December 11, 2018
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Dog attacked by bear in Dedham recovering at home

Courtesy of Dustin Gray
Courtesy of Dustin Gray
Dustin Gray, 29, of Orrington, and his 11-month-old puppy, Clover, were attacked by a bear in the woods off the side of Route 1A in Dedham on Feb. 5. Gray was treated for bruises and scratched on his hands and arms, and Clover is still recovering from an open wound on her back.

It could be months before an Orrington man knows just how fully his dog will recover from being mauled by a bear in Dedham last week.

Dustin Gray said his 11-month-old puppy, Clover, a black lab and golden retriever mix, is back at home resting after suffering deep puncture wounds to her chest and left armpit.

Clover still needs to make daily visits to the vet to have her bandages changed, but she’s slowly getting back to herself, Gray said Sunday. She still plays and is happy to be around people.

[Dog owner during bear attack: ‘I stuck my finger right in its eye’]

“She’s doing pretty good. She is still sore and sleeping quite a bit,” Gray said. “It’s kind of wait and see how it goes.”

The attack occurred last Monday afternoon, when Gray walked about 50 feet into the woods off Route 1A to let Clover use the bathroom. He felt the leash rip from his hand and saw his puppy being attacked by a black bear, he previously told the BDN. He kicked and punched the bear, ultimately jabbing it in the eye, before it ran off, he said.

A Maine Game Warden Shannon Fish confirmed Friday that it appeared a black bear had been hibernating where the attack happened. Fish described the attack as “a freak incident.”

Gray was treated at Eastern Maine Medical Center for minor injuries, but his new puppy’s condition was worse. She had to stay at Penobscot Veterinary Services in Bangor from Monday until Wednesday evening.

Clover seems to have lost feeling in her front left paw, Gray said. The veterinarian told Gray that the attack could have damaged a cluster of nerves that affect her paw, he said.

“Right now we’re just hoping that it clears up,” Gray said.

A deep puncture wound on Clover’s chest had made breathing more difficult, though it seems to be better now, Gray said.

Gray got Clover about three weeks ago. Despite the attack, she is still is a happy dog, though her injuries have slowed her down a bit.

“She was always wanting to go on walks, pulling and wanting to go faster,” Gray said. “She was just getting fetch down.”

Since the attack, Gray is cautious about letting Clover be outside alone and is always with her when she goes outside, he said.

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