When Todd, the golden retriever, saw a rattlesnake poised to strike at his owner’s legs, he jumped in to save the day.
Paula Godwin was taking an early morning hike near her home in Arizona, when she nearly stepped on a camouflaged rattlesnake. Her 6-month-old puppy leaped between her and the snake, letting its venomous fangs sink into his snout instead of Paula.
The grateful owner posted the story of their snake encounter on Facebook, alongside photographs of Todd’s swollen features.
“As we were walking down the hill I literally almost stepped on a rattlesnake. But my hero of a puppy Todd saved me,” she wrote.
“He jumped right in front of my leg where I surely would have got bit. This is what a hero looks like.”
The puppy-turned-savior whimpered after being bitten, so Paula took no time in scooping him up and heading toward the local animal hospital. Paula’s other dog, Copper, also came along for moral support.
After a shot of anti-venom, Todd was sent home to rest and recover.
“Please say a little prayer for my sweet hero,” wrote Godwin.
Soon after, Todd’s heroic act went viral, and dog owners from far and wide sent their love and wishes for a speedy recovery. Many also shared their own stories of how their K-9 companions had warded off snake attacks.
“Swift recovery, valiant one,” wrote Kristoff Chester.
Godwin, after receiving such a widespread response of support, launched a GoFundMe to help fellow pet owners with vet costs for pets bitten by rattlesnakes.
She said she knew the dangers of snakes, but the speckled white rattlesnake was almost invisible as it sunned itself on the road.
After reassuring Todd’s newly acquired fans that the puppy was on the mend, she posted a photo of her best friend enjoying the outdoors in a nearby park, free of rattlesnakes.
“Thank you for all the sweet kind words,” she wrote. “My sweet Todd for sure is my hero and I feel I have to say that the man upstairs surely is watching out for me too.”
One last unexpected surprise for Todd came on a baseball field where the Diamondbacks faced the Padres on July 8th.
As part of Heroes Weekend at Chase Field, one such hero was honored before the start of the game.
Wearing a Diamondbacks jersey, Todd was all smiles and tail wagging when he was put in the spotlight.
He was given a salute and personally welcomed to Chase field.
Later in 2018, Todd was named the first Milk-Bone Dog of the Year for his bravery by the United States Congress.