Darby, a 1-year-old pitbull, opened the car door and ran down a hill after his owner started screaming.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on August 5, 2022. It has since been updated.
On July 21st, a pitbull saved his owner from getting gravely injured from a shark bite when it jumped in to bite the shark off his owner, James White. White knows how incredulous the story sounds and he said that it has been dubbed as a "fish tale" but he claims it really happened. “The first time I told somebody this, they were like, ‘You’re out of your mind, there’s no way that happened’,” he told NBC. “Then I showed him the pictures and I’m like, ‘No it absolutely happened’.”
White from Rohnert Park went fishing from shore in Bodega Bay in Sonoma County, California that day. He had left Darby, his year-old 100-pound pitbull in the car since he was close to traffic. The car was parked a few yards away.
Heroic pit bull saves his owner from shark attack https://t.co/168c1gMDmK pic.twitter.com/66YRYHmv25— Travel + Leisure (@TravelLeisure) August 21, 2019
He said that it took almost 10 minutes to reel in the huge fish after he felt the aggressive tug, according to People. “The only way I think I was able to get the line back is because it was swimming towards me,” he said.
He walked into shallow water and saw what was hooked to his line. There was a 6-foot sevengill shark attached to it. White tried to remove the hook but it got twisted and the shark fell to the ground immediately biting into his ankle.
“Immediately there was blood everywhere, the first bite punctured an artery,” he said. “The pressure was intense."
He tried to get the shark off his leg but it just wouldn't unlock its jaws from around his ankle. By then he was screaming in pain to get some of the other fishermen's attention. The hero dog heard his cries and reached him even before the other fishermen could. The dog managed to open the car door and raced down the hill to his owner. He just launched at the shark and bit into one of the gills but that just made the situation worse for White. The shark also bit harder into the ankle.
“And I told him, ‘No back off’ and then [Darby] repositioned and grabbed it by the tail,” said White . “He literally ran up the hill with it and pulled it off my leg.” He was able to throw the shark back into the water after that and it swam away.
This incident has just made him love his dog more. “He’s been a part of the family from day one. Just now a little more. If it wasn’t for him I would have been a lot worse,” White said.
Brave Pitbull saves owner from shark attack! 🐕🦈— Pedro Parker (@roge_vago) September 9, 2020
If not for the dog's quick thinking and bravery, things could have gone much worse for White. Dogs have been known for their incredible love for humans. In a surprising incident, a group of strays saved a baby girl who was dumped into a drain. The girl was born premature and thrown into a drain in a plastic bag. The dogs found it, dragged her out and got the attention of the people around, who then took her to the hospital.
(Representational Image) Source: Getty Images | Photo by Stephanie Munger