Oct. 30 (UPI) -- A Florida man said his dog's "extra layer of fat" prevented a violent encounter with a black bear from turning deadly for the canine.
Eric Yaughn said his 12-year-old miniature pinscher, Fricka, was in the back yard at his Altamonte Springs home early Tuesday morning when the canine refused to come inside when called.
Yaughn said he walked outside and discovered the reason for Fricka's reluctance -- a black bear in the yard.
"What seemed like a nano second, it was right up on us and bear! And I hollered for her to come on and I start to run and I hear her yelp out in pain," Yaughn told WKMG-TV.
Yaughn said he feared Fricka had been killed as he fled from the bear.
"As I rounded the grill, I felt her bump up against my leg and I was like, 'Oh my God, she's with me.' So, I took off running. I get on the patio. I open the door. I pushed her in with my right foot and as I'm closing the door, the bear was right there," Yaughn said.
He said Fricka needed nearly a dozen stitches after the encounter, but will make a full recovery.
The veterinarian told Yaughn that the 15-1/2-pound pup's extra pounds helped her avoid more serious injury.
"The vet says she's really hardy," Yaughn said. "She said the extra layer of fat kept the bear's claw from tearing out her intestines."