One thing you'll often hear from dog lovers is that we "don't deserve" them. This stems from the fact that dogs exemplify what it means to have unconditional love, often going above and beyond to defend or assist their owners, even if doing so puts their own lives at risk.
No matter whether they're old or frail, blind or fearful, or injured, dogs have consistently acted in a split second to save humans—often the very persons who had saved them in the first place.
In innumerable incidents ranging from vehicle accidents and home fires to near-drownings and military combat, individuals have been saved by the courage and tenacity of their dogs, a neighbor's dog, or even a stranger's canine companion.
Listed here are eight actual stories of dogs saving their owners' lives, each of which serves as a testament to the fact that dogs truly are a man's, or woman's, best friend.
Dog Saves a Three-Year-Old Girl
In 2017, a dog that had formerly been abused by its former owner before being adopted into a loving home went on to become a rescuer himself. The dog who had once been saved became a rescuer himself. According to reports, her frenzied barking warned her owners of the presence of peril outside their house.
In the process of tracking her down in the freezing weather, they were astonished to find a hypothermic 3-year-old child on the verge of death: she had allegedly gone away from an abusive home on her own. Peanut's commotion that day resulted in the saving of the life of a little girl.
Dog Saved His Owner from Freezing to Death
Grga Brkić was climbing the highest peak of Croatia's Velebit mountain range, about 5,800 feet above the Adriatic coast when he fell nearly 500 feet down a snowy slope. Brkić's leg was severely fractured as a result of the fall.
Two nearby hikers saw Brkić and his buddy, an Alaskan malamute, but were unable to approach them safely. Brkić shivered in the snow, and his dog sat on top of him to keep him warm until help arrived. When responders arrived at the scene after the two had been waiting for 13 hours in the freezing cold, they were surprised to find the dog had curled around Brkić and warmed him.
Dog Saves a Little Boy from a Cougar
Austin Forman, an 11-year-old child, was playing in his yard when a cougar appeared out of nowhere and lunged at him, striking him in the face. The wild beast charged at him, and his dog jumped in front of him before he could respond to save him from it. The 18-month-old Golden Retriever battled bravely against the much bigger cougar, allowing the little kid to escape to safety in the process. The family immediately dialed 911, and a police officer shot and killed the cougar.
After her encounter with the cougar, the heroic dog, properly called Angel, had significant injuries, but she was able to heal completely. She now spends her days with her thankful human family, as well as with the little child who is aware that he has a canine guardian angel watching over him.
A Dog Sacrificed His Life for the Police
German Shepherd Diesel was a Belgian Shepherd that worked for the French police force. During a search, Diesel came upon the flat of a suspect in the Paris attack. Diesel received many gunshot wounds from the attacker before passing away from his injuries.
Because of his sacrifice, all of his fellow police officers were spared their lives. He received the Dickin Medal and was included in Time magazine's list of the world's most influential animals in 2016. He will be remembered in the hearts and thoughts of people all across the world.
A Dog Saves a Choking Woman
Debbie Parkhurst was taken back when she found herself choking on an apple. Before she could think about what she needed to do to rescue herself, her dog, Toby, sprang upon her chest and yanked the apple from her grasp.
An award was given to the Golden Retriever by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) in recognition of his rescue efforts.
Dog Saved His Owner From a Venomous Snake
Paula Godwin was hiking when she came close to stepping on a deadly rattlesnake. Her dog, who was just a year old at the time, was the one who rescued her.
As the snake was about to bite, her companion moved in front of her to rescue her, and he was severely bitten on the nose in the attempt. Todd was taken to a nearby veterinary hospital, where he was treated for the bite. Godwin was there to help. Todd's heroics gained widespread attention on the Internet, prompting other organizations to contribute to his medical expenses.
A Blind Dog Saved a Drowning Girl
LabRetrievers are known for their love of running and playing, as well as their affinity for water, which is why they tend to have a great time at the beach. Norman, a rescued Labrador retriever who also happened to be blind, was no exception.
Despite his blindness, Norman did not hesitate to jump into the water to rescue a little girl who was about to drown. Norman tracked her down by listening to her cries and gently escorted her to safety on the coast.
A Dog Called 911 to Save His Owner's Life
PTSD-suffering U.S. Marine's Labrador retriever pit bull mix called Major saved his owner's life as he was about to have a seizure. In response to the owner's seizure, the Pit Bull/Labrador Retriever mix reached into his pocket and placed his paw on the mobile phone, making an effort to dial 911.
Dispatchers assumed it was a prank call and kept the phone off the hook. Major, on the other hand, was not willing to accept it, and so he continued to call.
They eventually picked up on McGlade's voice in the background and sent medics. When they arrived, Major was waiting for them in front of the building to direct them to his location.
Bonds Between Dogs and Their Owners
People and dogs have enjoyed a special affinity for hundreds of years. Recent research into this relationship suggests that both dogs and their human owners have a hormonal reaction that is similar to the attachment that exists between parents and children. The dogs in their pack, regardless of breed or size, would valiantly protect or assist the humans in their pack.
These astounding instances of dogs saving human lives, as well as many more like them, demonstrate the loving, fearless spirit of the dog, as well as their dedication to the people they care about.