Dogs have such great protective instincts and are so loyal to their human owners that they will gladly step up and protect them from danger, even if it means putting themselves in danger. We’ve seen many stories of pets facing down dangerous wild animals to protect their loved ones.
And it turns out many humans are willing to return the favor, risking life and injury to save their beloved pets.
That was the case recently, after one man fought back a wild bear to save his two dogs, a dramatic confrontation caught on video.
Walt Hickox, from Daytona Beach, Florida, is the owner of three dachshunds named Pickles, Pepper and Piper. Last week, the dogs entered Walt’s porch — and with a shock he realized the dogs were being followed by an uninvited guest.
A wild black bear charged through the porch door after the dachshunds. Thankfully, Walt was there, and his instincts immediately led him to protect the dogs, even if it meant throwing himself at the bear.
He shouted and pushed back the bear, hoping to repel him away from the home — and divert the bear from its intended prey.
“The line of focus [was] between the bear’s eyes and my dog,” Walt told Inside Edition. “I wanted to break that focus, get my body into there to let the dog get back into the house.”
“I just wanted to deflect the tension off the dog long enough for him to realize, ‘hey, there’s a human in here too,'” he told WESH. “I clapped, and I was screaming.”
The terrifying confrontation was caught on video by a Ring camera and was shared by ViralHog. It captures just how immediate and terrifying the moment was: Walt acts on adrenaline and instinct, but it almost costs him his life: at one point, the bear has its claws right down on him.
“Not a lot went through my head at the moment, other than what’s going to happen if he gets past me and into the house where the rest of my dogs and my wife was at,” Hickox told WFTV.
Thankfully, he’s able to win the frightening stand-off by pushing the bear back and barricading the door with a bench.
With the bear gone, the reality sinks in, and Walt realizes how much danger he was just in: “Oh my god! I was just attacked by a bear!” he yells in the video.
“When I had time to just sit and stare, it all hit me. And I started bawling. I couldn’t believe how close to death I was,” Walt told WESH.
But it was worth it to save his beloved pets.
“I did it for my dog,” he says. “I don’t have any kids and my wife’s kids are gone. We got together in 2006. We got them shortly after. And that was our… that was our family.”
Walt survived with only minor injuries from the attack, and of course the dogs are safe and sound, thanks to his quick action.
He told WFTV that he plans to install another door by the porch and keep some bear spray nearby, so hopefully nothing like this happens again.
How incredible. It takes a special kind of person to risk their life to protect their dogs. It shows how much Walt really loves his dachshunds.
We’re so glad Walt and his family are safe now. Share this incredible story!