It's with great relief that Maggie Burgess, from Manchester, England, hugs her 5-year-old Shar Pei dog, Boo.
Boo is in fact a bit of a miracle dog, considering that she was the victim of a cruel attack last Saturday.
(Warning: graphic content below)
On Saturday, robbers armed with machettes broke into Maggie's house while she was out. They smashed the kitchen window to get in, ransacking the house and leaving with her money.
But Boo was in the apartment, and she was not going to just stand by and watch. She could have fled the scene or tried to hide, but this brave dog did everything she could to defend her home.
When Maggie got home at about 8:15 that night, she was horrified at the state of her house, and the state of Boo in particular. The poor dog was seriously injured and gasping for air, lying in a pool of her own blood.
Boo had tried to deter the intruders, receiving in turn numerous blows to the head and the back with a machette. The result was a real blood bath. Maggie, still in shock, remembers:
Words cannot even describe what I saw when I got back. It was the stuff of horror films. It was as if somebody was bleeding to death and had tried everything they could to escape. There was blood everywhere.
Moments after discovering the crime scene, Maggie called the police, who she says were fantastic. Boo was taken care of by a team of vets who managed to save her life at the very last minute.
It's a miracle that the dog survived, considering the enormous volume of blood she lost. After multiple life-saving operations, her condition is now stable.
However, the trauma has its consequences. Boo will always have trouble seeing out of one eye where it was struck by the blade of the machette.
Boo's story has truly moved people in the local area and all over Britain. Thousands of messages of support for Boo and Maggie have been published across social media. A Facebook group called "Justice For Boo" was created and now has more than 20,000 members. This remarkable show of solidarity has also raised £4300 to help Maggie pay the medical bills.
Boo has already gone through the worst and is slowly recovering. But Maggie still can't get over it, marvelling at the bravery and loyalty of the dog who put her life on the line to protect her territory.
It’s amazing having Boo home, I can’t thank the vets enough. They were so good with her and so reassuring. They’ve been amazing. The support on social media has been overwhelming, it’s really helped. I’ve been posting updates on Boo for everyone to let them know her progress. My phone hasn’t stopped. People have been amazing.