A German Shepherd charged at Bridger’s younger sister on July 9 and he made headlines all around the world when he put himself between the dog and his sibling.
In an Instagram post, his family from Cheyenne, in the US state of Wyoming, have provided more context on what happened that day, explaining his actions did not surprise the family.
In the lengthy Instagram post, the Walker family said Bridger’s world was “rocked” in 2016 when he met his younger sister after her birth.
“As his parents we were anxious about how he would react, but without hesitation, he jumped into the oversized hospital chair and waited patiently for his turn to hold her,” the statement said.
“Since that moment, it was clear to use that there was a special bond between him and his sister.”
The family says from that moment, Bridger “rarely strays far from his little sister”, and describes him as “gregarious, always learning, so full of love and an absolute joy to have in our lives”.
Over the years, alongside his father and older brother, Bridger has trained in Brazilian jiu jitsu, and by being one of the youngest and smallest in the class, he has always been up against larger and more experienced opponents.
The family admits their knowledge of the events which took place on July 9 are limited to what Bridger and his now four-year-old sister have recounted, however they said it was not their intention to embellish.
Bridger was at a friend’s house with his sister and the three of them went into the backyard. There the friend explained there was one “nice” dog and a “mean” dog.
The statement recalls Bridger’s own account of when the “mean” dog ran at him and his sister.
“I stepped to the side, in front of my sister so that the dog wouldn’t get her,” Bridger said.
“I kept moving, so it couldn’t get past.”
The dog then latched on to Bridger’s cheek, and he yelled at his sister to run and when the dog released, he ran to his sibling and moved her to safety.
The family said the dog’s owner secured the animal and applied pressure on Bridger’s wounds while waiting for emergency care, adding the family was “forever and sincerely grateful for the love and care they provided”.
While Bridger was in hospital, his father asked him why he stepped in front of the dog.
“If someone had to die, I thought it should be me,” Bridger reportedly told his father between scans, something his father found “challenging”.
The family said they were astounded by the love and support they received following the attack.
Since Bridger’s bravery was covered worldwide, he has received messages from his heroes – like Chris Evans, Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway – in addition to many more.
The family has not asked for any financial support, and they have asked for people to forgo judging the dog’s owners.
“Somewhat ironically” before Bridger was injured, the Walker family had been discussing what message they would spread to the “entire world” if they could.