An idyllic scene of a man hiking with his dog in the mountains turned into a nightmare scenario when Jason Umbriaco and his 3-month-old border collie, Buckley, encountered a brown bear with two cubs while hiking in Alaska’s Kenai National Wildlife Refuge on Sunday.
Dog and owner were visiting from Montana.
Umbriaco said the attack happened so fast that he didn’t even have time to analyze the situation and use his bear spray. He was bitten twice by the sow.
While he could walk back to his vehicle and call for emergency services, a terrified Buckley ran off and wasn’t reunited with his owner until nearly two days later.
Umbiaco was rushed to a nearby hospital in Soldotna, where Bonnie Nichols, an employee, offered her assistance in finding the missing dog.
Nichols posted a picture of Buckley and a general location where the dog disappeared.
Later that day, a woman contacted Bonnie Nichols, claiming that she found a border collie that matched Buckey’s description. He was sitting outside an outhouse near the trial, confused and terrified.
Jason Umbriaco reunites with his best friend Buckley nearly two days after they were both attacked by a brown bear. https://t.co/K63MVVKIL0— Alaska's News Source (@AKNewsNow) June 30, 2021
When Nichols showed Umbriaco photos of the dog sent to her by the woman, he was beside himself with joy and relief that his beloved dog was still alive and had was found.
Umbiarco could not believe his luck and thanked the kind strangers that went out of their way to help reunite him and his dog.