Just heard the story last night about an event from last year that happened to my wife's co-worker...
She was out walking her dogs in a not-so-rural area, only to have them bound ahead of her and tangle with two balls of fur that turned out to be a pair of bear cubs. They seemed more than happy to tussle with the dogs, so she instinctively ran up to separate the brawling mass...when that sudden surreal moment of realization entered her mind: Where there are baby bears, there's going to be a big bear.
Sensibly, she screamed for help upon seeing the larger bear heading her direction. VERY luckily for her, she happened to be in front of a co-workers house whose husband apparently kept a shotgun near the door and stepped out with it, firing a shot (I believe into the air or a safe direction...trying to scare the bear rather than shoot it directly) and sending the mama bear and cubs running.
And the dogs she had always thought would protect her in such a situation? As soon as momma showed up, they were nowhere to be seen. She now takes the dogs downtown to walk them on the main street.
SO, another save that will never be reported. All the same, since I live in a similar area (i.e. not too close to the wilderness, but not too far away either!), I'd rather not have to hope that someone shows up to save me!