This July, a six-month old Golden Tetriever named Todd saved his owner, Paula Godwin, from a rattlesnake bite. He was recently crowned winner of the first ever "Milk-Bone Dog of the Year" award at the 8th Annual Streamy Awards for his heroism... and virality.
The Streamy Awards honour the best in online video, as well as the creators behind them. This is the first year that dogs, "the internet's favourite animal," have their own category. Creator of the Streamy Awards Drew Baldwin told Billboard, "The world wouldn't be the same without dogs, lives are often transformed because of them, and it's time that we honour all the joy they give to us."
Todd beat out two other contenders for the award, Louboutina, "The Hugging Dog," who became famous online for giving warm hugs to everyone she meets on the streets of New York City, and Pierre, a therapy dog who dresses up as a variety of different characters to bring joy to UCLA's Mattel Children's Hospital and LAX. The winner was determined through an online vote, in which fans picked their top choice. Todd received a trophy and a customised piece of art from the Streamys for his win.
When Todd saved Godwin back in July she wrote on Facebook, "So this morning was up bright and early to go on a hike on seventh street, carefree. It was a beautiful morning, but as we were walking down the hill I literally almost stepped on a mf rattlesnake. But my hero of a puppy Todd saved me. He jumped right in front of my leg where I surely would have got bit. This is what a hero looks like. Please say a little prayer for my sweet hero."
Todd spent 12 hours in the animal hospital, but has since fully recovered, thanks to anti-venom the vets administered right away. Now Godwin wants to help other pet owners be able to get the same treatment.
Godwin told Billboard, "We are ecstatic because this is the first ever Milk-Bone honour, so everyone is going to remember Todd the hero dog. We were able to start a fundraiser to help other pets, raising money for dogs who can't afford anti-venom. There's a lot of people out there who can't afford the $500 (the equivalent of about R7,000) dose and their pets die because of it."
You can watch Todd win "Milk-Bone Dog of the Year" at the Streamy Awards here.
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