Family dog survives bear attack - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Family dog survives bear attack

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"All of a sudden Sam and I heard this screeching loud scream," said Joe Curran.

That scream was Curran's wife, reacting to her 9-year-old golden retriever, Lilly, as she was being attacked by an angry mother black bear.

"As soon as we got out there, I saw the bear was already on top of Lilly," said Curran.

It all happened Wednesday night at the family's Lawn Avenue home in Northampton. Lilly was  being taken for a ride to the store with the family when a bear cub just feet away from the Curran's home caught her eye, curiosity that could have killed the pooch if not for her family stepping in and saving her with a toy sword.

"My wife, very bravely, grabbed the sword and just started swinging it and scaring the bear," said Curran.

That's when the 250-pound bear let go.

"We put paper towels on her neck to try and stop the bleeding," said the Currans' son, Sam, 11.

Lilly was rushed to the Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Hospital in Deerfield where she was treated for puncture wounds to her neck and head. According to the vet, the bear's teeth were only half an inch from taking a fatal bite.

Wildlife experts in the area say Lilly is one of the few lucky survivors of a bear attack.

"In the Northampton city limits, we've had at least three, perhaps four in the last five years and two of those dogs were killed," said Ralph Taylor with the Connecticut Valley Wildlife District.

Now the Curran's will keep Lilly a little closer knowing they almost lost her.

"I was really excited to see that she was doing well," said Sam Curran.

"If the bear had held on, Lilly might not have made it," said Joe Curran.

Lilly is expected to make a full recovery.

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