When it came to 18-month old Bryson, his Australian Shepherd was his world. The toddler and dog had become inseparable since the day he was born and had become the best of friends. Bryson didn’t go anywhere without Shiloh, and Shiloh made sure to keep his eyes on the little boy whenever they went on their outdoor adventures.
However, one day Shiloh began to act strangely around Bryson, leading to a terrifying encounter…
Dog Acting Strange
It was a typical sunny day when Bryson Holloway and his dog Shiloh were out playing in the front yard. However, out of nowhere, the Australian Shepherd lunged at the little boy and it became very clear something was terribly wrong.
Best Friends Forever
Living in Sevier County, Tennessee, the Holloway family consisted of Alicia, Bryan and their three children, along with the family dog Shiloh. Little 18-month-old Bryson was the youngest and spent most of his days by his dog’s side.
A Special Relationship
According to his father, Bryan, the relationship between the toddler and his dog was very special. “They just do everything together. As much as he loves everybody else, those two, the baby and that dog, have a bond.”
The Perfect Puppy
The Holloway family had adopted Shiloh when he was just a puppy back in 2009. Since then, he had been a huge part of the family, as well as very protective of the children, specifically Bryson.
A Wonderful Protector
“He’s a very loving, affectionate dog,” Alicia told the local news. “He will not let anything happen to those boys.” In fact, Shiloh had been looking out for the entire Holloway clan ever since he joined the family.
One of Shiloh’s favorite activities was playing fetch with little Bryson. It was on a particular summer day in 2016 when Shiloh’s interactions with the toddler took a very worrying and aggressive turn.
A Sudden Charge
Both Bryan and Alicia had been relaxing on the porch, while Bryson was making his way to the yard. However, just as he was about to step off the porch, Shiloh suddenly lunged towards him aggressively.
Bryan remembers the terrifying moment very vividly. “Shiloh 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.”
Worried at First
Bryan’s first thought was to grab the baby because it seemed like Shiloh was about turn on him. Thankfully, his wife had a much more reasonable explanation.
A Reasonable Explanation
When Shiloh had stopped short of the baby and let out a yelp, Alicia believed that the dog had seen a bug.“I said ‘That dog is the biggest baby in the world. He like flips out over those big beetles, and I said, ‘It’s probably just a beetle.’”
A Slithering Menace
However, Alicia had no idea how wrong she actually was. Moments later, Bryan discovered a deadly copperhead snake near where his son had been standing. If Shiloh hadn’t stepped in, Bryson could have wound up in a very dangerous situation.
The Dangers of the Copperhead
The copperhead snake is one of the many varieties of venomous snakes that can pose a danger to humans. While the bites are rarely fatal, for someone as little as Bryson it could have been a deadly situation.
Shiloh to the Rescue
Immediately, Alicia took Bryson inside and then it became crystal clear to both parents what Shiloh had done. He had literally grabbed the snake to keep it away from the baby’s foot. There was no aggression towards the toddler at all.
Taking the Bite
Unfortunately for Shiloh, he didn’t escape unscathed. While he may have dispatched of the snake, it did get one good bite in.“Turning his head to the side and shaking his head and you could tell he’d been hurt,” Bryan revealed.
It wouldn’t take long before swelling began to set in. Soon it became so bad that they had to remove the dog’s collar. “As furry as he is, and he has so much fur around his neck, you could visibly see the swelling,” Bryan told the local media.
Cleared at the Clinic
The family immediately rushed the dog to the nearest vet clinic so he could be treated with antibiotics and medications to reduce the swelling. Shiloh would also need to be on medications to help with the pain. Thankfully, the vet expected him to make a full recovery.
Close Brush with Death
Both Bryan and Alicia couldn’t be more thankful for Shiloh and his heroic deeds, but they also wondered what would have happened if the dog hadn’t intervened. With Bryson only weighing 24 pounds, the parents believe one bite from the snake could have killed him.
“I honestly don’t think he would be here. I really don’t think we could have made it to the hospital. Even if we did, the best-case scenario would have been a 50/50 fighting chance.”
Dog on the Mend
Thankfully, the worst was not realized and Shiloh is currently recovering from the harrowing ordeal. According to his owners, he is being spoiled rotten and deservedly so; however, they know he can’t wait to be back to 100 percent so he can play with Bryson.
“We give God the glory in everything,” Alicia said. “We know that He used that dog, that wonderful dog, to protect him, and we’re thankful every day for him now.”
We have a feeling Shiloh is going to be living the high life in his senior years. We hope these two continue to have many more adventures together.