Thought you might like some confirmation that it was me."

Next, she said she would love the opportunity to thank the band members in person.