Bridger Walker, 6, is being hailed as a hero for protecting his 4-year-old sister from a dog attack.
The little boy and his sister were at a friend’s house in Wyoming earlier this month when a 1-year-old German Shepherd mix lunged at them while they were outside in the backyard. Without thinking, Bridger stepped in front of his sibling to protect her and was bitten in the face by the dog, his parents said.
He underwent a nearly two-hour surgery that required more than 90 stitches, his parents Robert and Teila Walker said in a statement. Bridger is currently recovering at home.
After his story began to surface online, many people, including celebrities Anne Hathaway and Chris Evans, praised Bridger for his bravery.
Robert and Teila said the scary incident happened on July 9 while Bridger and his sister were hanging out at a friend’s house. The children went out into the yard and the friend pointed to a dog and said “that is the nice dog.” The friend then pointed to another dog in the yard and said “that is the mean one.”
“Bridger explained how, at that moment, the mean one ran at them,” the couple said in their statement. “In Bridger’s words, ‘I stepped to the side, in front of my sister so that the dog wouldn’t get her. I kept moving, so it couldn’t get past.’ “
The dog ran at the children and “latched onto Bridger’s cheek,” Robert and Teila wrote.
“Bridger explained that when the dog bit him, he yelled for his sister to run,” according to the statement. “After the dog released, Bridger ran to his sister and led her to a more secure part of the yard where he thought they would be safe.”
The dog’s owner was able to secure the German Shepherd and called for help.
“At the hospital, emergency workers immediately wheeled Bridger into a curtained-off area. The only time he cried was when he got the IV,” his parents wrote.
The dog’s owner wanted to put the canine to sleep, Robert and Teila wrote, but Bridger — who has two dogs himself — did not want it to be killed.
“We assured him that the animal police would take care of the dog and that he wouldn’t ever need to worry about seeing it again,” the statement read.