We call them men’s best friend for a good reason, because dogs have this incredible instinct to protect the humans they love, even with their lives, if necessary. A dog’s loyalty is unquestionable and they will never leave your side, especially in a very tough situation.
Joe Phillips-Garcia – a 16-year old from British Columbia – experienced by his own what it means to have a loyal four-legged companion by your side in the most difficult of times. After getting involved in a terrible car accident, the teen only survived because a king shepherd keep him warm and protected him for nearly 40 hours. As a recognition for his heroic efforts, the 4-year-old dog, named Sako, was inducted into the Purina Animal Hall of Fame.
Phillips-Garcia and Sako have always shared a special bond, ever since the dog – owned by his cousin – was just a puppy. The family used to spent a lot of time together, giving these two the opportunity to explore their home surroundings in British Columbia. But the boy would never guessed how strong this bond was, until he found himself in an extremely tough situation, fighting for his life.
During the summer, Phillips-Garcia was on a fishing trip alongside his cousin, his aunt, another friend, and Sako. Unfortunately, they were riding back home when the car slid off the road and went down a hill 100 yards into the wood. The only survivors were Phillips-Garcia and Sako, both thrown out through the window.
Badly injured, the boy passed out, and when he woke up he was unable to move as one of his legs was broken. But surprisingly, Sako was there, and that gave him hope! “I tried moving in any possible way I could,” the teen recalled. “I felt my head and I looked down at my hand, and there were open wounds.”
Sako stayed by his friend’s side for nearly two days, until a rescue team arrived. All this time, he made sure to keep him warm and to protect him from the coyotes!
“We were just falling asleep, and that’s when you hear the first couple of howls,” Phillips-Garcia said. “He got up as soon as he realized their scent was coming closer and closer, and then he just went in. You could hear them just fighting and the bushes rumbling around.”
Everyone, including the teen and his mother, credited Sako for the boy’s survival. As a reward for his loyalty and bravery, the king shepherd received a medal and entered into the Hall of Fame, as a lifesaving hero.
“I don’t really understand my part of surviving,” the boy said, “But a big part of it was Sako.” While his mother added: “He saved my son’s life!”
More about this story and Sako’s incredible heroism, in the video below!