Kabang, a small family dog, is being credited with saving two children from a dangerous collision when she threw herself into the path of a speeding motorcycle that was about to hit them in Zamboanga City, Philippines.
In December, cousins Dina Bunggal, 11, and Princess Diansing, 3, were walking across Nuñez Extension, and did not notice the motorcycle speeding towards them. All of a sudden, Kabang, the Bunggal's family dog, appeared out of nowhere and jumped towards the motorcycle.
The dog's head landed directly on the motorcycle's front wheel and got her snout stuck in it, but her actions stopped the bike. The children stumbled, and the motorcyclist suffered a few bruises, but both the children and the motorcyclist were unharmed. Unfortunately, Kabang lost the top part of her jaw and face.
Eyewitness Jovito Urpiano said Kabang shielded the two girls from certain harm. Urpiano was having his lunch when he saw the dog stop the motorcycle. "I thought somebody threw the dog on the motorcycle, but I could not see anyone who might have done that," Urpiano said. He said it later came to him that Kabang had intentionally blocked the motorcycle's path to save the girls.
Rudy Bunggal, Dina’s father also saw how Kabang saved the lives of his daughter and niece. He ran over to Kabang and noted Kabang's injuries: "The bones holding her upper snout were crushed, and we could not do anything to save it. We just pulled her off the wheel," Bunggal said. Kabang (a Visayan term that means “spotty”) ran away after being freed and went missing.
She returned to the family home two weeks later, but looked very different. Despite her horrific injuries, Kabang was warmly welcomed home. "It does not matter if she’s ugly now. What is important to us is she saved our children and we cannot thank her enough for that," Bunggal said. "Kabang is a hero," said his Christina Bunggal, Dina's mother.
Bunggal said the dog's heroism might be because of her closeness to Dina and Princess. The dog is also expecting puppies of her own. Dina and Princess always play with the dog. "They even sleep together," he said.
He found Kabang as a puppy near the family home a year ago. Kabang is an askal (asong kalye, meaning street dog). "We raised her like she was ours. We gave her Bear Brand (a milk brand) and porridge," he said. Buying milk for the dog was a big deal for the family, as the family has only a small income. Christina said that as Kabang grew, she was fed the same food that the family ate. "We did not mind if she was an addition to our expenses. We regarded her as part of the family," she said. Kabang had no history of wandering outside the house, which is why Bunggal believes she sensed that the girls were in danger.
Bunggal said a local vet office asked him to turn over the dog to their custody for euthanasia (mercy killing) but out of pity, he declined. "She is a hero when she tried to save my family, I don’t want them to kill her. If she dies, then I will bury her," Bunggal said.
Kabang is being treated for her injuries by a veterinarian. She now uses her paws to eat and is back to her old self, playing with Dina and Princess.
Story Updates on Kabang and her journey to life saving surgery can be read here: