Dog Memorial: Heroic Animal Gave His Life To Save 10-Year-Old Girl
A dog memorial was erected to honor a heroic animal who didn’t think twice and jumped to the rescue of a 10-year-old girl. He paid with his life.
Leo was what many would consider a lap dog — a Dachshund — and despite his fierce barking, he was no match for a bigger dog. He preferred to hang out with his masters and take rides in the back seat of their car. Nobody ever imagined the placid animal would one day have a dog memorial built in its honor.
It happened last year in Serbia, when a much larger bull-mastiff cross-breed attacked Nikolina Vucetic. Without pause, Leo jumped to the rescue of the 10-year-old girl, barking and biting, trying desperately to save the child from harm, according to the Associated Press.
“Two weeks ago, a life-size bronze statue of Leo was put up next to a children’s playground in Pancevo’s city park, honoring the dog and teaching kids about animal friendship and sacrifice. An alert-looking Leo, his head raised above his stretched paws, now rests proudly on a white base surrounded by flowers.”
The dog memorial is a first in Serbia, and its creation was widely promoted by an animal advocacy group, which used social media extensively to push for the statue. One of the reasons the group wanted to honor Leo is because this particular city has serious issues with stray dogs and less-than-adequate standards for the welfare of animals of all kinds, according to the group.
“The idea was to raise awareness about how important animals are to us and how they are always there for us when we need them,” activist Ivan Kurajov explained.
The 10-year-old Leo died for often comes to visit the dog memorial and pay her respects to her savior.
“I am so glad Leo has a monument, he turned out to be a real hero,” Vucetic told the Associated Press. “He helped me.”
Now 12-years-old, Vucetic — who was left with scars from the incident — recalls the traumatizing experience as she walked home from a friend’s house. The girl says the guard dog came after her from behind, threw her to the ground, and grabbed her arm. Leo came to her rescue trying to get the larger dog off of her.
“I screamed and Leo rushed out barked and ran around, biting him on the leg. When the dog let go of me, he looked around and then stormed at Leo.”
Unfortunately, Leo was viciously attacked by the other dog, and vets couldn’t save his life. He died two days later, but the memory of the “funny, happy” dog — as his 23-year-old emotional owner, Owner Biljana Ilic, dubbed him — lives on.
“That dog was just too big and Leo was so small,” the teary-eyed woman says. She now has another dachshund named Djole, which was a gift from local breeders touched by Leo’s selfless act.
In the park where the statue is, children come to visit and pet his paws and ears as if he was still alive. The dog memorial reminds every one of Leo’s heroic actions that day.
[Image via Star Tribune/ Twitter]