"When I was little we lived on 14 acres right on a river bank. There was one day that my (very pregnant) mom brought me home from grocery shopping (I was about 2), put me inside, and went back out to get the rest of the groceries. I somehow snuck out the door and wandered down to the river. My mom freaked out when she went into the house and couldn't find me, and headed for the river, sure that I was drowning. She found me standing with my toes on the very edge of the river and our German Shorthaired Pointer sitting very calmly behind me with my shirt in his mouth, holding me back. I probably owe that dog my life."
"I was visiting family with my mother and while they were in the house, I went to the backyard (which had a pool). They had a larger dog and I was afraid of dogs at the time. As I was trying to play keep away around the pool to stay as far away from the dog as possible I fell in.
Mind you, this was the 3rd time I had almost drowned in my life. The dog, who I had avoided and treated like dirt, jumped in the water (no one heard my gurgled cries evidently) and pulled me close enough to the edge that I got out. I cried for my mother but she still didn't come out to help. I ended up going inside and I got smacked for going into the pool in my clothes.
That was the day that I learned two things: I needed to learn how to swim, and I was not my mother's favorite child."
"I went out for a run around my family's land one morning, as usual, at around 8:00 am. My Doberman, Bonnie, runs along with me all the time. I ran with my music on and was completely oblivious to the Copperhead that was headed straight for me. It strikes out at me and missed only slightly. When I realize what it was, I panicked and (like my usually clumsy self) fell. It came back and Bonnie jumped in front of it and took the bite herself. Her cry was absolutely horrible, it had her right hind leg. She managed to turn around and rip it off, proceeding to tear it apart. Afterwards she fell to the ground and her breathing was getting quicker. I picked her up, as heavy as she was, and ran her to my truck. I drove as fast as I could to the vet. Thankfully I got her there quick enough for them to save her. My dog saved me from that Copperhead, and she still lives. I love that dog so much."
"A while after I came home from Afghanistan, I started dealing with some severe depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms. Life was hell for me, more so than when I was deployed. I didn't have the focus in life I did while deployed or the outlets either anymore. I simply stewed in my own misery like some kind of sad little 'Fox' soup. I started seeing a therapist after a while but all she wanted to do was pump me full of pills and send me on my merry little way. I don't agree with just throwing drugs at problems until they 'go away' so I sought a different 'head shrinker'. She turned me onto Animal Assisted Therapy and helped me to get my dog, 'Hammer', who has been my best friend ever since. He's helped me through some dark times, kept me calm during panic/anxiety attacks, and been a rock in my life. The Forth of July was a particularly bad night for me which I spent huddled up in my apartment with my headphones in and Hammer at my side, keeping me calm. He jumps in my bed whenever I have nightmares and lays next to me too. Whenever I start to roll around a lot or lash out in my sleep he licks my face or nuzzles me until I wake up. My life would either by an empty hell hole or non-existent if it weren't for Hammer."
"When I was about 6-7 I lived pretty close to a lake. I was splashing around with my grandma and my German Shepherd (long dead now, unfortunately). There's dozens of little beaches and rarely many people at most of them, so we always picked the one closest to my house.
As I was walking out of the lake, some dude runs up and grabs me, I start wailing while he's running off (still holding me). My grandma and I are both freaking out and she couldn't exactly do much. This is Buddy's cue to mouth tackle the back of this dudes leg, he goes down pretty hard, as do I (have a nice scar on my head from hitting the pavement). I don't remember much, except for my grandma crying, some police, and everyone showering the dog in affection. It was like a cheesy movie (except it all happened really fast).
As far as I know, the guy managed to initially get away after fighting off my dog, but eventually showed up at a hospital for bite wounds and was arrested shortly after.
Who knows what could have been had Buddy not been there. That dog loved children and was immediately at attention if me or my cousins started crying/yelling etc. Best dog I've ever owned."
"My dog, Camie, defended me and my friend from her (my friend's) crazy, abusive boyfriend.
We both knew he was an abusive sociopath, but of course being his girlfriend, this was something that she was in denial about for a long time. Finally, she couldn't deny it anymore and tried to leave him.
He beat the snot out of her. She managed to get away from him and drove the short distance to my house to be safe. My house wasn't safe, though. He followed her, kicked through the glass on the french doors, and unlocked the bolt from the inside.
I wish I could say that either of us made a valorous stand against him, but we didn't. She had already gone a few rounds with him and neither of us had any kind of self-defense training. He cornered us quickly and used his fists and my scarves to subdue us. He told us what he was going to do to us both (not going to repeat it) and I had pretty much resigned myself to it, too beaten to fight and for whatever reason, it wasn't in me to beg, either. I just went cold and numb. I couldn't even feel the physical hurt. Mentally, I just...left.
That's when Camie, my pit/lab mix finally broke through the remainder of the french doors and came barreling into the room.
Now, Camie is a sweet, loving, goofy dog. She was as gentle as can be with all of the neighborhood kids and had never so much as snarled. She was even kinda dumb...a silly, sweet girl.
But when Camie got a hold of this guy, she was a different animal. She was wild-eyed and foaming at the mouth, bleeding from all of the cuts she'd gotten from the glass and not giving a single care. She was on top of him in the blink of an eye, and I can't even describe the sound coming out of her. I counted down in my head until the moment when she ripped that jerk's face off.
But that moment didn't happen. The sound of the garage door opening froze us all in place. My father was home. The guy tried to take advantage of the moment and get away from her but Camie backed him into a corner and barked and snarled her head off. My dad must have understood something about that sound because he was in that room in no time flat, with gun in hand.
The police came. Reports were filed. The trial was held, and he went away. Apparently, this wasn't even his first assault.
Camie's cuts healed, and so did ours. We no longer have french doors.
She's an old girl now. An old, sweet, loving girl. Her mind is starting to go, and so are her hind legs. She may not remember what she did for me (and my friend), but I won't forget. She may be nearing the end of her days, but I will never see a weak, useless old dog. She's my dog. I don't know what all my friend's crazy boyfriend might have done. I don't even know what I owe her, and that's the beauty of it."
"Not exactly a pet, but when I was visiting friends up in Nunavut there was a moose that used to hang around and get drunk off of fermented apples near their house. It was surprisingly chill with people, probably because it was really drunk most of the time. Anyways, one day my friend and I get back to his place and the moose is standing right on his doorstep blocking the door. Only an idiot messes with a full grown moose so we let it be and get back in the car to wait for it to leave. After a few minutes a couple of mounties show up...then a couple more...then more... Up there you don't normally see more than two cops at a time so it was a bit of a strange response to a moose on the doorstep, especially considering we hadn't called anyone. It turns out they weren't there for the moose, they were there for a man who had beaten his girlfriend, stole her shotgun, robbed a store and was last seen being chased by a drunken moose right into my friends house. If the moose hadn't been blocking the door the guy probably would have shot us or something. It took the cops hours to get him to come out, and he was absolutely wasted when he did."
"When I was younger I was severely depressed. I had told my mother about it and she took me to the doctor and got me on medication. The doctor also gave me sleeping pills because I wasn't sleeping. The medication increased my depression to the point of wanting to end my life. After my mother left for work I decided that life was not worth living anymore. I was laying on my bed playing with my bird for the last time and writing a note explaining why I wanted my life to be over. I started writing and my little bird ran up and tugged the pen out of my hand. After retrieving it I began writing again. He grabbed the pen and ran to the end of my bed and dropped it on the floor. Then looked at me. Right at me, and then I just couldn't do it. I started sobbing and he hobbled up to me and began licking my tears off my face. In that moment it all changed. I decided to live no matter what because as insignificant as my life was, someone loved me and needed me. Every time my depression gets the worst of me I remember that little bird."
"I was living with an abusive boyfriend and my cat Buddie. BF abused her, too. She was terrified of any man that came to the apartment. Until a friend of a friend came over. She loved him! She'd follow him all over the place, it was funny. I finally got the nerve to kick out the jerk, but needed a place to live. Friend of a friend lost his roommates, so I moved in. We eventually got married and have been for 19 years. 14 of those were shared with Buddie. We both have tats commemorating her."
"I was walking my dog - Nitro, a 100 lb rot/lab/chow mix, in the massive expanse of wilderness that was my backyard at my old house - at night. It wasn't pitch black but it was capital 'd' kind of dark, though, the sky was littered with dim stars. We were coming around a bend of foliage when I heard this strange, guttural sound like I've never heard before; incredibly deep and incredibly threatening.
I started glancing around but couldn't see anything, my dog was doing a bit of the same but by his reaction I could feel he had more information than I did. It didn't take him long before he got directly in front of me and started snarling at something in the bushes, again, quite guttural and serious. I backed away a bit and peered into the brush, then something moved and I saw two large eyes staring back at me, it was a mountain lion - not uncommon in Ohio.
They both just stood there. The mountain lion was in a pounce-ready position and I was confident it could be on me before I had time to move. My dog was in a similarly defensive position and every hair on his back was standing on end and I remembering being surprised how clearly I could see his muscles flex through his fur. They exchanged growls for what seemed like a decade, locking eyes the entire time before the cat slowly backed down and fled."
"One day, I was walking my dog and on our way back to my house, a squirrel ran into our garage. I let go of the leash thinking, hey, we're home, he won't run away or anything.
Well, turns out, the squirrel runs out of the garage and my dog runs after him. As a last resort, I step on his leash to keep him from running away. It wraps around my ankle and I fall to the ground. It was a little jarring, but I'm ok. The next day my leg puffs up to the point where I'm limping very badly. We go to the doctor and find out that because I had twisted and fell (because of my squirrel-hungry dog) it aggravated a blood clot (specifically, a DVT:Deep Vein Thrombosis) which caused the swelling. Since I'm only 15, blood clots are not common, so the doctor took more tests and we found out what caused the clot was a malignant tumor near my bladder. The size of a grapefruit.
They also found the cancer had spread (stage 4) so i started treatment immediately. It's been 10 months since my dog caused me to fall. Today I am cancer free, and almost finished with chemo."
"When I was around 16 my older brother brought home this awesome pit whose owners were getting divorced and moving away. We'd never had a dog before since my mom was pretty nervous around them from bad experiences as a child. He was about 8 months old, just really handsome with a patch of color over his eye, so the former owners had dubbed him Pirate. My younger brother and I were super jazzed and we buy him all the requisite dog stuff so we could take him out.
We'd usually walk him around our neighborhood together, but on this one particular day my brother had gone to a friend's house so I took him out by myself. It was summer, high noon, and getting super hot, so I decided to cut the walk short and go through an alley that would take me back to my side of the block. I turn to go down the alley and Pirate won't move. He just looks at me. I coax and tug on his leash, and it's like dragging a boulder. He seriously does NOT want to go down the alley, but me being new to dogs, and having been a cat person for many years, I just think he's being difficult for the hell of it. Finally, he sees my insistence and just up and bolts, me flying behind yelling at him to stop, but he keeps going, mad dash road-runner style.
As we near the end of the alley, I see this older guy just standing there like a statue, staring at me with his pants all the way down and his privates out. I'm in complete shock and don't even believe what I'm seeing. Pirate doesn't pause for a second and by then I'm all for running, so we run all the way back to my house where I immediately start yelling my head off about the naked guy by the alley. My mom calls the cops, my step-dad drives down the street looking for the guy and sees our neighbors flipping out because they had driven by and seen him too, although he was gone by the time they turned around to get a closer look. There had been girls getting attacked and assaulted in our area that whole summer so it was definitely serious and I had to file a report. I never thought I'd be a dog person until I met Pirate; I can't even imagine what would have happened if he hadn't been with me. I miss that dog so, so much."
"Not me, but my little brother's dog quite literally saved his life. He was living in a very old house and something went wrong with the wood heating (I apologize for not knowing the exact details) that caused his house to fill up with toxic black smoke. My brother was already asleep when this happened, so the carbon monoxide from the smoke just made him unconscious. Brutus, his dog, repeatedly bit his arm until the pain snapped him out of it, and then helped drag him towards the door. He's basically a 140lbs golden lab version of Lassie."
"I was going to kill myself. It was late at night and everybody in my house was asleep. I decided that I was going to go to the kitchen and cut myself. I went to the kitchen and got a knife out of a drawer.
Before I went through with it, I wanted to make sure the knife was sharp, so I tested it on my wrist. It was sharper than I anticipated. I cut myself pretty bad. At that moment my dog immediately started to bark his head off. Within what seemed likes seconds, my mom was at my side. I was on the ground trying to get my blood off the floor for some reason. I guess I was just panicking.
I told the paramedics and my family that cutting my wrist was the suicide attempt. I couldn't bear to tell my family that I was prepared to do something as drastic as cutting my throat. I thought that would just be too much.
I believe my dog saved my life that night. He knew I hurt myself and he got me the help I needed."
"I suffer from severe PTSD, agoraphobia, and panic attack anxiety disorder after two tours of duty in Iraq. My family has since moved away from me as well to another state so that my son may attend school. My German shepherd is literally the only friend in the world that I have left. It's kind of sad really. In a way it's comforting, but at the same time without him I don't think I could even function or continue to make it day to day."
"When I was in the 6th grade, my mom went out grocery shopping one morning and when she got home, a man was in our house, robbing us (we later found out that he'd been sleeping in the woods behind our house for about a week). When my mom came in the kitchen door from the garage, he was waiting for her with a knife, and he pulled her inside without shutting the door; we had three dachshunds at the time, and all three ran outside immediately, obviously terrified of this strange scary dude in their house. They never go outside without us, and our next-door neighbor saw them pacing back and forth just outside the garage door, looking worried and crying, so the neighbor came over to our house to see what was up. The guy in our house pulled her inside too, but my mom and the neighbor managed to break and run in separate directions, so the guy cut and ran too. He was caught the next day, sleeping in a tent in someone's backyard (wtf). If our dogs hadn't gone outside and cried, my mom would probably have been assaulted and/or killed. Strudel, Heidi, and Daisy, you are my hero puppies and I love you."
"I had two cats at home. One was a Maine Coon --- a complete dork, but secretly very intelligent --- and the other was a very smart blue point Siamese. I never had many friends, and the friends I did have weren't interested in hanging out with me outside of school. I didn't have anyone to talk to, so I would socialize with the cats. They kept me company and gave me a reason not to live on when I was a depressed teenager."
"I had a severe depressive episode earlier this year and I sat at my couch staring at a glass of water while holding a fistful of pills when my tiny pug puppy crawled into my lap. He just sat there and stared up into my face and began to lick my chin and I just couldn't do it with him looking at me like that.
I put the pills away and just cuddled my puppy on the couch for a while."
"One day I was home alone and I had fallen asleep in my living room. I woke up with it being dark, I walked into the kitchen that has a sliding glass door into the backyard when I realized I could hear the outside noises and my brother's pitbull panting at the door. The door should not have been open (there's a gate in front of it that has a door knob on it, the dog couldn't have opened it). I had not left it open and when I turned on the light It was open all the way. I immediately backed into the living room with that horrible feeling that someone was there in the house with me.
I was already trembling as I sat down, I knew I had to check the house before I freak out and call 911, left the house, or basically acted before I had a genuine excuse to be scared so I hesitantly called in my brothers dog.
Before this night, I'll admit she scared me. I had always been raised not to judge breeds but I had also been raised not to trust a pitbull that didn't know me since it was a puppy (she had barely moved in a few years back and I basically stopped going into my backyard).
There is no way to describe the absolute change in that animals posture when she came in. She is 70 lbs of fat but all of it was pulled taut in attention, moving in a defensively alert stance, she came into the house, did a quick patrol of the area before coming to me and sitting leaning towards me. Once I grabbed her collar she led me to the door.
I called my dad and brothers and both arrived to scope everything out. They told me I was overreacting and must have left the gate open which allowed the dog to nose the glass door open. I left with my dad go to my sister's house (he drove ~20-40 mins to come get me) a little relieved but adamant the gate was closed.
The next day my dad took me outside too see a a part of the fence that had a ripped piece of fabric hanging on top like someones shirt and a cluster of footprints (man and dog) under it as well as a muddy footprint on the wall and scratches going up it (like from a dog scratching up a wall to get something.
To this day I wonder what would have happened if that dog had been kenneled and not loose in the yard. And to this day I am no longer afraid of her and she has become basically my dog."
"When we were kids my dog Mush saved my brother's life. She was crazy intelligent and awesome, and this just cemented it.
My step dad had one of those huge old pickups on wheels that were two sizes too big for it...one you had to use a springboard to get into. He was late for work one day and ran out of the house and got in, only giving a cursory glance around to make sure we kids weren't around. Long story short, we were around. In fact, my 4 year old brother was playing behind the truck on the far side. So my stepdad starts out, and the truck wheel hits my brother, knocks him over, and starts running him over.
Our dog Mush absolutely BOLTS out of the house, behind the car, and starts barking like a maniac. Stepdad sees the dog in the rearview, and luckily doesn't just shoo the dog away but goes back forward and gets out.
We were lucky he did. The truck wheel had smashed one side of my brothers chest, collapsing the lung and breaking ribs. If Mush hadn't come out and gone bezerk, it would have completely flattened his ribcage and everything inside of it.
Mush did a lot of rad stuff in her life, including riding surfboards with my Mom. No idea how she knew from inside the house that something was wrong. She was an amazing dog, and even now, 20 years after her death, I think about her all the time. In case anyone cares, she was a husky sled dog."
"Had a bagel with cream cheese sitting by my desk, and before I picked it up to take a bite, my cat jumped onto the desk and started punching the bagel. Turns out there was a gigantic spider in the hole of it, which I would have almost eaten. Lives up to his name, Rambo."
"When I was a little over a year old, my family was moving across town. It took four days to get everything ready. While my parents and sibling were packing the house up and loading the moving truck, I was on the front porch playing.
For some reason, my cat would herd me away from a certain potted plant whenever I'd venture near it. He would just sit on the porch by the plant and watch me.
My parents thought it odd, but didn't think about it any further. On the last day, my parents pick up the potted plant to find a pygmy rattle snake underneath it.
This is a story my parents told me a few times growing up, though I obviously don't remember it.
Byron was an awesome cat, he would follow me whenever I went to a friend's house in the neighborhood and sit on their porch until I came out and would follow me back home. He was a 22 lb cat that held his own against Rottweilers and Dobermans multiple times and lived to the ripe old age of 19."