A woman is hailing her canine companion as an exceptional guard dog after the pooch earned its stripes by scaring off a marauding bear.
Kate Cholewa was at the Point of Rocks Fishing Access Site at Yellowstone River in Missouri, US, when the bear attacked her. Talking to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, she said she was walking her 12-year-old black Labrador mix Carmen at the time of the incident.
Ms Cholewa claimed the canine’s hackles rose, and she was suddenly face-to-face with the grizzly.
“I just saw it and I was on the ground,” the 53-year-old writer said. “I was thinking, ‘I’m dead’.”
The bear pounced on her, but was eventually scared off when Carmen began barking. Ms Cholewa escaped and rang emergency services to report the incident.
An ambulance took her to hospital where she was treated for a suspected bite wound to her head, as well as several cuts, bruises and scratches. However, she admitted she “got off easy”.
The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks agency said bears typically search for food at lower elevations next to the Yellowstone River at this time of year. Local landowners also reported spotting a grizzly roaming the area.
Carmen’s heroics are all the more impressive seeing as Ms Cholewa had been told more than a year ago that the dog only had six months to live due to a torn ACL.
The Missouri Humane Society rescue dog is still going strong after receiving therapy, despite her owner deciding against surgery due to the extensive recovery time required.