This courageous pit bull has proven itself to be man’s best friend—and hero—after it saved his owner from a 6-foot shark last month.

James White had been fishing off the coast of Bodega Bay in Sonoma County, California when he felt a hefty tug at the end of his line. Eager for a big catch, White told NBC News that he spent 10 minutes reeling it in only to find that he had hooked a massive sevengill shark.

When White tried to free the shark from his hook, it twisted, fell to the ground and reportedly bit down on his ankle, puncturing an artery in the process.

The fisherman tried to free his leg from the jaws of the predator, but to no avail. He then called to some nearby fishermen for help—but before they could get to him, Darby the pit bull rushed to his rescue.

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Since there had been an abundance of traffic in the area, White had kept his 1-year-old canine companion in his jeep parked a few yards away from his fishing spot with the windows slightly rolled down. When Darby saw that his owner was in distress, however, he scratched at the car door until he managed to pull the handle open and run to White’s side.

The 100-pound pup then bit the shark on the gills, which only caused it to sink its teeth deeper into White’s ankle. When White told Darby to back off, the dog then grabbed the shark by the tail and pulled it off of his owner onto dry land.

After White was able to throw the shark back into the ocean, it swam away with little more than a few bite marks from the heroic pit bull—and White says that he was able to walk away with his foot still intact thanks to Darby.

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Though White always knew Darby to be a sweet and playful dog, he never knew that the pup was capable of such bravery—and he is now eternally indebted to the dog for his actions.

“He’s been a part of the family from day one, just now a little more,” White told NBC. “If it wasn’t for him I would have been a lot worse.”

(WATCH the NBC interview below)

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  1. God Bless Darby; he truly is a hero! Darby clearly loves his dad very much; so please dad, don’t leave Darby in a hot car in the middle of July even with the window slightly open. This is very dangerous for dogs who like humans are prone to deadly heatstroke in such situations.

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