A King Shepherd named Sako was recently rewarded for his heroism. He had saved a seriously injured teen in the wilderness.

Even though he grew up in the close-knit community of Kanaka Bar, British Columbia, he is particularly close to a family member, Joseph Phillips-Garcia. In fact, this love would push Sako past his boundaries and motivate him to protect the life of a loved one.

One day Joseph was out picking wild potatoes and fishing in the mountains with his friend, aunt and Sako. Unfortunately, while they were returning their vehicle crashed. Only Sako and Joseph survived the accident.

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Joseph had a bone protruding from his leg and could barely move. He was slipping in and out of consciousness. Throughout two nights and three days, Sako lay close to Joseph and kept him warm in the biting cold until help could arrive.

Sako was even smart enough to help move pieces of wood closer to Joseph so he could make a fire with the lighter he had in his pocket. Along with this, he also helped drag Joseph to a nearby creek so he could drink some water. He even protected him against coyotes and other predatory animals. If it wasn’t for Sako Joseph wouldn’t have survived.

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“We were just falling asleep and that’s when you hear the first couple of howls,” the teen said. “He got up as soon as he realized their scent was coming closer and closer, and then he just went in. You could hear them fighting and the bushes rumbling around.”

Help reached them only 40 hours after they were reported missing. After knowing how Sako risked his life to save Joseph, Purina inducted him into their 47th Animal Hall of Fame. For sure, it’s a memory of a lifetime for the family and for everyone who knows Sako.

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