Woman tried, but unable, to save dog from bear
When Jackie Haught’s miniature poodle was attacked by a bear cub a week ago, the 70-year-old acupuncturist fought the attacker with her fists and her feet, and even threw an apple at the bear’s head, but she was unable to save the dog’s life.
Haught, of Brittany Drive in West Hurley, said Thursday that she was walking 11-year-old Luze (pronounced Lucy) on a 3-to-5-foot-long bungee cord-style leash when a black bear cub charged from behind a dumpster in the early evening on Saturday, Nov. 3, and attacked the dog.
The bear ran off without turning on her but left the dog near death, Haught said.
She said Luze suffered a punctured lung and crushed vertebrae in the attack and was euthanized at the Animal Emergency Clinic of the Hudson Valley the night of the attack.
The dog was conscious after the incident, so “we got to say goodbye, [but] she was suffering,” Haught said.
The bear, which Haught said was the size of “a short-legged but very husky dog,” lunged at the smaller animal and quickly “had my dog in its jaw,” she said. “He went right for her.”
Haught speculated the bear might have mistaken her small black dog as a competitor for food.
“I really think there was a mix-up in its mind,” she said, adding that bears are “very hungry” at this time of the year and speculating their behavior might be due to climate change.
Astrid Nordness of West Shokan, the dog’s breeder, who said she often house sat with Luze when Haught was at work in New York City, described the poodle as “an amazing dog” who “lived to chase balls.”
Both women said Luze also enjoyed swimming and hiking.
“She was very outgoing and very friendly,” Nordness said of the poodle. “If people weren’t well, she would go and sit with them.”
Nordress said about 25 people attended a “funeral” Monday to pay their respects to Luze.
According to the state Department of Environmental Conservation, the “leading cause of bear nuisance complaints in New York is people leaving food sources outside, including unsecured residential garbage, pet food and hanging bird feeders.”
In order to avoid attracting bears, the department advises taking down bird feeders and putting them away until December; keeping garbage inside until the morning it is collected; never feeding pets outdoors; and being “alert and aware of ... surroundings, especially at night.”
Luze, an 11-year-old miniature poodle, had to be euthanized after being attacked by a bear on Nov. 3 in West Hurley, N.Y.