Sept. 1, 2011 -- Brooke Collins let her animal instincts take over last week when she lunged at a black bear that had scooped up her dog and popped it one on the nose.
"I was screaming to startle the bear and ran up to it thinking if I got close to it, it would run off, but I got within inches and it still wouldn't go, so I punched it in the nose," Collins said.
Collins, 22, of Juneau, Alaska, had just let her two dogs out to play in her backyard Sunday evening when she began to hear frantic barking. A black bear that had been seen in the neighborhood recently--especially on trash pick-up days--had scooped up her daschshund, Fudge, in its paws, and had it pinned to the ground, she said.
"I remembered hearing that if you punch a shark in the nose it'll go away, and so I punched it in the nose," she said. "I love my dog. Nobody could watch their pet die."
She scooped up Fudge, who is 12, and ran inside, but not before the frantic dog bit her on the chin and the bear cut her finger.
"I don't know whether it was the claw or a tooth or what, it just happened so fast," she said. Collins' boyfriend said the bear was shaking its head, seemingly shocked, after the confrontation. He then chased it off into the woods, she said.
Friends and family told Collins she was crazy for confronting the bear, but she said others have left her Facebook messages saying her actions to save her dog were heroic. Fudge is also receiving post-attack attention, as the Collins ahve been treating it to bacon and sausages as it recovers from the ordeal, she said.
Here's some tips from the Forest Service on bears: "Most are timid enough to be scared away by yelling, waving, and banging pans…Make sure the bear has a clear escape route and then yell, wave, and rush to no nearer than 15 feet of the bear. This is especially effective when several people do it together. If alone, a person might create the illusion of numbers by throwing sticks through the underbrush. Don't feed the bears or try to pet them. Touching a wild bear can elicit a nip or cuff."