Resident Pet expert, Dr Ben Willcocks, shares some inspirational pet stories whose love and loyalty were tested when danger struck.
If you’re a pet owner, you’re sure to agree that the bond you share with your pet is that of unconditional love. That love deepens and blossoms as time goes on, and provides memories that you will cherish forever. Brave of heart, these pets have gone down in the record books as some of the world’s best companions because they risked their own lives to save ours. There is no greater sign of selfless love than that.
Mandy the Goat
Noel Osborne is 78-year-old dairy farmer from Australia. One day, he was unexpectedly kicked by one of his cattle. The kick threw him into a pile of manure and broke his hip. The elderly man was unable to move and his pet goat Mandy stayed by his side, offering him her milk, for five days until he was discovered by friends who came to his home to pick up a kid goat. Mandy never left his side and were it not for her, he may have starved to death.
Mila the Beluga Whale
Yang Yun, 26, was competing in a diving contest in Harbin along the Northeast coast of China in July 2009 when she got a severe cramp. Unable to swim, she began sinking deeper and deeper into the depths of the ocean.
The young diver began choking and blacking out. She thought she had died when Mila, a beluga whale, swam to the woman, took hold of her leg and pulled her back to shore where she was treated and revived. The unbelievable moment was caught on camera. Were it not for Mila that surely would have been Yun’s last dive.
Binti Jua the Gorilla
Many will remember the horrific tale of a three-year-old boy who fell 6.1m into the gorilla habitat at Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield, IL, U.S. in August 1996. While many thought the apes would surely tear the boy to shreds, what would happen next would be remembered forever.
Binti Jua, an eight-year-old mother gorilla, picked up the boy who lay unconscious and cradled him as one of her own. When the keepers arrived on the scene, she willingly handed the boy to them. Binti Jua protected the boy, as she would protect her own young, and even kept the other gorillas away while cradling him.
The young boy made a full recovery and the story will never be forgotten.
Tara the Tabby Cat
Four-year-old boy Jeremy Triantafilo was playing on his bicycle in the driveway of his home while his mother, Erica, and pet cat, Tara, were nearby in the yard watering plants. The family truck was parked in the driveway and no one saw that behind the truck the neighbor’s dog was lurking.
In a matter of seconds, the dog attacked. He ran towards the boy, grabbed him by the leg, and threw him off the bike. Tara immediately ran from the garden and pounced on the dog and attacked him.
The dog did let go of the toy and Tara proceeded to chase him off of the property and then returned to Jeremy’s side. The young boy suffered nasty bite wounds but made a full recovery, thanks to Tara.
Angel the Golden Retriever
Eleven-year-old Austin Forman was sent into the woods to collect logs for the family furnace one day. The boy brought the family dog, Angel, along for the trip. The Golden retriever was usually a happy, bouncy dog, but this day in particular he had a cautious, protective disposition.
Before Austin knew what happened, a cougar tried to pounce on the boy from only a 3-metre distance. Angel, who saw the wild cat, jumped at the beast and endured the attack instead. Luckily, a nearby police constable witnessed the attack and was able to shoot the cat dead. Angel, who suffered severe trauma to the head, made a miraculous recovery. Austin believes he would have certainly died that day were it not for Angel.
The bond of unconditional love draws us ever-closer to our pets and that same bond drives them to protect and care for us, no matter the cost. The relationship between a pet and owner is irreplaceable and it is that very relationship that saved their lives. It is gratifying to celebrate pets and give these heroic creatures the credit that is so well deserved.
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Dr Ben Willcocks is a Veterinarian and contributor to the pet website Vetico - www.vetico.com.au