“I’m just happy to be alive,” Florida man Andrew Meunier said. “It could’ve been a totally different story.”
It was a normal night for Meunier, who was about to go for a walk with his dog when he heard his pup growl. Howie, Meunier’s dog, bolted back in the house, leaving Meunier wondering what happened.
He didn’t wonder for long, as he turned to face three bears in his backyard. “In some ways, it happened so fast I can barely remember, and in other ways, it’s almost like it was all slow motion,” the 41-year-old told People.
“I realized I had no chance of fighting these things off, I tried to get back to the door, and as I was turning, one just caught me with its left front paw,” Meunier recalled. “It felt like the hardest punch I’ve ever taken.”
Meunier stumbled backward and composed himself the best he could. He fumbled for the door and ran back inside as quick as his punch-drunk feet could take him.
When he got inside, Meunier felt the full impact of the blow. “It basically felt like I was standing in the shower and water was running down my face,” he described.
“I knew it was blood — I just knew it. I was hoping it was just a gash on my forehead since head injuries tend to bleed a lot,” Meunier said.
“I ran into the bathroom and looked at it, and I was like, ‘Nope, I’m going to need medical attention, I can’t patch this up at home!'”
He did his best to stop the bleeding, then went to wake up his 7-year-old daughter to tell her they had to go to the hospital.
“I told her I was going to be alright and that I was going to live, but I needed to call 911,” Meunier said. “She started crying, but when she saw that I wasn’t, she got it under control.”
At the hospital, Meunier received 41 stitches for the 8-inch slice the bear had dealt his face. After hours of care, he returned home with his daughter to find the bears still wandering around.
“When I got back, the bears were across the street from me — but now there were four of them!” he remembered.
Meunier waited until they walked further away before he ran inside, packed his things and sped to his ex-wife’s house where he stayed for the next two days.
Although he walked away with a gruesome scar on his head, Meunier is happy that was the extent of the damage. He knows that those bears could have easily killed him and his dog.
“If that bear would have knocked me out or something, I don’t know what would have happened,” he told People. “You know, I’m alive, so that’s all that matters.
“My daughter still has a dad to come home to. If I have a scar, I have a scar, so what? It’s a good story!” Meunier concluded.
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