Paul Ciampanelli pawnation.com One doesn't normally adopt a 6-pound pooch to serve as a guard dog, but in this case, a Yorkshire Terrier with a severe case of small-dog syndrome may have saved his owner's life by fighting off a bear. Deborah Epstein of Ringwood, N.J., was sitting outside on her front porch with her Yorkie, Joe, on Tuesday evening. When the phone rang, Epstein went inside to answer it without closing the door. While she was talking on the phone, Joe started going bananas. "He barks when anybody comes, but this one sounded a little more furious than usual," said Epstein. No wonder. A hungry bear saw the open door to Epstein's house and took it as an invitation inside. The bear made for Joe's food bowl, which it obviously didn't know was a huge mistake. Trespassing in Epstein's home and then immediately trying to eat the dog food? No, sir. Joe went off on the much larger animal. "Joe was attacking it," said Epstein. "Basically, the bear was heading for his food dish bowl, and you don't touch Joe's food dish bowl. And he actually got the bear to turn around and chased him out the door." Epstein said she learned her lesson and will keep the door closed from now on, probably unfailingly for the rest of her life. And she knows she may owe her life to her little 6-pound dog. "I saved him from the pound, and he saved me from a bear," Epstein said.
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