What was supposed to be a happy day on the trail quickly turned into a scary situation for a New York dog owner and his pack.
The group was exploring the Appalachian trail earlier this week when they came across a different type of animal enjoying the picturesque wilderness. It was a black bear, and while wild animals in the area rarely interfere with hikers, this bear was startled out of a slumber. The rainy conditions allowed the dogs to accidentally sneak up on the sleeping giant, and the bear was scared into defending itself.
The owner of the dogs didn't waste a second jumping into action, but he wouldn't have been able to save his pack if it wasn't for one of the oldest members of the group. Pete was a 13-and-a-half-year-old Spaniel that the family adopted after fostering.
While the dog's owner was working to get all the other dogs down the trail and toward safety, Pete stayed behind. He stopped to protect his family, and the brave dog's story is now going viral.
The dog owner's family posted to Instagram to share how in the midst of a scary situation, Pete knew what needed to be done.
"It [the bear] must not have heard us with the pouring rain. It felt threatened and turned around. Pete stepped up and held off the bear until I could get the other dogs to safety."
— Me & My Shadow Pets (@mmspets) February 13, 2018
After ensuring all the other dogs were safely out of the way, Pete's owner quickly headed back into the woods. When he got to the scene, he scared off the bear and found Pete injured on the ground. He managed to get the dog down to the main trail where friends helped get him to an emergency pet hospital.
Getting away from the bear was the first step, but Pete wasn't out of the woods. X-rays showed serious spinal injuries, and even if the vet managed to save the dog's life, it was likely Pete would never walk again. At almost 14 years old, the senior dog's chances of surviving the surgeries and having a good quality of life weren't what his owners wanted.
With heavy hearts, they made the difficult decision to let Pete run freely without pain over the Rainbow Bridge. The senior dog they rescued less than two years ago ended up rescuing them. He sacrificed himself to protect his family, and he's being called a hero across social media. His owners said on Twitter:
"His actions prove that no dog is too old to be abandoned or too lost to be loved."
Rest in Peace, Pete.
Do you know a hero dog like Pete? Let us know in the comments.
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