A couple shared an emotional story of how their loyal senior dog died after protecting his dad and his doggie friends from a black bear.
Pete the English Setter sacrificed his life to save his pack when a black bear attacked his doggy day care group during a hike in New York State.
Pete was adopted by Cathi and Steve 18 months ago when he was 12 years old. The couple run Me & My Shadow Pets, a dog walking and pet sitting service, and regularly take Pete and the dogs they take care of, for walks in the woods.
Steve was out hiking with Pete and a pack of dogs in the Greenwood Lake, New York, recently, when they accidentally startled a black bear. It was raining heavily and the bear was behind a rock formation so was not visible when the group stumbled across his path.
Pete immediately sprung into action blocking the path to allow Steve and the other dogs to escape to safety. Cathi shared what happened on Instagram and wrote:
“Below is an account from my husband of yesterday’s 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.”
Pete would have been 14 years old in June.
Rest in Peace, Pete. You are a true hero.