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'I did it for my dog': Daytona Beach man protecting dachshunds during bear attack speaks out

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A bear bounded onto Walt Hickox's Daytona Beach doorstep Wednesday. Hickox said he let his three dachshunds out of the house.They are named Pickles, Pepper and Piper. Their job, Hickox said, was to scare off some "cats.""Apparently, it wasn't a cat that they were after because they went, 'alright, that side is clear.' That's when the bear came out," Hickox said. The bear charged onto the porch, and Hickox swore and locked eyes with his dachshund, Pickles."I just wanted to deflect the tension off the dog long enough for him to realize, 'hey, there's a human in here too,'" Hickox said. No flight. Hickox plunged straight into a fight to get the bear's attention on him."I clapped, and I was screaming," Hickox said."I swear there was a fraction of time where the bear sat up and kicked his head to the side like, what are you screaming about," Hickox said.The bear backed off. Hickox never did. "When I had time to just sit and stare, it all hit me. And I started bawling. I couldn't believe how close to death I was. And I did it for my dog," Hickox said.He said he did it because he loves Pickles, Pepper and Piper. And because of Hickox, they'll be around for a while longer to love him back."I don't have any kids and my wife's kids are gone. We got together in 2006. We got them shortly after. And that was our... that was our family," Hickox said.Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation responded and has set a bear trap in the neighborhood. Since the bear attacked a person, a spokesman said, if captured, the bear will be euthanized.Hickox told WESH 2 News he doesn't want anything bad to happen to the bear, but he also doesn't want anyone to be in danger. FWC said if a black bear attacks, people should fight back aggressively as Hickox did.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. —

A bear bounded onto Walt Hickox's Daytona Beach doorstep Wednesday.

Hickox said he let his three dachshunds out of the house.

They are named Pickles, Pepper and Piper.

Their job, Hickox said, was to scare off some "cats."

"Apparently, it wasn't a cat that they were after because they went, 'alright, that side is clear.' That's when the bear came out," Hickox said.

The bear charged onto the porch, and Hickox swore and locked eyes with his dachshund, Pickles.

"I just wanted to deflect the tension off the dog long enough for him to realize, 'hey, there's a human in here too,'" Hickox said.

No flight. Hickox plunged straight into a fight to get the bear's attention on him.

"I clapped, and I was screaming," Hickox said.

"I swear there was a fraction of time where the bear sat up and kicked his head to the side like, what are you screaming about," Hickox said.

The bear backed off.

Hickox never did.

"When I had time to just sit and stare, it all hit me. And I started bawling. I couldn't believe how close to death I was. And I did it for my dog," Hickox said.

He said he did it because he loves Pickles, Pepper and Piper.

And because of Hickox, they'll be around for a while longer to love him back.

"I don't have any kids and my wife's kids are gone. We got together in 2006. We got them shortly after. And that was our... that was our family," Hickox said.

Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation responded and has set a bear trap in the neighborhood. Since the bear attacked a person, a spokesman said, if captured, the bear will be euthanized.

Hickox told WESH 2 News he doesn't want anything bad to happen to the bear, but he also doesn't want anyone to be in danger.

FWC said if a black bear attacks, people should fight back aggressively as Hickox did.

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