Family adopts stray dog that saved 3-year-old girl's life

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(CNN WIRE) -

A Tennessee family credits a stray dog for saving a 3-year-old girl's life last month. Now, they're repaying the favor to the new best friend they call an angel.

"For her third birthday, she gets her hero dog," said Sima Bentley, the girl's grandmother.

The hero of this story is Oreo, who was a stray. About two weeks ago, he saved 3-year-old Aurora Bentley.

The family says it was a Sunday, and Aurora was running across the yard to play. 

"The other stray dog had come down out of the woods off the mountain behind the house, and the Oreo dog, which is what they've nicknamed him, he ran across the yard and put himself in between Aurora and the other stray dog. And the dog attacked him instead of attacking the baby," Sima said.

Oreo was rushed to Sevier Animal Care Center, where he was bandaged and put up for adoption.

"At the time, I was just on a mission to save the dog," Sima said. "I didn't even realize what had happened, and we weren't really looking to adopt a dog."

"I tell people all the time that God shows up when you least expect him and for me, that was God putting an angel in our yard that day. So he definitely sent us an angel and I'm so grateful that we get to keep him," Sima said.

The shelter says the Bentleys have picked Oreo up, and he now has a forever home.

"He's going to be a very spoiled dog at this point," Sima said. "He's going to go everywhere we go. And he's going to live in the house and sleep on a bed, and whatever he wants, he's going to get."