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Dog hailed as hero after sacrificing life to protect others from a black bear

A dog is receiving widespread love and praise online after losing his life while protecting others from a black bear.

Pete, an older English setter, was being walked with a number of other dogs in New York State when the group came across an unsuspecting black bear.

Below is an account from my husband of yesterdays pack walk. "Today we lost our brave, old man Pete. The dogs surprised a black bear just off the trail while we were hiking this morning. It must not have heard or smelled 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. Once I was sure they were safe, I went back and scared the bear off, but Pete was gravely injured. I was able to get him back down to the main trail and, thanks to Cathi and Kate, we were able to get him in a car and to the hospital pretty quickly. He held on like a real trooper the whole time, and he was never alone in his pain. The x-rays revealed some pretty bad spinal damage that would mean he could never walk again, if he survived all the surgeries (not a certain thing at his age). We decided it was best to let him go this afternoon. Run free Pete, you no longer have all those aches and pains of old age. You had a great 18 months with us running the days away like you loved." Please light a candle for Pete and remember that fostering and rescuing a dog can sometimes save you. Senior dogs have so much to give. Love you Petey. Save me some cheese for when we see each other again. ❤️💔❤️

A post shared by Me & My Shadow Pets (@mmspets) on

According to the post on the Me & My Shadow Pets Instagram account, the bear was startled and turned around to face the group.

“Pete stepped up and held off the bear until I could get the other dogs to safety,” it explained. “Once I was sure they were safe, I went back and scared the bear off, but Pete was gravely injured.”

Pete was helped back to the car and taken directly to the hospital, where x-rays revealed bad spinal damage.

Even if a number of risky surgeries were successful, Pete would have never been able to walk again.

“We decided it was best to let him go this afternoon,” said the post from Monday. “Run free Pete, you no longer have all those aches and pains of old age.”

Based on posts from Me & My Shadow Pets, Pete had spent the last 18 months being fostered by the dog walking service after an unsuccessful stay with another family.



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