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Valiant canine in Arizona saves owner from rattlesnake attack

A fascinating story developed in Anthem, Arizona, of a devoted golden retriever named Todd who, while hiking, stepped in to save his owner, Paula Goodwin, from a fatal rattlesnake. Todd’s fearlessness and fast thinking saved Paula from walking on the poisonous snake, but he was bitten instead, badly injuring his face.

Todd’s unfailing loyalty and selflessness were evident even with the swelling and pain from the snakebite as he protected Paula. Deeply affected by Todd’s valiant deeds, Paula posted their tale on social media, where it soon attracted notice and respect from people all around the world.

Todd was sent urgently to the Anscheid Animal Hospital for treatment, and Paula was still optimistic about his return. Todd’s tenacity and upbeat demeanour throughout the experience won over everyone who followed his story.

In Arizona’s sun-baked deserts, where rattlesnake threat is always present, a wonderful tale of bravery has surfaced. After protecting her owner, Jake Thompson, from a lethal rattlesnake attack, Bella, a devoted and fearless German Shepherd, has evolved into a local hero.




Since he brought Bella as a puppy three years ago, retired veteran Jake and Bella have been inseparable. Their close relationship results from many excursions across the tough Arizona terrain. Their regular walk became a life-threatening experience one fatal day.

The episode happened as Bella and Jake were walking on a far-off trail close to their Tucson house. The trail was littered with cactus and scrub shrubs; the temperature was pleasant. Jake heard the menacing rattling that indicates peril in these areas as they turned a bend. Before he could respond, a big rattlesnake—hidden against the rocky ground—striking from under a bush aimed squarely for Jake’s thigh.

Bella grabbed action in a single second. She sensed the approaching danger and shot between Jake and the snake, landing the entire force of the bite on her left front leg. Startled by Bella’s intervention, the rattlesnake slinkered away. Startled by the fast line of events, Jake immediately understood the seriousness of the matter. Bella stayed firmly at Jake’s side even as her leg started to swell and she cried in pain.

Jake grabbed Bella quickly into his arms and ran back to their truck. Driven as rapidly as he could to the closest veterinary clinic, his heart thumping with anxiety for his dear friend, Bella’s condition was clearly severe when the clinic’s personnel started antivenom treatment.

The next several hours were strained. Refusing to leave Bella even for a brief while, Jake stayed at her side. Wanting her to battle through the affects of the poison, he softly stroked her fur and murmured words of encouragement. Bella seemed to get strength from Jake’s company even though she was in agony. Working nonstop, the vets checked her vital signs to make sure she was getting the finest treatment.

Bella somehow made it. Though her rehabilitation was delayed, her spirit stayed broken. Jake’s relentless attachment to Bella during her convalescence reflected the allegiance she had showed him on that dangerous route. Their already close relationship grew even more as they travelled towards recovery together.

Bella’s bravery rapidly went around the neighbourhood. The tale of the courageous dog who had risked her life to save her owner moved neighbours as well as strangers. People sent cards, sweets, and good wishes from all around Bella in an outpouring of love and support.



Bella is back to her vivacious self now, however she keeps a scar on her leg to honour her bravery. Often sharing their story, Jake emphasises Bella’s bravery and their amazing relationship. The story of Bella and Jake reminds us in an uncertain world of ours the strong bond between people and their dogs.  

Todd’s brave deed is a poignant reminder of the special lengths dogs will go to in order to defend and save their loved ones. Todd is a real hero in the eyes of many because he is an amazing example of bravery and loyalty while he continues his recovery.

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