Nothing grips us as does a situation in which someone gives his life to save another’s, and when the saviour is seen to be a small dog, and when we understand he was protecting little children, few hearts remain untouched. Enter George, a plucky Russell Terrier, who was mortally wounded as he leaped between two marauding pit bulls and five youngsters. Called by AP as “vicious attack machines with steel-trap jaws and razor-sharp teeth,” George nevertheless fought them off and in the process was mutilated to such degree that the veterinarian to whom he was taken described the wounds as being the worst he had even seen. George must be put down. And so five children are alive and safe and George, the plucky Russell Terrier is dead. The pit bulls are locked away.
AP and Fox News
WELLINGTON, New Zealand — This is a dog story.
It’s about a plucky little Jack Russell terrier named George, who stood like a giant against two marauding pit bulls and gave his own life to save five kids from the steel-trap jaws and razor-sharp teeth of the vicious attack machines.
Local officials say it’s also a story about the people who trained the pit bulls to kill and who may have fed the animals methamphetamines to make them even more deadly.
The tragedy unfolded Sunday afternoon on New Zealand’s North Island, in the town of Manaia, where a group of children — and George — were walking back from a trip to the candy store.
I’m wondering if all of you are as taken with dogs as I am–especially heroic ones such as George. I love all kinds of animals, but there’s just something about a dog and its relationship to people that seems especially dear. When I was a youngster, I read many dog story books–especially the Lassie and Laddie series. I can recall often walking home from school, reading as I walked, fairly engrossed in what often was a story of a boy and his dog. Jerry tells of the first time he read Where the Red Fern Grows. He was an adult, yet at the book’s conclusion, he cried.
My heart is touched this morning by the bravery of George, the Russell Terrier from New Zealand. The parents of the children he spared will never forget the priceless gift he gave them. I wouldn’t be surprised if his small grave is often visited by five little people, their parents and their friends, and that flowers and doggy treats and pictures are laid there. It is fitting.