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Taking in a rescue dog and giving it a permanent home is one of the most fulfilling things anyone can do. The animals more often than not come from bad homes and have a history of abuse. There’s nothing as lovely as giving such a poor animal good food, lots of affection, and room to run around.

It’s even sweeter with dog breeds that have a reputation. Pit bulls and Dobermans often have a reputation of being “aggressive” or “ill tempered” do to their intimidating appearance. This means lots of them are ignored and left in shelters.

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So when Catherine Svillcic and her family took an abused Doberman named Khan to their home in Cairns, Australia, it was one of the happiest days of their lives. Poor Khan had a rough life growing up, so Catherine promised she’d make him family, come hell or high water.

But only fours day in his new home, Khan started acting strangely around the other member of the family: baby Charlotte. He was pushing her around the backyard. Before Catherine could react, Khan grabbed Charlotte by her diaper threw her into the air. Catherine’s moment of terror was interrupted, however, by a horrible yelp.

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Khan had been bitten in the paw by a king brown snake. The snake is one of the many, many terrible and deadly animals that live in Australia. The snake’s venom could easily kill a grown adult, let alone a small child Charlotte’s age.

The loyal dog, however, Khan had attempted to scare the serpent off. He stood between the little girl and the venomous serpent, barking angrily. Even after he was bit, he defended Charlotte as best he could until he collapsed.

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The story showed off such amazing canine courage and compassion that soon enough it went viral. News stories around the world were singing praises of “Khan the Wonder Dog!”

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Luckily for Khan, Carolina rushed him to a clinic that quickly provided antivenom. Khan survived and is back home again.