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11 Heroic Dog Stories That'll Make You Say, "I'M NOT CRYING, YOU'RE CRYING"

Such good boys (and girls) — we don't deserve them. For more stunning acts of canine heroism, get tickets to Megan Leavey, in theaters June 9.

1. When Angel, the aptly named golden retriever, fought off a cougar to protect his young owner.


Eleven-year-old Austin Forman was collecting firewood in his backyard when he noticed his dog, Angel, sticking unusually close to his side. Soon, Austin realized why — when he was attacked by an unseen cougar.

Angel fearlessly leapt at the cougar to protect his owner. While the dog and giant cat were fighting, Austin ran into the house and told his mother, "There's a cougar eating Angel." She immediately called 911, but by the time the authorities arrived, Angel had suffered deep wounds and his survival seemed uncertain. However, Angel stunned everyone by getting up despite his injuries in order to make sure Austin was okay. Thankfully, Angel was too.

2. When formerly abused Peanut saved a three-year-old girl from freezing to death.


On the morning of St. Patrick's Day, Peanut's owner said that her rescue dog started acting a bit crazy. After running around and barking all over the house, the owner finally let Peanut outside. The dog forcefully led her owner through the field behind their house to a three-year-old girl, who was naked and shivering in a ditch.

Peanut's owner wrapped the young girl in a sweatshirt and called the authorities. Peanut was sadly no stranger to suffering. When she was rescued, she was in bad shape: She had broken ribs, two broken legs, and a belly full of carpet. Perhaps that's what made her so attuned to the pain of the little girl.

3. When a black Lab named Bear saved a toddler from drowning.


Patricia Drauch was in her garden when suddenly she realized her 14-month-old son, Stanley, had disappeared. She searched everywhere and finally found him: He was face up in the pool with his eyes rolled back and his lips blue. But luckily, Stanley wasn't alone in the pool. The family dog, Bear, was with him and was standing perfectly still underneath the boy in order to keep the boy's head above water. Authorities later confirmed that Stanley had almost drowned and likely owes Bear his life.

4. When Maya, a pitbull mix, rescued her owner from a violent attacker.


Angela Marcelino rescued Maya from the Humane Society — a few years later, Maya returned the favor. Angela was entering her home one night when an attacker shoved her inside her house. The man grabbed her by the throat and slammed the door. Her struggle got Maya's attention, and the dog attacked the assailant, giving Angela enough time to hit the man's groin. He released Angela and fled. This wasn't the end though: Some of his blood was left on Maya's face, so the authorities were able to arrest the attacker.

5. When a Rottweiler named Eve rescued her paraplegic owner from a burning vehicle.


Kathie Vaughn was heading to Atlanta for an antiques show when her car caught on fire. Kathie is paralyzed from the waist down, so evacuating the vehicle quickly and easily wasn't an option. She began trying to assemble her wheelchair, but the smoke made her disoriented. Luckily, her dog, Eve, was still sharp and totally fearless, so she dragged her owner out of the vehicle and into a nearby ditch. Soon the entire vehicle went up in flames. Eve's heroism might be 100% stunning to the rest of us, but it didn't surprise her owner: "She just loves me. She helps me all the time."

6. When Brutis, a heroic golden retriever, saved a child from a deadly coral snake.


In 2004, when Brutis saw a venomous snake approaching a child, he bravely attacked the snake to protect the child. Sadly, Brutis was bitten, but he recovered in time to receive his National Hero Dog award. Good boy, Brutis.

7. When Frisky, a schnauzer-poodle mix, gave his owner the strength to persevere during Hurricane Katrina.


Frisky and owner George Mitchell were in bad shape when Hurricane Katrina hit. As the storm created terrible flooding, George was left with no other option but to tread water and wait for rescue. Four hours in, he began to lose faith, and he decided to give up.

Somehow Frisky saw that his owner was losing his will to go on, and he came over and started kissing and nuzzling his master. This act snapped George out of it, and he realized that he had to go on — partly because if he didn't make it, what would happen to Frisky? Both of them survived, and Frisky lived to be 19: "I couldn't ever express the closeness between [us]," said Mitchell.

8. When Joe, a tiny Yorkshire terrier, fearlessly chased a bear out of his injured owner's house.


Joe's owner, Deborah Epstein, was home recuperating after a recent car accident, and she forgot to shut her front door. A black bear saw its chance and shuffled right into her house. Deborah's six-pound Yorkie was not on board with the intruder, and when the bear started going after his dog food, that was the last straw. Joe chased the bear right out of the house.

9. When Max took bullets for his owner after two robbers refused to take no for an answer.


Max's owner, Osmar Persisco, was parking his car when two robbers demanded the keys to the vehicle. When Osmar refused, they began shooting at him and grazed his head with a bullet. When his owner was shot, Max immediately sprang into action and began to attack the thieves. One of them immediately ran, but the other began shooting at Max: In defending Osmar, Max was shot twice in the chest and once in the leg. Thankfully, his heroism didn't cost him his life. “If I didn’t have my dog around, they would have killed me,” Osmar said. “He’s my hero.”

10. When Killian, a Lab-shepherd mix, alerted his owners to a babysitter's abuse of their baby.


According to his owners, the Jordans, Killian was usually a pretty calm dog. So when he began growling at the babysitter of their seven-month-old baby, they became suspicious. The Jordans placed a phone under the couch cushions to see if they could overhear anything suspicious — they were expecting to possibly hear that the sitter was mistreating the dog. Instead, they overheard the sitter swearing angrily at their baby and noises that sounded like she was slapping and shaking their infant.

The Jordans' baby was okay, and thanks to Killian, not only was this baby taken out of harm's way, but the babysitter was placed on a list that will prevent her from working in childcare ever again. What a good boy.

11. When guide dog Roselle helped lead her blind owner to safety on 9/11.


When Roselle's owner, Michael Hingson, felt the impact of the plane on the morning of September 11, 2001, he knew he could trust his guide dog, Roselle, to see him to safety. Roselle not only led him safely down 78 flights, she also provided final comfort to firefighters in the stairwell by letting them pet her as they headed up to combat the disaster. Roselle had to stop working as a guide in 2004, and she eventually died in 2011. After her passing, Michael said, “I’ve had many other dogs, but there is only one Roselle.”

Note: The dogs in these images aren't the actual pups, but they are just as adorable as the real thing. WE PROMISE!

"Best friends" doesn't begin to cover it. For another inspiring story about a life-saving bond between a dog and his human, get tickets to Megan Leavey, in theaters June 9.

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