They say a dog is man's -- or woman's -- best friend. And never was this made more clear than early last Wednesday morning when Princess, a five-year-old pit bull/Rhodesian Ridgeback mix, was stabbed multiple times as she tried to protect her owner from a violent boyfriend.
"I feel like she's my hero," Marie Wells, 31, of Southbridge, Mass., tells PEOPLEPets.com. "If she hadn't been there, I don't know what could have happened. [My boyfriend] snapped."
For her first two years, Gina was a typically happy German shepherd puppy. She loved going up to people with tail wagging and ears up. As she trained to be a bomb-sniffing dog, Gina enjoyed checking out new sites at her home on Peterson Air Force Base. But all that changed following her six-month tour of duty in Iraq from December 2008 to May of 2009.
He had eight beers and two 32-oz. margaritas before calling it a night and falling asleep. So when Jerry Douthett awoke an hour later to a pool of blood beneath his right foot, he thought it was a nightmare. "But when I got up and rinsed my foot off, you know what a shock it was?" says Jerry of the moment he discovered the top half of his big toe was missing. "I still can't believe it."
As Jerry, 48, yelled to his wife, "My toe is gone," the couple's 1-year-old Jack Russell terrier was following him, licking up the trail of blood, his face smeared with it. "Right then and there, I knew Kiko ate it," says wife Rosee, 40, a registered nurse. "It was so bizarre."
Yes, the dog ate Jerry's toe the night of July 24, but at the same time, the pooch most likely saved his life. For several months, a smelly infection festered in the swollen digit, but the Rockford, Mich., resident refused to see a doctor. Once at the hospital to repair the toe, he was told his blood sugar was an eye-popping 560 (the normal range is between 80 and 120) and that he had type 2 diabetes. His doctors said that with blood sugar at such a high level, Jerry could have died.
A regular morning romp through the yard turned into a nightmare for a young Chihuahua named Buster when he was suddenly attacked and taken by a wild coyote in the suburban town of Littleton, Colo. But thanks to two brave pit bull neighbors, the dog survived the frightening encounter and is on the road to a recovery.
Four-year-old Buster had just returned from his morning walk with mom Jodi Robinette on July 31, but wanted a little more play time outside. Having already checked the surroundings of her back yard, Robinette felt it safe to let Buster burn off some active energy while she kept an eye out from her living room couch. But not even 30 seconds later, Robinette was back on her feet.
Call it the will to survive: One cat is on the road to recovery today after she was left for dead in a pet carrier that was apparently put into Boston's Charles River last week. Nicknamed Grandma Moses by staffers at the MSPCA-Angell, where she's recuperating, her potentially tragic story became a small miracle, thanks to one very good Samaritan.
When Cherry Woods found herself the target of two pit bulls in the distance, ready to attack, she started walking back home. But the dogs caught up to her, and even as she and her husband tried to fight them off, they continued to charge and bite her legs.
According to a report from Houston's KHOU news channel, a surprise hero came to her rescue: her tortoiseshell cat, Lima. As the Pearland, Texas, woman struggled, her onetime stray cat jumped out of the bushes and scratched one of the dogs, hissing at them. With the dogs distracted, Woods's husband Harold was able to bring her into the house.
Brenda van Bovene's Monday was punctuated by screams. First, the screams of her 11-year-old Australian silky terrier Tammy, then by her own shrill cries – so loud that a neighbor across the street heard them through his ear buds as he listened to his iPod.
Van Bovene heard Tammy crying in a terrible, distressed way from the backyard that afternoon, which prompted the 56-year-old woman to rush outside to see what was wrong. She was shocked to find her 15-lb. dog caught in the stranglehold of an 8-ft. python, which was slowly coiling itself around Tammy in a bid to kill her.
A year after Tristan Moulton was born, he was diagnosed with a degenerative disease called spinal muscular atrophy type 2, and his parents, Travis and Melissa, were told he wouldn't live past the age of 4.
Now 6, Tristan, who loves watching Cars and playing hide-and-seek with his nurses, is beating those odds, but his world is tough: He's wheelchair-bound, requires 24-hour care and has already been airlifted to the hospital three times this year, due to pneumonia-related complications.
So when his parents agreed to get him a puppy in April, they hoped it would be a bright spot in his life. They took him to a Yorkshire terrier breeder 65 miles from their home in Victor, Idaho, and told him he could have any dog he wanted. He picked the runt of the 12-week-old litter, and named him Max.
In his new action flick The Losers, Jeffrey Dean Morgan plays a ruggedly handsome tough guy with a heart of gold, which, come to think of it, probably wasn't much of a stretch for the 44-year-old actor.
While most of the cast and crew came back from filming in the jungles of Puerto Rico with souvenir trinkets, Morgan came back with a new best friend – a very grateful, rambunctious mutt named Bandit.
"He just wandered out of the jungle in Puerto Rico, like our second day there, and promptly got hit by a car," Morgan tells PEOPLE at the film's Los Angeles premiere.
Greg Guy wants his phone to stop ringing, but he knows that's probably not going to happen -- at least not for a while. "I just wish all this would die down a bit," says Guy, 62. "It's been crazy."
It seems that ever since news got out that his three-year-old feline, Schnautzie, won an animal hero award for sniffing out a potentially lethal gas leak in his house, every reporter in the world has felt compelled to phone him up and pester him with questions. "It could have been bad, real bad," explains Guy when asked what would have happened if Schnautzie hadn't alerted his wife Trudy, 55, that something was wrong.
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