Dogs are called man’s best friend for a reason. Not only do they show love and companionship when we need it the most, but they can also sense when we are in danger. In Sevier County, Tennessee, one family dog not only saved a family member from danger, but he saved a toddler from certain death.
Meet Shiloh, the Australian Shepherd that belongs to the Holloway family. Ever since the Holloway’s welcomed their son Bryson 18 months ago, he and Shiloh have been completely inseparable. Bryson’s father, Bryan, said that Shiloh and Bryson do everything together, and that as much as Shiloh “loves everybody else, those two, the baby and that dog, have a bond.”
Like they do on most days, Shiloh and Bryson were spending time outside playing fetch with the rest of the family outside, as well. Bryson had stepped off of the back porch like normal when Shiloh exhibited some unusual behavior. Bryan Holloway said that the dog “jumped up and took off after him. He lunged right towards the baby and at the baby’s feet, and when he did he kind of jerked back.”
The Holloway’s were confused as to what Shiloh saw that made him act so strange. That’s when Bryan hopped up and saw a snake near his son and dog. “As soon as I saw it…I knew it was a copperhead,” Bryan said. That was when Bryan told his wife, Alicia, to grab baby Bryson and take him in the house. Alicia was still confused as to what was happening and admitted that she was scared.
The copperhead snake is a venomous species that can grow up to three feet long and their bites can cause a lot of harm to humans, and it would be especially deadly to a baby. Normally, a copperhead will issue a warning bite without venom and aren’t all that aggressive, but that’s not a chance you want to take with a toddler.
When Bryson had been taken to safety and Bryan had assessed the situation, he knew that his beloved dog Shiloh had been bit since he was “Turning his head to the side and shaking his head.” Even with all of the fur around Shiloh’s neck, it was obvious that he had been bitten since the swelling was already visible.
The Holloway family took Shiloh to get immediate medical attention, where a veterinarian gave the Aussie antibiotics and pain medicine to treat the bite. It didn’t take long until Shiloh was back on his feet and hanging out with his best buddy once again. The family had always been appreciative of Shiloh, but now more than ever since their son likely wouldn’t have survived a bite from a copperhead.
Alicia Holloway said that “We give God the glory in everything, and we know that he used that dog, that wonderful dog, to protect him, and we’re thankful every day for him now.” They did not mention, however, how many treats Shiloh got on his return home, but we can guess that it was quite a few.