Catherine Svilicic was watching her daughter Charlotte play in the grass at home in the Australian town of Atherton. The family had recently adopted Khan a Doberman. Svilicic was stunned when she saw Khan perk up and become aggressive with her daughter.
Khan grabbed her daughter Charlotte by the diaper and flung her across the yard.
“Khan was really concentrating and was acting aggressively toward Charlotte and kept trying to nudge her but it wasn’t working,” Svilicic said.
“So he grabbed her by the back of the nappy and threw her over his shoulder more than a meter like she was a rag doll,” the girl’s mother said.
That’s when Svilicic saw a king brown snake, the third most poisonous snake in the world, jump out from underneath their house and bite Khan in the leg.
“Charlotte looked pretty shocked and Khan screamed like he’d been stabbed,” Svilicic recalled. “I realized he had been trying to get in between her and the snake before he threw her.”
Khan survived because the snake didn’t inject that much venom into him. Svilicic said she was stunned by Khan’s heroic act. “If I had not seen it with my own eyes, I would never have believed it,” she said.
The owner of Doberinling Boarding Kennels, Kerry Kinder, rescued Khan after she found out he was being abused.
“When Kerry Kinder rescued him, he was starving, had broken ribs and had been beaten — he was an abused dog,” Svilicic said. “It was borderline on whether or not he should be put down because he was in such a bad way.”
“He was starving for attention and wanted to be loved because he came from an abused home, so I’m not surprised about what he has done at his new home,” Kinder said.
Svilicic said she is forever grateful to Khan for saving her daughter.
“He saved her life by risking his own,” she said. “From now on, he’s Khan the Wonder Dog. If Khan wants a gold bowl, Khan gets it. We owe him for the rest of his life,” she said.
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