“My hero died saving me from a bear that came in my house. We lost a big part of our family. Heartbroken…,” wrote Tiffany Merrill on her Facebook post.
Tiffany’s hero Pickles, her five-pound toy poodle.
Pickle made the ultimate sacrifice in an attempt to save his family from a 150 – 200 hundred pound stray bear that wandered into the family’s home in the Black Mountains of North Carolina.
Pickles – The Hero
The little toy poodle made his way into Tiffany’s heart four years ago. He was given the name Pickles by Tiffany’s daughter, Emily.
Remembering her beloved pup, Tiffany said that Pickles was her shadow, going where she went, doing what she did.
“The most thing I liked about Pickles was how he would put us to bed and if someone was here he would just lay next to us.” -Emily Merrill
In a series of posts on Facebook, Tiffany described the chain of events from that morning.
At about 6 a.m., she opened the door of the house to let Pickles out for his morning walk. As she usually did, Tiffany left the door open since she did not see anything unusual outside.
Seconds later, however, Tiffany said a bear came hauling into her house. While Tiffany yelled for her children to close the door and stay inside, the bear jumped on top of a couch inside her home to try to get to her.
“I thought I was going to die,” Tiffany later recalled.
It was then that brave little Pickles rushed in front of the bear and distracted him, putting his own life in danger.
Tiffany later stated on Facebook that, “He (Pickles) was my third child. I wanted so bad to go jump on the bear’s back to save him.”
Pickle courageously diverted the bear’s attention and led it outside the family home. After injuring the little poodle, the bear is said to have wandered off into the woods.
Sadly, little Pickles was severely injured in the encounter. Tiffany rushed him to an emergency veterinary clinic for treatment of his traumatic wounds. But he could not be saved.
The Merrill family’s little saviour passed away in Tiffany’s arms.
While the Merrill family grieve their loss, they also reminisce the loving memories they shared with their beloved little pup.
After the incident, Tiffany put up the following post on Facebook. “No one trying to take food out of my hand. No one waiting on me to walk threw [sic] the door. Sure I have my family but my little Pickle was always at my side. He never left my side. This is so hard.”
In an earlier image shared by Tiffany, she described how Pickles stayed by her side all night when she was ill. The phrase accompanying the image said, “Dogs are so loyal.”
And indeed Pickles proved his love and loyalty by sacrificing his life to save his family.
Tiffany said she was overwhelmed by the support and compassion she received by friends and strangers alike.
Tiffany is now sharing her story with people to spread awareness about the threat of stray bears in the hope that no one else has to go through an ordeal similar to theirs ever again.