'Hero' Dog Saves Owner From Bear Attack on Trail: 'I Never Run Without Him'
He's bear-y lucky to have a friend like this.
A Canadian man owes his life to his loyal pup after the dog fought off a bear that attacked the pair as they were running in a park.
Reid Roberts, 46, and his dog Pacer were running in Forest for the World, a provincial park in Prince George, British Columbia, when they alarmed a mother black bear and two cubs that were in the nearby bushes.
“She came out right away in attack mode,” he wrote on Facebook. “She locked in on me right away with head down staring at me.”
Roberts had a similar encounter with a bear two years earlier, but that animal was further away and able to “bluff” an attack, he wrote.
“This one was way to close. She had no option for a bluff,” he wrote. “… (I)t was a bit surreal when I realized she wasn't going to stop and I remember thinking ‘she is going to attack.’”
The bear came at Roberts, who wrote that he knew he couldn’t get away without a fight.
“I was yelling hard and waving my hands as I was backing up. I never wanted to turn or turtle and knew I had to fight... I'm not sure how I ended up on the ground off the trail but I remember her swatting at me like dogs do with their front paws when playing with another dog,” he wrote. “I just started kicking at her while I was on my back.”
Immediately Pacer sprang into action, barking and biting the bear, which was only temporarily distracted by the border collie.
“She went at him for only a second to chase him off but quickly turned and came at me a second time,” Roberts wrote, saying he tried to find protection in a clump of willows.
“I also remember thinking, ‘Really, she's coming again, this is not good, I got lucky once, but...,’” Roberts wrote. “She was on me but Pacer was (on) her just as fast biting at her.”
Pacer attacked the bear again, managing to lead it down the trail away from Roberts, who was bleeding heavily from a hand wound.
After wrapping his hand in a piece of his shirt and unsuccessfully trying to climb a tree, Roberts called 911 and a friend and walked to a parking lot.
“I had to walk down the trail that the bear just ran down after Pacer,” he wrote, saying he called for Pacer during the entire walk, but was unable to find him.
When he finally made it to the parking lot, Roberts came across two people who asked if he was OK.
“They asked if I was ok. I said no, but I need to find my dog. The ambulance was on its way and I didn't want to leave until Pacer was found,” he wrote.
Everything began to go blurry after emergency responders and Roberts’ friend arrived on the scene, he wrote.
Roberts was treated at a local hospital and received 16 stitches in his hand. He also suffered “minor claw marks” on his stomach and arm, he wrote.
“My shorts got ripped to shreds, but not my shirt,” Roberts wrote.
The bear was later euthanized, authorities said. The two cubs were tranquilized and brought to a wildlife shelter.
Pacer was unharmed and turned up more than a mile away from the scene at Roberts’ friend’s home.
“Pacer is fine and truly my hero,” Roberts wrote, noting the dog typically runs ahead as a look out for moose or bears when the pair is on trails. “I never run without him.”
The attack will not stop Roberts from enjoying the outdoors, he continued.
“So, will I run solo on trails again. As soon as I can,” he wrote. “Next time I will make more noise more often and keep Pacer in the lead.”