ANCHORAGE - Shadow, a dog that saved its owner from an attacking grizzly bear near Skwentna last year, will fly to Los Angeles this month to receive another award for canine heroism.
Don Mobley was gathering firewood on a sandbar of the Nakochna River when he found himself between a grizzly sow and her cub. The sow growled and charged. Mobley, convinced he was about to be mauled, ran.
The bear was within 10 feet of him when Shadow, his 3-year-old German shepherd mix, zipped out of the woods and lunged at the advancing bruin.
Barking madly, Shadow chased the bear and cub into the woods.
"The only thing that saved me was my dog," Mobley, a wilderness guide, told the Anchorage Daily News last year.
Word of Shadow's bravery reached the Los Angeles chapter of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. It announced last week that it will bestow upon Shadow its National Hero Dog Award.
Pedigree, the pet food company that sponsors the award, will fly Shadow and Mobley to Los Angeles. Loews, a pet-friendly hotel chain, will put them up at its hotel on the beach in Santa Monica.
Madeline Bernstein, head of the SPCA chapter, said Shadow's behavior is testament to the excellent relationship between him and his owner.
"You will never see a dog that's chained up outside all the time do something like that," she said. "I feel that when a dog is made part of the family, it will cross species lines because it is protecting its pack."
The award comes with a bag of treats and a supply of Pedigree dog food for a year. It will be presented Sept. 25 at Staples Center.
Shadow also was recognized in April. Kibbles 'n Bits named Shadow its second runner-up in the Dog Hero of the Year. In that contest, Shadow won $200 for Mobley but lost out to Bullet, a golden retriever in New York who alerted his owner that her baby had stopped breathing, and to Mandy, a mixed breed in Ohio who woke her owners when their house caught fire.