Heartwarming stories are difficult to come by these days, but here we have a wholesome event involving a King shepherd who showed that a dog really is a man’s best friend.

In a show of amazing loyalty and bravery, a King Shepherd named “Sako” was able to fend off a pack of bloodthirsty coyotes, and protect his owner, who had been in a car crash.

This event happened in a secluded area in British Columbia, Canada, and led to Sako being honoured.

Always a man’s best friend

The Crash

Back in June 2014, a 16-year old named Joseph Phillips-Garcia was taking a trip to go fishing alongside his friend, his aunt and a cousin. Sako, as he often would, was accompanying them.

But tragedy struck on the way back, when the car went off the road at an alarming pace, before falling down a steep hill. Once the car came to a rest, Phillips-Garcia and Sako were the only survivors.

Tragically, Phillips-Garcia’s comrades – his friend, aunt and cousin all died upon impact. Sako and Phillips-Garcia were thrown from the vehicle, but fortunately survived.

Fending off Coyotes

With the crashed car well off the reservation, it meant that no one would easily notice the crash site. Phillips-Garcia had lost consciousness, and after regaining consciousness, could not move.

Phillips-Garcia had broken multiple bones, leaving him motionless. But miraculously, Sako was left unhurt.

Sako is a king shepherd, which is a breed of dogs developed in the 1990s. They are bigger and more muscular compared to the better known German shepherds.

As darkness fell, temperatures plummetted. With no help seemingly forthcoming, Sako stayed close to Phillips-Garcia, cudding in close to ensure Phillips-Garcia was warm.

A band of coyotes soon arrived onto the scene, believing an opportunity to feast on prey had arrived. But the coyotes were unable to attack, with Sako fending them off, protecting his owner in the process.

Coyotes can be a vicious predator


A search and rescue team eventually found Phillips-Garcia and the wrecked car – 40 hours after the original crash. Phillips-Garcia was rushed to hospital, and would later tell of Sako’s incredible bravery throughout the ordeal.

The fact that Phillips-Garcia survived the harsh conditions was attributed to Sako’s efforts to stay with his owner and assist him.


Sako received a medal in honour of his bravery, with Sako also inducted into the very exclusive Purina Animal Hall of Fame. This exclusive award, at the time, had been awarded to fewer than 150 dogs.

A video celebrating Sako can be seen below – showing how worthy he is of his place in the Purina Hall of Fame.

The Takeaway

In the most difficult of times, having a loyal pet by our side can make things a whole lot better for us. As we saw in this case, having a pet can even be life-saving.

Sako had been with the Phillips-Garcia family since being a puppy, and while the three deaths were tragic, Sako was able to prevent it from being four.