Hat tip to Sugar Cookie.
More photos and video at the link.[....]
Gino Wensel, 40, was exercising his faithful German Shepherd called Duke when suddenly he became aware of a man coming towards him with a knife in his hand.
Duke did not hesitate, but bared his fangs and growled at the thug, who turned on the dog and plunged a steak knife with all his force into its skull.
Despite the blade lodged in his head, the fearless dog went for the attacker, and managed to scare him off before collapsing in a heap with blood pouring from the head wound.
Mr Wensel initially thought he was dead, but then he saw his dog was still breathing and called a friend who drove them to the Animal Welfare Society of South Africa (AWSSA) which is a charity that cares for all animals.
AWSSA spokesman Allan Perrins said: 'Duke had suffered a very high impact blow that I have no doubt was intended to kill him and was in a critical condition and was close to death.
'He was slipping in and out of consciousness and he was immediately sedated and given pain relief while we carried out an X-ray as we feared the blade was in Duke's brain.
'The X-ray showed however that the blade had gone in three inches but had bent on entry away from the brain missing it by millimetres and turned towards his right eye socket.
'A fraction harder and Duke would have died but our vet Dr Zheneta Stoynova operated immediately and extricated the blade safely and then stitched up the deep wound.
'Incredibly Duke has recovered overnight and his owner came back for him today and the fuss they made over each other gives all of us the reward we need for what we do here.
'The guy who stabbed Duke in my opinion wanted to rob Gino and when Duke defended his master he stabbed him very hard and tried to kill him but Duke saw him off' he said.
Mr Wensel said: 'I have no doubt this man was trying to kill my dog. There are very bad men and gangsters round here. Whether he was trying to rob me or attack me I will never know.
WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES. Gino Wensel, 40, was exercising his German Shepherd called Duke just outside Cape Town, South Africa when a man approached with a knife in his hand.