When dogs are in a rescue shelter it’s usually because they have been saved from a life of neglect and need a new home.
However, when one family from Australia adopted a new dog they could never have imagined how it would change their lives.
It all started when the Doberman was spotted being aggressive towards the family’s 17-month old toddler.
Choosing to give a troubled rescue dog a home is one of the kindest things a person can do for an animal.
New families can give the adopted dog the love, warmth, and affection that they may have never been given before.
There are certain dog breeds, including Pit Bulls and Dobermans, that end up spending a lot of time in rescue centres due to the aggressive reputations they have, meaning they are less likely to be adopted.
However, the Svillcics from Cairns, Australia, decided to take a chance on a Doberman.
The family had been wanting to help a dog in need and knew there were a high volume of unwanted pets that needed rehoming in Australia so they decided to adopt, not shop, for their furry friend.
Mother Catherine chose a large Doberman Pinscher named Kahn. He had suffered a lifetime of abuse but the family wanted to change his life. They were not worried about introducing him to their 17-month old daughter, Charlotte.
With dogs and babies there is always a risk – even if the dog isn’t from a rescue shelter.
If a dog is uncomfortable with its surroundings it can threaten everyone’s safety, including the owner who loves them most.
Khan was no different. He had come from a home where he had been beaten and starved, but the Svilicic’s knew they had to take a chance on him.
Yet it turns out the risk almost wasn’t worth taking.
One afternoon Charlotte was playing in the garden with Khan while Catherine watched on from the house. Khan had been with the family for just four days.
All of a sudden Khan changed. He was crazy, angry and uncontrollable. He went up to Charlotte and knocked her straight onto the ground.
Something had spooked Khan. He was possessed and snarling.
Charlotte and Khan had seemed to get a long, but the dog was about to do something that the family would never ever forget.
Catherine was watching the events unfold from inside the house. She could not believe what she was seeing.
Khan was aggressive and snarling, pushing the little girl with a great force. This was not playful.
By the time Catherine was able to get outside it was all too late.
To Catherine’s shock, Khan grabbed the little girl by the diaper and tossed her across the garden.
Like a rag doll, Charlotte was lifeless.
“Khan was really concentrating and was acting aggressively towards Charlotte, and kept trying to nudge her but it wasn’t working. So he grabbed her by the back of the nappy and threw her over his shoulder more than a metre, like she was a rag doll,” Catherine said.
“If I had not seen it with my own eyes I would have never believed it,” Catherine added
Obviously Catherine was horrified, but suddenly she realised the reason behind Khan’s actions. Catherine picked up her daughter and was shocked to hear Khan scream in pain. What had happened?
It was then that Catherine noticed the slithering brown snake in the grass. Khan had merely been trying to protect Charlotte from the snake. In a way he was repaying the family for his rescue.
The pup wasn’t trying to hurt Charlotte, he was saving her life from a snake that had crawled from underneath the house.
But it wasn’t just any snake, it was a venomous King Brown which is known for being one of the most deadly in Australia.
Australia is home to some of the most deadly animals on the planet. Snakes like the King Brown have the power to kill a human in just minutes.
If the snake had made contact with Charlotte there is no doubting that it would have killed her. But then Mom looked at her pup.
The snake had instead bitten Khan, but he still continued to protect his new family.
The venom would be coursing through his veins and Catherine knew he needed help fast.
The heroic dog had only been in the family for four days and he was already willing to put his life on the line in order to save them.
The King Brown’s venom consists of myotoxins, or basic peptides that cause instantaneous paralysis, and when they bite, they inject more venom than the average snake.
The King Brown kills more people in Australia than any other animal. Khan’s life really was in the balance.
The venom was quickly taking over the dog. He collapsed and became paralysed and within minutes. He was struggling to breathe.
As he was a big dog, it would take about an hour for the venom to get round Kahn’s body and ultimately take his life.
Catherine needed to work fast.
The poor pup was rushed to the local animal clinic where he was given a life saving shot of anti-venom.
As time was of the essence, the family were unsure if Khan was going to make it through.
After a tough night at the clinic, Khan managed to pull through. He even wolfed down a giant breakfast the next morning.
Despite his near death experience, Khan was on the road to a full recovery.
Doberman Pinscher’s are known for being alert, loyal and fearless, which Khan has definitely proved.
They were originally bred in Germany as guard dogs and companions and Khan has definitely lived up to his ancestors.
Khan is now back with his family who love him now more than ever. Catherine has said she will dedicate her life to her dog and give him everything he wants.
We’re pretty sure this heroic dog will be happy with a roof over his head, a belly full of food and a warm bed to snuggle in – and we can guarantee he will be getting plenty of that!