That was the case for one dog, who bravely stood up to a wild bear threatening her family, likely saving their lives.
The Bates family, from Halibut Cove, Alaska, visited the Glacier Moraine Trail in Kachemak Bay State Park recently, but their trip soon turned into a nightmare: they realized they were being followed by a black bear.
The family, including two kids aged 12 and 10, grouped together and made noise to try to scare the bear off, but it continued to pursue them, according to KBBI.
The situation seemed grim as the bear was about to charge at 12-year-old son Rockwell, coming within five feet.
But then, an unlikely hero stepped up to save the day: Sally, the family’s 7-year-old German Shepherd, stepped between the boy and the advancing bear.
“She went and put herself right in between the bear and our son, because the bear was obviously going to pounce on our son,” Weatherly Bates told KBBI.. “And she just stood there.”
“I mean, neither of our dogs ever barked at this bear, it happened so quickly, but she just positioned herself right in between the bear and our son and the bear just tackled her.”
Sally put herself in harm’s way to save her family: soon her head was in the bear’s jaw, and she was nearly killed.
But the family’s other dog got out of his leash and began to attack the bear, too. The distraction gave the dad enough time to retrieve a gun from his backpack, killing the bear to save Sally.
They took Sally to the vet, where they were told her injuries weren’t serious: “She’s gonna be fine,” Weatherly said. “The vet said she’s super tough. I mean, she’s an 80-pound dog and was able to handle the bite a lot better than I think we would have.”
Despite the terrifying situation, the family had sympathy for the bear. These bears don’t normally approach humans, but this one acted out of desperation. According to KBBI, a low berry yield and salmon return has left the park’s bears hungry: the attacking bear was found in poor condition and filled with parasites.
“I just think it was really desperation for her,” Weatherly Bates said. “[My kids] really feel bad for the bears and we all think they’ve had a really hard year, not enough food.”
But the most important thing is that this family is safe, thanks to this heroic dog.
“It brings tears to our eyes that she did that for us, because I have no doubt if she hadn’t put herself in between us and the bear that it could have really hurt one of my kids or one of us,” Weatherly told KBBI.
Thank you to Sally for stepping up to save the day, you’re a true hero!
It goes to show how brave and protective dogs can be. Share this inspiring story!