A California man is opening up about a terrifying encounter he experienced between his dog and a bear.
Kaleb Benham, a Nevada County, California resident, was inside his home on the day before Thanksgiving when he heard a strange noise coming from outside where his pet pit bull, Buddy, had been playing, according to CBS 13 Sacramento.
Detailing that he first "heard a growl," Benham told the outlet he then discovered that a bear was dragging Buddy by his head and "had his head in his mouth," which caused him to spring into action.
"Honestly the only thing I could think of was 'save my baby,'" Benham said. "I just ran down there, plowed into the bear, tackled it and grabbed it by the throat and started hitting it in the face and the eye until it let go."
However, following his heroic rescue and saving Buddy, Benham was worried he still might lose his canine companion because the nearest veterinary hospital to his home was closed due to a positive COVID-19 case.
Benham took his beloved pet to Mother Lode Veterinary Hospital instead, where Buddy underwent an operation to treat his injuries. He required staples, stitches, and tubes inserted into his head to drain fluid, per the outlet.
"I just stood there and watched through the window for 3 1/2 for hours," Benham said.
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Following the successful surgery, Buddy was allowed to return home for Thanksgiving, where he and his owner spent the holiday in bed healing together.
In a video posted to Twitter from CBS 13 Sacramento reporter Anna Giles, Benham stated that the bear bit very close to his dog's eye and tore a hole through his lip.
Buddy is now wearing a cone around his head to keep him irritating his wounds and his ears, which had to be stapled back on.
According to Benham, the wild bear has returned several times since the attack, and he cannot figure out what to do to get it to stay away from his residence.
"It made an attack and had its food and its food got taken from it and it wants it back, I feel like," he said. "If it was your kid, what would you do? That’s my kid, I would die for my dog."
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