Catherine Svilicic, mother of three, had just recently brought home a rescued Doberman Pinscher from the dog shelter. Khan, the dog, had been starved, abused, abandoned, and the Svilicics wanted to give Khan a loving home.
It was four days after they introduced Khan into their home when Svilicic sat on the porch, watching the dog play with 17-month-old Charlotte.
Then she saw Khan suddenly get aggressive, trying to push Charlotte across the yard. Alarmed, Svilicic tensed.
But before she could act, Khan grabbed Charlotte by the back of her nappy “and threw her more than a meter,” Svilicic said. “Like she was a rag doll.”
Then she realized why. Just seconds later Khan howled in pain as a king brown snake jumped up from under the house and sank its teeth into Khan. If the dog hadn’t gotten Charlotte out of the way and thrown himself into the snake’s path, the baby would have been poisoned.
The king brown snake is one of the longest venomous snakes in the world and one of the most dangerous snakes in Australia, the only place they are found.
“If I had not seen it with my own eyes, I would never have believed it,” Svilicic said.
Khan ran inside the house, then collapsed. Svilicic was able to get Khan an injection of anti-venom and the dog struggled through the night, but was on its way to recovery. A local snake expert told Adelaide Now that Khan might not have survived if the snake had injected more venom.
Svilicic was in awe of Khan’s brave and selfless act.
“We owe him for the rest of his life,’’ she said.