Supplied by Me & My Shadow Pet Sitting

To say that dog is man’s best friend would not be enough for Pete, who died saving his family from an actual bear.

Pete had been adopted from Our English Rescue Setter shelter, and he was with his family for 18 months before tragedy struck.

The English Setter was on a hike in northern New Jersey with his family when he and some other dogs surprised a black bear.

The bear turned on the dogs, but in an inspiring display of heroism, Pete stood his ground and held off the bear long enough so the other dogs could be taken to safety.

But sadly, the injuries he sustained in his showdown with the bear were fatal, and he later had to be put down.

The dogs were out with Me & My Shadow Pets daycare service, owned by a woman called Cathi. She and her husband described what happened that day in an emotional Instagram post.

Today we lost our brave, old man Pete. The dogs surprised a black bear just off the trail while we were hiking this morning. It must not have heard or smelled us with the pouring rain.

It felt threatened and turned around. Pete stepped up and held off the bear until I could get the other dogs to safety.

Once I was sure they were safe, I went back and scared the bear off, but Pete was gravely injured. 

The injuries were severe.

The x-rays revealed some pretty bad spinal damage that would mean he could never walk again, if he survived all the surgeries (not a certain thing at his age).

We decided it was best to let him go this afternoon. 

A friend of the family shared his condolences on Twitter.

And people joined in.

Writing to indy100, the family wrote:

We are heartbroken over losing Pete and would gladly trade all this attention for one more day with him.

Rest in peace, hero.

H/T Twitter/ Ben White

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