In July of 2006, Donna Perreault adopted Jarod, a black Chow Chow, after she read an urgent listing on a pet adoption website. The Northwest Chow Rescue of Oregon had posted Jarod’s picture in an attempt to find him a home. Without a second thought Donna adopted Jarod.
One day last fall Donna was talking to her son on the telephone while Jarod, now 8-years old, was in the house keeping her company. Donna’s other Chow Chow, 12-year old Meesha, was outside in the yard. All of a sudden, Donna heard Meesha let out a low, guttural bark. Still on the telephone, Donna rushed to the window to see what was going on. To her shock and amazement, Donna saw a black bear charging Meesha. Terrified and full of adrenaline, Donna ran outside to try to protect Meesha and in her haste, left the door to the house open. Jarod followed her out.
Jarod boldly lunged at the bear to protect Meesha and within seconds they were entwined: hissing, biting and growling. During the struggle, the bear went back and forth between the two dogs, attacking one and then the other. In an effort to scare the bear away, Donna picked up a bucket and threw it at the bear, who then turned on Donna, ran up and swatted at her chest.
Before the bear had the opportunity to seriously injure Donna, Jarod jumped between them, showing his teeth and challenging the bear to a fight. He then jumped at the bear, sinking his teeth into the bear’s skin repeatedly, until the bear ignored Donna and turned away from Meesha. Commanding the bear’s attention, Jarod then ran behind the garage and the bear followed, giving Donna just enough time to bring old and frail Meesha into the house. Still worried about Jarod, Donna opened her door and called for Jarod. She was elated when she saw Jarod running back towards the house, with the bear nowhere in sight.
Throughout the attack, Donna’s son had remained on the telephone line, sick with worry. The last noise he had heard was his mother’s shriek, following by loud banging, footsteps, growling and barking. Donna ushered Jarod into the house, locked the door behind her, and ran to the phone. She told her son she was okay, explained what had happened, and went to tend to the dogs.
In the end, Donna did receive a mark on her chest resulting from the swat from the bear; but the outcome could have been much more tragic. Jarod’s tremendous courage and loyalty that day has given him the moniker of a double hero: not only did he daringly save a human life from the bear attack but he also bravely protected the life of a fellow dog – Meesha.
Danielle Jackman, the manager of BC’s SPCA Trail Regional Branch says that both Jarod and Donna deserve awards for bravery. It’s not often you get two heroes in the same family.