What Really Happened...
Tuesday night, a Doberman Pinscher named Barney was on duty as a guard at a British children's museum, Wookey Hole Caves in Somerset.
All of a sudden, Barney beserked, went on a rampage and ripped apart a $900,000 collection of rare teddy bears. Barney started on Mabel, a 1909 German-made Steiff teddy bear once owned by Elvis Presley, currently owned by English aristocrat Benjamin Slade and worth £40,000.
Barney's handler, Greg West, did his best to explain the event:
Barney has been a model guard dog for over six years. I still can't believe what happened.After West recovered Mabel's body, the Dobbie then went on the rampage for about 15 minutes, grabbing everything in his path until he was collared.
Either there was a rogue scent of some kind on Mabel which switched on Barney's deepest instincts, or it could have been jealousy: I was just stroking Mabel and saying what a nice little bear she was. He started with Mabel, took a very large chunk out of Mabel almost severing her head, and then went mad. It took about 20 minutes to bring him out.
Daniel Medley, general manager of Wookey Hole Caves, said
It is entirely normal for the guard dogs to be off their lead to sniff around. Ironically, our insurance company insisted we had a dog.This story is not intended to be allegorical. Not at all.
I don't know what's going to happen to Barney. He is such a sweet dog normally. His owner is very shocked about the whole thing.
We just never expected anything like this to happen.
Up to 100 bears were involved in the massacre. It was a dreadful scene.
We will be holding an internal investigation as to why Mabel was left out - and heads will roll over this.
I'm sure Mabel can be repaired, but I fear that the bear's value will have seriously decreased.
I have apologized profusely to Sir Benjamin, but he just yelled at me. He couldn't believe we had allowed this to happen.