Adopting a dog can be one of the most rewarding—and nerve-wracking—times in a pet owner’s life. You’re giving an animal in need a second chance, of course, but you also need to worry about whether or not it will be able to adjust to the changes—or get along with everyone in your home.
When one woman recently noticed her adopted pet Dobermann being aggressive towards her very young daughter, it was obviously cause for concern. But when she realized why he was acting that way, suddenly everything made sense…
Catherine Svilicic of Australia knew the risks when she decided to adopt a Dobermann named Khan. She’d heard horror stories about rescue dogs who have trouble readjusting to life outside the cage, but she thought Khan was different.
Even though Catherine and her husband knew Khan came from an abusive home prior to adopting him, they still had no qualms about introducing him to their 17-month-old daughter, Charlotte. They were certain that it was better to rescue an animal than buy one from a breeder.
Days after Khan’s adoption, young Charlotte was playing with the dog in the family garden. That was when Catherine noticed something that would frighten any pet owner—especially those with kids…
Catherine couldn’t believe what she was seeing: Khan was snarling and pushing Charlotte around. It was every parent’s worst nightmare, and for Charlotte, it must have been a truly terrifying moment.
Then, before Catherine could react, the large Dobermann grabbed the toddler by the diaper and tossed her across the yard like a rag doll! Catherine raced toward her baby. What on earth could be going through the dog’s mind that it would behave this way?
“If I had not seen it with my own eyes I would have never believed it,” Catherine recalled. It was like her loving dog, usually so gentle with the little girl, totally transformed. Catherine started running toward Charlotte when she saw something that made her take pause…
Her 17-month-old daughter was pointing at something suspicious slipping away into the grass. She realized what made Khan act out so aggressively—and it had nothing to do with any feelings of rage toward her child. In fact, it was the opposite!
In the yard was a large king brown snake—one of the most venomous in Australia. Catherine realized Khan wasn’t trying to harm little Charlotte; rather, he was merely trying to get her to safety! He wouldn’t let anything happen to his baby sister.
Even experienced animal experts and snake handlers are terrified of the deadly king brown snake and what it can do, but Khan didn’t hesitate. He saved Charlotte by flinging her out of harm’s way. Unfortunately, that meant that Khan was the snake’s new target!
There was no time to waste; Catherine had the sudden realization that Khan was in serious danger. She made sure that her daughter would be okay before she turned her attention back to the dog.
Khan might have saved Charlotte, but he’d been bitten on his paw by the snake—and he collapsed to the ground. For one terrifying moment, Catherine thought it was all over for Khan.
Catherine couldn’t give up on the dog—he was family, and he just saved her baby’s life without hesitation. She knew that she didn’t have a second to spare. She had to take action if the dog was going to survive.
Catherine frantically rushed Khan to a nearby emergency veterinary clinic. Could he receive an anti-venom injection before it was too late? All Catherine could do was move as quickly as possible…
Khan was in bad shape. He had a rough first night at the clinic, but thankfully, he managed to pull through. The staff was amazed to see that he even had an appetite when he woke up the next morning!
He still needed to heal from his wound, but ultimately, he would be okay. It was the best news Catherine could have hoped for. She was overjoyed that her family’s canine hero was going to pull through.
Now, years later, Catherine is just as thankful that she chose to adopt Khan and rescue him from his abusive past. It really is true what they say: adopt, don’t shop. You’re not just buying a pet—you’re welcoming a new member to your family!
When Catherine adopted Khan, she had no idea he would pay back her family for their kindness. The fact that he went above and beyond and put his life on the line for his little sister was astounding.
Khan went on to make a full recovery at the veterinary clinic and was sent back to live with his loving family just a few short days later. Catherine, meanwhile, was happy to watch he and Charlotte grow to become the best of friends!
It’s alarming to see your beloved family pet attack your child. But once Catherine realized why Khan grabbed Charlotte like that, she realized she made a great decision to adopt him.
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