‘Dog of the Year’ award goes to rattlesnake-fighting canine bodyguard

A golden retriever puppy who took a snake bite for his owner has been awarded the first-ever “Milk-Bone Dog of the Year Honor.” Olympic skiing silver medallist and dog-lover of note, Gus Kenworthy, handed over the prize at the Streamy Awards in Beverly Hills, California.

- Advertisement -

But it could have ended so differently. 6-month-old Todd leapt to owner Paula Godwin’s rescue as they hiked through treacherous Anthem, Arizona, last July. The resulting rattlesnake bite led to a trip animal hospital, and a fight for young Todd’s life.

A very brave young dog

Dog medics rushed Todd to hospital after facing down the rattlesnake. He spent 12 hours receiving anti-venom treatment before he could finally go home. His face was hideously swollen from the poison.

- Advertisement -

Courage like this is rarely seen from people or cats.

But despite his courage in the face of grave danger, Todd was nervous before the big award ceremony. This led to the revelation that he is a big music fan who listens to the radio to chill out.

“In the morning we listen to [rock], throughout the day we listen to Zen, we’re always listening to music,” Godwin told Billboard on Todd’s behalf.

“Before tonight, we danced in our hotel room to get excited.”

And exciting, it was.

- Advertisement -

“This honour celebrates bravery, overcoming obstacles, and strong personality and loyalty traits that make all dogs truly special,” announced Milk-Bone and the Streamy Awards in a press release.

“To be a part of a celebration like this [is] so rewarding since the Streamys is typically a people-only awards show,” Godwin said, according to Parade.

Charity work

Todd has been hard at work publicising his new charity project: a GoFundMe to raise cash for dogs who can’t meet their medical bills.

“There’s a lot of people out there who can’t afford the $500 [anti-venom] dose and their pets die because of it,” says Godwin.

Todd himself was unavailable for comment.

John is a filmmaker and freelance writer. Specialising in leadership, digital media and personal growth, his passions include world cinema and biscuits. He grew up with a golden Labrador named Abba (both of them were children of the '70s) and is nicknamed "G-Dog" for his dogly approach to life. He lives in London but is always on the move.