Catherine Svilicic wanted to complete her family by adopting a pet. She had all the options on what to get but decided the best pet would be a Doberman breed dog. This was an interesting choice for a young mother to make being that Dobermans are not known to be most gentle breed of dogs. Catherine and her family looked past all the criticism and let a Doberman into their home. The animal seemed to get along swimmingly with their baby daughter Charlotte until a few days later during playtime in the yard when Charlotte’s biggest fear came true. Only it wasn’t her original fear it was something much worse.
A Strange Morning
Of all the dog breeds in the world, Dobermans are one of the few which sometimes carry a stigma of aggression with them. But all the same, Catherine Svilicic adopted a Doberman in order to enrich her family life and home. She wanted to get a pet for her family to bond over and love together. A doberman seemed like a great option for her and she thought they were cute.
When she did so she never expected any violent behavior to arise from her four-legged friend. She had no thoughts about how this dog would react to her own child and she was not scared. One morning things did not go according to plan.
When Catherine took her dog in she had the best of intentions for the Doberman to look after her and her family. Having a dog sounded like a great addition to the family and one that would make everyone happy. So she went and started the adoption process. During the adoption process one thought did occur to her.
The dog was a rescue and as we all know, some of these pooches do not have such a positive experience with their past owners. They can hold trauma that makes them act differently and not normal all the time. This crossed her mind but she pushed the thought aside and decided to put her faith in the dog. As you will see that might not have been her smartest move.
Although we don’t like to admit it sometimes, some dogs have a genetic makeup that might result in their being aggressive. This is particularly true for breeds such as Dobermans, Rottweilers and Pitbulls who are pictured below. There have many stories on these dogs and their actions and there are even organizations and petitions to stop them from being sold or entering public places. There are even some rules that places have given themselves regarding these dogs.
They say that a Doberman only has one true owner, so it might not matter if you are the partner of that owner or a family member, the dog will not look at you the same as it does its true owner. It is loyal only to him. Some of these breeds have even been known to turn on their owners.
Making Additions to the Family
When Catherine gave birth to her baby daughter Charlotte, she knew that she wanted little Charlotte to have a strong bond with a pet in the family. She wanted her to be raised to love animals and dogs in particular. This is why she decided to adopt a Doberman.
She thought that by having a dog in the family little Charlotte would have a richer life and learn to share and take care of another living being. Her choice in breed, however, did not inspire confidence in many. They looked down on Catherine for choosing a dangerous dog to be around children. It just didn’t seem the like the right choice to make for a family.
The Time Had Come
The Svilicic family were beyond grateful for the gift they received in their beautiful daughter Charlotte that they wanted to give back and save another life. Making a few calls to their local dog shelter, Catherine found out that there were quite a few dogs that needed forever homes.
After long deliberation at the shelter, Catherine and her family settled on one of the Doberman Pinschers and decided to name him Khan. They felt as though in this moment their family was finally complete.
Khan’s New Home
Even though Catherine was informed at the shelter that her pet Khan had a bit of a tough background, she could not resist. Catherine knew, of course that there would be risks involved with taking home such a powerful dog and keeping it in the same vicinity as her baby daughter, but she pushed those thoughts to the back of her head.
Besides, Khan was supposed to be put down just a week before the Svilicic family adopted him so she took this as a sign. She was happy to be giving Kahn a happy and stable life with people who were only going to give him love and attention. She could not imagine that poor creature being put down just because. Their home was now his as well.
It Was a Normal Day
Within the first few days Khan spent time with the Svilicic baby girl under a watchful and protecting eye. Little by little they played together in the garden as Khan transitioned to his new surroundings. All was going swimmingly until about the fourth day when things went awry.
Even though previous playtime sessions had been incredibly gentle the parents had their suspicions about their interaction. Well they were right to be guarded, that’s for sure. The thoughts and talk of all the people around them who told them not to get a doberman hovered over them and got to their heads giving them reasons to worry.
When Playtime Turns Sinister
Although the playtime session between Charlotte and Khan was normal like the previous days, this time things were not so simple. It happened in the blink of an eye, as though it was in slow motion and simultaneously faster than the speed of light. Khan picked up Charlotte and slung her across the yard, with the baby girl flying through the air at the horror of her parents.
As she slammed to the ground Catherine could not believe what had happened. Her worst suspicions had been confirmed. Could it be that her sweet adopted dog actually was trying to hurt the little girl. She thought that she could teach him love and compassion but this event just caused for a big fright.
The Wrath of Khan
During this whole time, Catherine would be lying to herself if she said that she was not aware that this behavior was not a distinct possibility due to the Khan’s breed. All the same she was incredibly devastated that he would act out in such an aggressive manner after these past few days which the baby and dog spend in harmony.
Catherine knew that there had to be some reason behind Khan’s violent outburst, but she couldn’t put her finger on it. It definitely had nothing to do with Charlotte. Her sweet little girl was so sweet to the dog there is no reason he would attack her like that. She had to figure it out.
As this whole situation unfolded, Catherine was frozen on the spot watching from her kitchen. She had just witnessed her poor child get hurt and flung across the yard. She knew that there was something wrong with Khan as the nightmare that she so desperately did not want to be true happened in front of her eyes.
There must have been a reason as to why he acted out in such fury and this reason could not have been the innocent baby that was Charlotte. At least that is what Catherine hoped, but things were about to get much worse before they got better.
The Horror Unfolds
With the ordeal continuing Catherine could only watch as the rescue dog went after Charlotte time and time again poking and pushing her around. The fascinating thing is that Charlotte paid him no mind as she continued to walk around, playing.
Suddenly, the Doberman sunk his incredibly sharp teeth into baby Charlotte’s diaper and with a quick movement sent her flying once more through the air. Catherine recalls that her child appeared to be a “rag doll” at that moment.
A Bizarre Reaction
Many people would expect Charlotte to begin crying her eyes out at this point, but amazingly enough this did not happen. She was cool as a cucumber through this whole ordeal, but people within the vicinity were not. Catherine admitted, “Had I not seen it with my very own eyes, I’d never have believed it.”
Running over in a panic she picked up her baby girl and as she carried her, Khan collapsed and began whimpering. Needless to say everyone was confused and stunned as to what was transpiring.
A Great Sacrifice
Catherine, still in a panic began to check baby Charlotte all over for cuts and wounds, but to her surprise she noticed that there was absolutely nothing wrong with her. Feeling very confused at this point she was happy and relieved that her daughter was OK and so she turned her attention to the dog.
She looked into his eyes which were soon becoming lifeless and she instantly knew that there was an imminent need for him to get medical attention. Time was running out for Khan.
A Great Sacrifice
Although only being with the family for a short four days it was clear at that point that Khan had quickly become the family hero. As he lay there breathing his last few breaths of life it became obvious that Khan had become Charlotte’s protector and was saving her from something poisonous and life threatening.
Catherine knew that this amazing dog had returned her favor. She had saved his life and Khan was now doing the same for their newest family member.
Unable to Move
At this stage Catherine knew that a creature had bitten Khan, but she was shocked to see that the same creature carried such a poisonous venom that the dog was not unable to move a muscle. She knew that time was running out and there were only a handful of people that would be able to help him.
Determined, Catherine swore to herself that she would do everything in her power to help this poor dog who had selflessly given up everything for her baby daughter.
Time to Take Action
While the rest of the family was stuck on the spot, unable to move from the shock of the events that had just taken place, Catherine sprang into action. Little Charlotte was taken away from the scene by family members so that she would not have to look at Khan, his lifeless body becoming weaker with each second.
He did not inspire confidence with his shallow breathing and tongue hanging from the side of his mouth. Some were convinced he would not make it, but Catherine did not give up.
A Race Against Time
Had the Svilicic family left the situation to develop any further, Khan would have no hope and would be too far gone. Catherine knew this. It took all her strength to pick up this large dog and carry him to the car. She gently put him down on the passenger seat and put the pedal to the metal in order to reach the vet as soon as possible.
She knew that these next few hours would be crucial to Khan’s life.
On The Road
Whilst driving the car to the vet Catherine looked over at the dog that saved her daughter’s life. Silently she begged him to hold on and pull through this. She knew that he had done something huge and saved her little helpless daughter from harm. She wanted to repay the favor by saving his life.
On the road her driving was getting reckless as she became more and more desperate, saying “I never knew I was able to drive this well. I guess adrenaline does its thing.”
An Adrenalin Rush
Running into the vet’s office, Catherine was screaming for help, frantically trying to explain that her dog needed assistance with anti-venom or something to remove the toxins from his body. When she looks back at that point in her backyard when she picked Khan up to take him to get help she wonders how she did it.
“If you asked me to carry his weight right now, I don’t think I’d be able to do it,” Catherine explained. It must have been down to a mother’s instinct.
She Owed Him
When she looked into Khan’s eyes Catherine was fully aware that she was indebted to this dog for the rest of her life. She wanted nothing more than for him to pull through this because even though there were many people around them that cautioned the Svilicic family to the dangers of having this dog around he had now proven himself.
Khan solidified his spot as one of the family members. As they took Khan away Catherine wept to herself feeling hopeless.
So How Was Khan?
Catherine was left waiting and praying the whole time. Even though she knew that Khan was in their more than capable hands she could not help worrying the whole time she was left sitting there in the waiting room. There was a pit in the bottom of her stomach that she could not will to go away.
All she wanted to know was how he was doing and whether or not he was in pain. When the designated vets appeared she showered them with a million questions.
The Doctor’s Answer
Although he wanted to tell her only good news, the vet could not answer Catherine’s main question, whether or not he would make it. He said, “We don’t know yet, madam. We did what we could, but now his body has to fight the poison.” He continued “The anti-venom will certainly help, but we don’t know to what extent.
It’s best that you come back tomorrow morning.” As expected Catherine could feel her heart sinking because this most definitely was not the answer she was hoping for.
A Sleepless Night
There was nothing more that could be done at the vet’s, so Catherine was advised to go home and get some much needed rest. This, of course, was much easier said than done and as she watched little Charlotte sleep the night away, Catherine could do no such thing.
Her mind replayed the events that took place time and time again. She tried to pinpoint the precise time when she could have done something to prevent this from happening, which she knew was impossible, but still the guilt took over.
Stepping Into Tomorrow
As the sun rose and with it a new day came, Catherine was out the door faster than the speed of light. Sure, she did not get much sleep the night before, but she packed the kids up for their day and threw on the first articles of clothing she could find
. Catherine was determined to be the first person at the veterinary clinic so she could finally find out how her poor pooch is holding up and if he even made it through the night.
The Moment of Truth
Catherine rushed into the vet clinic and with her mind racing knew there were really only two options waiting for her on the other side of the conversation that was to follow. With her heart racing she tried to prepare for both scenarios, both drastically different.
One would see her reunited with her heroic canine and the other…well the other she just could not think about. Catherine took a deep breath because she knew she was about to find out, one way or the other.
The Venomous Predator
Before revealing Khan’s state the vet told Catherine which animal was responsible for almost putting her daughter in hospital. It was in fact a snake, but not just any snake, this was a Mulga, one of Australia’s deadliest creatures.
Catherine now put two and two together, quickly realizing that that Khan must have noticed the snake slithering towards little Charlotte and put himself between the two in order to save her. What a champion that dog was!
Predator on the Loose
Of all the deadly animals living in Australia, and yes there are quite a few, the Mulga is one of the worst on the list. As one of the most lethal animals to reside on the continent it shouldn’t be a surprise that the venom of this snake is potent enough to kill a fully grown human within minutes of biting them.
Had Khan not been there to look out for Charlotte she would have been a gonner. Comparatively she is smaller and much less agile than the dog.
Putting Him Down
Before adopting Khan, Catherine knew that he had been abused, saying, “When Kerry Kinder (Doberinling Boarding Kennels owner) rescued him, he was starving, had broken ribs and had been beaten – he was an abused dog.”
She explained that, “It was borderline on whether or not he should be put down because he was in such a bad way.” This is the reason she wanted to adopt him and finally secure him a forever home where he would be loved.
A Full Recovery?
After hearing from the vet, Catherine had finally found out how Khan was going. The vet had spoken to a reptile expert and it was agreed that Khan would in fact make a full recovery. The snake that had bitten him did not get enough venom into his body for the bite to be fatal.
Had it sunk its teeth in deeper it would have been a whole different story for poor Khan. A wave of relief shot through Catherine’s body as new hope blossomed.
At last the family could be reunited once and for all. The expressions on their faces were full of gratitude and happiness when they laid eyes on the same canine that they learned to love in such a short period of time.
It was at that point that Catherine vowed once more to look after Khan just as she would look after her own children, protecting him and promising to give him a home full of love and happiness.