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7 True Stories of Heroic Dogs That Saved Their Owner’s Life

Written by: Genevieve Dugal

Last Updated on April 15, 2024 by Dogster Team

man hugging golden retriever dog outside

7 True Stories of Heroic Dogs That Saved Their Owner’s Life

Dogs have been part of our lives for thousands of years in a mutually beneficial relationship that has only grown stronger over time. Due to this longstanding alliance, these animals are arguably the best equipped to grasp human emotions and have developed a unique sense of loyalty.

In fact, these faithful companions sometimes turn into heroes when their humans are in danger. Here are seven touching stories of heroic dogs that saved their owners’ lives. Get your tissues ready!

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The 7 Most Remarkable Stories Of Dogs Who Saved Their Owner’s Life

1.  Roselle and the World Trade Center

On September 11, 2001, Michael Hingson was working on the 78th floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Center. He was accompanied by his guide dog, Roselle, a 4-year-old Labrador Retriever.

When the planes hit, Roselle guided him through the chaos, and they managed to descend the building’s 1,463 steps. The brave Labrador led her blind owner out of the tower just before it collapsed.

After her heroic deed, Roselle continued to watch over her owner for many years before passing away in 2011, after 14 years of unwavering devotion and selfless acts of love for her human.

2. Haus Versus the Rattlesnake

In general, dogs know that snakes can be threats and will not hesitate to intervene to protect their loved ones.

Several cases are well known, but a particularly striking example is that of Haus, a German Shepherd that risked his life to save a 7-year-old girl in Florida. The little girl and her faithful protector came face to face with a dangerous rattlesnake in the backyard of the family residence in Tampa. Haus quickly stepped between the snake and the girl, getting his leg bitten three times.

The little girl escaped unharmed, and the German Shepherd thankfully recovered from his injuries after intensive treatment at BluePearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital.

3. Nemo the Vietnam War Hero Dog

Born in 1962, Nemo the German Shepherd was recruited by the U.S. Air Force when he was 1 ½ years old. In 1966, he was transferred to the Republic of South Vietnam to fight alongside soldiers and a group of sentry dogs.

One night, Nemo alerted his handler to the presence of nearby enemy soldiers. He lost an eye, but he survived the gunfire and continued to fight the attackers. In 1967, he officially retired from active service, the first sentry dog to do so.

Nemo was credited with saving his handler’s life. He died of natural causes in 1972 at Lackland Air Force Base at the Department of Defense Dog Center, where a kennel now stands as a memorial to this brave dog.

4. Samantha the Loyal Labrador

Samantha is not like most Labradors. In January 2021, her owner, an 84-year-old blind man, fell into a brook while walking near a wooded area in Limington, Maine.

According to information collected by the local television station WCSH, a woman heard screams coming from the backyard of her house and called the police.

Upon arriving at the scene, York County police officers were guided to the brook by the loyal dog’s incessant yapping. By the time he was rescued, the man was suffering from hypothermia as his body temperature had dropped significantly. Luckily, he made it out safe and sound, thanks to the fierce determination and love of his dog Samantha.

5. Curly the Smoke Detector Dog

Everyone knows that fire alarms must be installed in suitable places, and their operation must be checked regularly. However, in cases where these devices are missing or faulty, having a dog could save your life.

That’s what happened in 2019 during a devastating fire at a residence in South Carolina. Curly, a large pooch living with his owner, Rand, a Vietnam veteran, nudged his sleeping owner’s face with his cold nose to alert him to impending danger. The fire tore through the residence, but Curly and his owner made it out alive.

6. Guardian Angel

In British Columbia, encounters with cougars are quite rare, but if it happens, it can be incredibly dangerous. In 2010, a Golden Retriever stepped in to protect an 11-year-old boy from a cougar stalking him in the wooded backyard of their residence.

The Golden Retriever, named Angel, lived up to her name by attacking the cougar and protecting the boy until he could get help. The cougar was then killed by a police officer who arrived on the scene. However, when the young boy pulled the cougar’s body off Angel, the dog appeared fatally injured.

Fortunately, the valiant Golden Retriever stood up, walked up to her young owner, sniffed him to make sure he was okay, and then sat down. The heroic dog was then successfully treated at Sardis Animal Hospital.

7. Shelby Against Mama Bear

Shelby, a 14-year-old female dog from Ontario, Canada, received the Purina Animal Hall of Fame Award in 2019 for defending her owners against a mother bear.

The owner, Louise, was walking on her property with Shelby when she saw three bear cubs in front of her. Of course, Mama Bear wasn’t too far away! Indeed, the bear suddenly appeared and charged toward the woman, but the brave dog came between her owner and the bear.

Shelby fought the predator relentlessly before disappearing into the bushes. Believing that her dog was dead, Louise returned home, her heart in a thousand pieces.

But miraculously, Shelby emerged from the bushes. Barely able to walk, the dog was seriously injured by the bear but managed to scare her away. Her injuries required several surgeries, but the heroic dog has recovered and continues to watch over her owners.

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Dogs are amazing creatures with a remarkable capacity for compassion and bravery. These qualities are on full display when they defend their owners against danger. While most of these stories involve dogs saving their owners, there are many other instances where these animals have come to the aid of people they didn’t know.

In the end, each of these stories is an incredible testimony to the loyalty, courage, and unending love of our canine companions.

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Featured Image Credit: Eric Ward, Unsplash

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