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We live in a world where good news is often outshone by bad. Nevertheless, we do our best to make sure kind and heroic acts don’t go unnoticed. Every day, thousands of people try to make this world a better place, and our goal is to acquaint you with at least some of them.

Such things as courage and self-sacrifice, however, are inherent not only in people but also in our smaller, four-legged and furry friends. That’s why we’ve decided to pay tribute to some of the animal heroes out there with these seven short but incredible stories about some of their heart-warming acts. We think that everyone can learn something from these brave and noble animals.

7. Dasher, a faithful friend and loyal guardian

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This wonderful German Shepherd, Dasher, lives in Mildura in Australia. When Dasher was a seven-month-old puppy, he earned the title of hero. The dog spent more than 14 hours in a forest during a storm protecting his owners’ child.

When two-year-old Dante Berry walked out of the family, Dasher was the only one who noticed. The child wandered all over the place, but luckily his faithful friend followed close behind him. Eventually, they lost their way in the forest about 1.8 miles (3 km) from home. It took a long time for Dante’s parents to notice that their child was missing. They called the police and started looking for Dante everywhere, but a terrible storm broke out that night. It paralyzed traffic on the roads, and the search was postponed until better weather.

The next morning, 15 hours after it was noticed that the child was missing, Dante and Dasher were found in the forest. The lucky kid didn’t have a single scratch. Dasher helped Dante weather the storm and protected him from predators.

This photo was taken at the moment of the reunion between mother and child. The woman said she wasn’t surprised with the dog’s act because he had always been their faithful defender.

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6. Dolphin-Lifeguards

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Todd Endris, a professional surfer, narrowly escaped death thanks to the help of some dolphins. In August 2007, while conquering the waves, Todd was attacked by a great white shark which was almost 16.4 ft (5 m) long.

After several attempts to get away from the fierce predator, Todd almost lost the strength to keep fighting, but suddenly a group of dolphins came to his aid. They formed a protective ring around the injured surfer, keeping the shark at a distance. This amazing team of unexpected rescuers accompanied Todd to the shore, allowing him to get first aid.

5. Cher Ami, a carrier pigeon

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Cher Ami was one of the 600 pigeons of the Signal Corps of the US Army, which were used to exchange important information during World War II. In just one year, Cher Ami made dozens of combat flights and delivered 12 messages of particular importance.

Cher Ami’s last trip took place in October 1918, during the Meuse-Argonne offensive. The bird was injured in its chest, blinded in one eye, and lost one leg, but still managed to reach its destination and delivered its message. It helped save almost two hundred soldiers of a battalion which had been cut off from its allies. In 2011, TIME Magazine included Cher Ami in the top ten most heroic animals in the world.

4. The just lions

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It turns out that even a ruthless predator like a lion can show empathy towards other animals or even people.

In 2005, in Ethiopia, a group of men kidnapped a 12-year-old girl in order to marry her forcibly to a member of their community. A week later, the girl was found in the jungle under the protection of three lions. It turned out that when the lions saw the men beating the girl, they kicked away the intruders and guarded her. When the police found the little girl, the lions retreated. However, they went back to the jungle only when the girl safely returned home.

In her testimony, she said that lions protected her until the police came.

3. Geo, a truly heroic dog

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Geo is a charming half-breed of German Shepherd and Collie who saved the life of his ten-year-old owner, Charlie Riley.

Charlie was playing on the street with his pet when suddenly a truck rushed onto the pavement at high-speed, racing straight at the boy. The dog instantly pushed Charlie aside and took the brunt of the blow from the advancing truck. Geo was thrown onto the road, and the truck, trying to escape from the scene, ran down the poor animal one more time.

The brave dog miraculously survived, but he received several internal injuries, and his legs and spine were broken. Thankfully, timely veterinary care saved Geo from death, but he had to undergo lengthy treatment and rehabilitation. Now, the dog is completely healthy. He enjoys life among his family that is infinitely grateful to him for saving their son.

2. The Cat-Nurse

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The black cat in the photo is named Rademenes. In 2014, he arrived at an animal shelter in Poland with a severe disease of the upper respiratory tract, which caused him excruciating pain. His owners brought him in to be euthanized, but the doctors decided to give him a second chance. To everyone’s surprise, the cheerful cat made a quick recovery. Moreover, after overcoming the disease, the cat started to take care of other animals at the rehabilitation centre and earned the nickname ’’nurse’’. Rademenes gives hugs to the other fluffy patients, warming them up as they rest and recover, and sometimes he even licks their ears. Today, the cat-nurse is almost a full-time employee of the shelter. It is said that those animals which Rademenes looks after recover much faster. Now doesn’t that just show what miracles are possible by showing a little kindness?

1. Romeo, the friendly wolf

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Nick Jans is a photographer and author who has spent many years observing wildlife and is quite knowledgeable in the ways of nature. However, when one winter evening a lone black wolf appeared near his porch in Juneau, Alaska, and his dog went out to meet it, he couldn’t have imagined what would happen next. The two animals did not attack each other, but started playing. Soon the wolf became a regular and was given the name Romeo. Other locals also started to bring their own dogs so that they could play with the wolf. With time, Romeo even started to interact with humans: he played fetch, accompanied skiers, or simply lay down in the sun with them. This unprecedented relationship went on for 6 years and provided the basis for A Wolf Called Romeo by Nick Jans. Sadly, Romeo met an untimely death: he was shot by poachers from another state. But the memory of him lives on in the town. There is even a special plaque commemorating the friendly wolf.

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