Heroes aren’t always big and strong and tough. In fact, sometimes they can be diminutive and sweet.
And furry. And homeless.
Meet Mabeline. The Rhodesian ridgeback or Lab mix is only about 38 pounds, with big brown eyes and an “absolute sweetheart” personality.
The 4-year-old dog was passing her days at the Friends of Strays shelter in St. Petersburg, Fla. She was probably very happy when a 17-year-old girl who regularly volunteered at the shelter opened her kennel to take her for a walk.
Not long into their walk, a man allegedly chased down the girl, grabbed her by the hair, and pinned her to the ground. She couldn’t free herself. It could have been really bad; the suspect was later identified as a registered sex offender. But Mabeline wasn’t going to stand by and let her girl get attacked.
According to shelter workers, she growled, barked, and bared her teeth, and the suspect fled.
“To see something like that happen, it’s just unfathomable,” said Donna Thomas, from Friends of Strays. “A dog, its bark, its growl, and defending its owner, is always a deterrent.”
Mabeline has since been adopted, and her new owner says she had no idea of Mabeline’s heroic act when she adopted her. When she found out, she says, “I looked at my dog and I thought, ‘You’re a hero,’ and I gave her another piece of ham.”
What a good dog, and I’m so glad she has a forever home. Dogs are just so great, dontcha think? (Yeah, I know, silly question to bring up with this dog-loving audience, but I couldn’t just sign off without giving this wonder dog — and all other canine heroes — a high five.)