Family Saved From Bear Attack When 5-Pound Dog Faces It Head On

ARS_Blog_DTOP_BelowTitle_300x250

The loyalty of a dog is second to none. They will do almost anything to protect their humans, and if that means stepping in front of a ferocious wild animal, they won’t hesitate to act.

A woman in North Carolina owes her life to her loyal dog. When a bear threatened her and her two children, Pickles, her 5-pound Toy Poodle, stood his ground and snapped back at the bear, giving them enough time to escape.

Sadly, Pickles was not so fortunate.

Source: Wikimedia Commons The town of Black mountain, North Carolina.

Source: Wikimedia Commons
The town of Black mountain, North Carolina.


Like she did most mornings, Tiffany Merrill opened the door to her Black Mountain home and let Pickles out to do his business. She never expected anyone to be there waiting to come in, but on this occasion there was a big angry bear, and there wasn’t about to be deterred.

“I would say he was about 150 to 200 pounds ― very aggressive [and] not scared at all,” Merrill told CBS 17.

Source: U.S. Air Force Bears are common around Black Mountain, but the one Merrill faced was aggressive, as well.

Source: U.S. Air Force
Bears are common around Black Mountain, but the one Merrill faced was aggressive, as well.


She was afraid for her life, and had good reason to be. Meanwhile, her children were just waking up in their bedrooms.

“I have kids on each side of the house. I didn’t want to run into the bedroom where my daughter was and have (the bear) chase me in there, so I darted behind the couch and it jumped up on the couch,” Merrill said.

Source: Facebook/Tiffany Merrill Pickles was left with serious injuries after his run-in with the bear.

Source: Facebook/Tiffany Merrill
Pickles was left with serious injuries after his run-in with the bear.


She screamed at her children, telling them to shut their bedroom doors.

“I actually pictured myself laying on the floor dead and after he killed me (the bear) was going to kill my kids,” Merrill said. “That’s what I thought because it was charging after me but then my dog showed up and he saved me.”

Pickles jumped in front of the bear and diverted its attention from Merrill. He even managed to get the bear outside, but not before being seriously injured.

Source: Facebook/Tiffany Merrill Merrill was heartbroken over the loss of her beloved Pickles.

Source: Facebook/Tiffany Merrill
Merrill was heartbroken over the loss of her beloved Pickles.

The bear eventually ran away, and Merrill brought Pickles back in, but he was in bad shape. The fight with the bear left the small dog with severe lacerations.

Pickles had lost a lot of blood.

After rushing the dog to the animal hospital, Merrill was faced with wishing her loyal family dog farewell. Pickles died shortly after.

“I just can’t believe this happened,” Merrill posted to Facebook. “He did not make it — he died saving my life.”

Proper ARS animalrescuesite_abovevideo

“(He was) very protective — he just made our lives so much better,” Merrill said. “My hero died saving me from a bear that came in my house. We lost a big part of our family. ”

The bear is still on the loose in Black Mountain, and along with offering the public information on how to live safely in bear country–leaving them alone, and never leaving food or trash outside where they can get to it–authorities have given Merrill the go-ahead to use deadly force if she sees it again.

“They just informed me if I felt threatened, I could shoot it the next time,” she said.

These horses and cows were just saved from an illegal slaughterhouse: Click “Next” below!

Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.
Proper ARS animalrescuesite_belowcontent