A fascinating and bittersweet story has emerged from Black Mountain, North Carolina. It reveals a tale of love and loyalty between a woman and her dog, who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect his beloved owner. Tiffany Merrill went through a horrific ordeal the day that a marauding and hungry bear broke into her home in search of food, but she and her children were not alone as her faithful dog Pickles was not about to stand by and do nothing.
Trapped inside her home with an angry bear
Merrill was inside her home with her children and her dog Pickles when the unimaginable happened. A bear broke into their home and was on the rampage. The frightened woman instructed her children to close their doors and remain behind them. She recounted that she believed she was going to be killed by the bear. The family home is located just outside of Ashville, in the Blue Ridge Mountains region. Living in this area increases the risk of attacks from bears and other predatory animals in search of food. Merrill was unprepared for the forced entry that came as a total surprise to her.
A guardian angel appears
Merrill feared the worst as she had no way to defend herself from the large animal that had entered their home. It wasn’t long before her five-pound dog Pickles entered the scene. You wouldn’t think that a small dog could do much to help, but in this case, the wily canine was motivated by love and dedication and did what was necessary to protect loved ones, now cringing in fear. The dog began barking at the bear and got its attention. The bear followed the dog outside. This gave the family a chance to secure the home to keep the murderous bear on the outside. Pickles gave its life in a brave act that spared the family inside.
The ultimate sacrifice
Merrill shared that she wanted so badly to “go out there and jump on the back of the bear and save [the] dog,” but there was nothing that she could have done to save the dog’s life. The bear had killed her beloved savior and all she could do was watch. Merrill is now going through a period of grieving. She explained that the dog was a constant companion.
The dangers of living in a wilderness setting
People who live in bear country understand the dangers of their surroundings. Bear attacks are not that uncommon, but they usually happen when a human is outside and they cross paths with a bear or the cubs of a bear. This is a bit of an unusual case, but when a large wild animal is hungry and in search of food, there is little that will stop them from going after a meal that may be handy. Homeowners who share their environment with bears should take extra precautions to help protect themselves from this type of home invasion. Merrill and her children were fortunate that Pickles was there to help out.
How to protect yourself from bear intrusions
We’ve seen countless videos of brazen bears who wander into small town shops and other public areas. The truth of the matter is that some bears are becoming less afraid of people and more interested in pushing their way into areas that offer potential food sources. This can include family pets, smaller livestock or the smell of a Sunday dinner cooking in the oven. It’s important to bear-proof your family dwelling by reinforcing the entryways and window areas to make your house less accessible for bears. In most cases, banging pots and pans together or making loud noises will scare them away, but some of the more determined bears are harder to scare off. Prevention is the best course of action to take, but it’s a good idea to have an emergency plan in place if a bear does manage to break into your home.
Loyal dogs don’t consider their own safety when their family is threatened. This is a risk that everyone who lives in bear territory takes. It’s never a good idea to confront an attacking
bear. Instead, keep a few tools in your arsenal to discourage bears. There are some good products available that may be useful in scaring bears away. Consider using bear repellent that comes in a spray container. You may also want to keep a device nearby that is capable of rendering a loud and piercing noise. Both you and your pets stand a better chance of surviving a bear encounter if you’re aware of the danger and prepared to deal with a surprise attack.