When his owner almost stepped on a rattlesnake during an early morning hike near their home in Arizona, Todd, the golden retriever, knew exactly what to do.
The six-month old puppy jumped in front of Paula Godwin.
Instead of Ms Godwin’s legs, the venomous fangs sank into his snout.
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.”
Her saviour was yelping in pain after the bite, so she scooped the dog up in her arms and set off to a nearby animal hospital with her other dog copper.
Todd was given a shot of anti-venom and allowed home to recover after 12 hours.
“Please say a little prayer for my sweet hero,” wrote Ms Godwin.
The result was an outpouring of love as the story went viral, along with more tales from dog owners of how man’s best friend had warded off snake attacks.
“What a little hero! Hoping for a speedy recovery for Todd,” wrote BriAnne Gleason.
Ms Godwin followed up the story by launching a GoFundMe appeal to help other owners who face vet’s bills for dogs bitten by rattlesnakes.
She said she knew the dangers of snakes but had not spotted the speckled white rattlesnake that was almost invisible as it lay in wait on the road.
"This snake did not give any indication he was there,” she told the BBC. “Usually if I hear that rattle I am alert and I am backing away.”
This is Todd. He saved his human from a rattlesnake yesterday. A true h*ckin hero. He’s expected to make a full recovery and has been rewarded our fifth ever 15/10 pic.twitter.com/TsS6isI0Ew
— WeRateDogs™ (@dog_rates) 1 July 2018
And she reassured well-wishers that Todd was on the mend, posting a picture of the pup enjoying a romp in a rattlesnake-free park.
“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 up stairs surely is watching out for me too.”