Dogs are the best. I don’t expect any argument there (back off, cat people, this is our moment!).
But what constantly surprises even the most dedicated dog devotee is a canine’s endless capacity for love – and heroics. What did we do as a species to deserve such an amazing best friend?
So, here’s a round-up of our favourite GOOD BOYE moments of 2018.
Get ready for tail wags and a few tears: it’s been a beautiful year for a beautiful friendship.
1. Puppy saves owner from snake: suffers snoot swelling
Paula Godwin, from Arizona, was out for an early-morning hike with her Golden Retriever puppy Todd when disaster struck in the form of a deadly snake.
Paula was enjoying the beautiful morning, but didn’t spot the rattlesnake on the path until it was too late. She was about to step on the deadly critter.
Sensing danger, six-month-old Todd leapt to his owner’s aid – literally. He jumped in front of Paula’s leg to defend her, getting a bite right on his little snout.
Luckily, Paula got Todd to the vet in time to get the treatment he needed, and the brave boye recovered quickly. In fact, he was honoured at a major league baseball game less than two weeks after the adventure!
2. Dog shot three times defending teen from intruders
Javier Mercado, 16 (human) and Rex, 2 (German Shepherd) were home alone in Des Moines when armed intruders broke into the house.
Around noon, the teenager heard breaking glass downstairs: the sliding door had been shattered.
Rex reacted immediately, running downstairs and confronting the two men while Javier called 911.
On the phone to the dispatcher, Javier heard Rex try to fend off the intruders as they got closer to his buddy. Then, devastatingly, the sound of gunshots and Rex crying.
When the coast was clear, Rex was rushed to hospital with three gunshot wounds in his neck and hind legs. The tough pup survived and was released a couple of days later.
The surgery to save the canine hero was expensive, but the Internet came to the rescue, raising well over the amount needed to cover Rex’s medical bills.
3. Blind, deaf, elderly dog guards lost child in wilderness
The Australian bush is a dangerous place for anyone, let alone an unaccompanied toddler. Luckily, this kid had an extremely loyal buddy.
Three-year-old Aurora went missing in April, wandering off in rural Queensland. Emergency services launched a desperate search for the tiny girl, bringing in helicopters and on-foot rescuers.
But it was Aurora’s grandmother, Leisa Bennet, who heard her granddaughter’s voice coming out of the darkness.
As she climbed a slope towards the voice, Leisa was met by the family dog.
Max was 17 years old, partially deaf and blind – and, it turned out, glued to Aurora’s side for over 16 hours.
The Blue Heeler led the way back to the little girl, who was unharmed apart from a few bumps and scrapes. After a night in the wilderness, this was a miraculous outcome.
For his amazing loyalty, Max was made Queensland’s first ever honorary Police Dog in May. “STILL SUCH A GOOD BOY,” the state’s police department posted.
You may remember Max from such news stories as: “3yo girl found safe, guarded by family dog” and “Dog hailed hero for…Posted by Queensland Police Service on Tuesday, 1 May 2018
4. Dog lost in fire: found waiting at destroyed home
In one of the most shocking news stories of late 2018, California was devastated by Camp Fire. It was the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in the state’s history.
In the wake of every disaster you can find stories that spark hope – and we couldn’t help but smile at the tale of Madison.
Madison and Miguel are Anatolian Shepherds – big, blond guardian dogs.
The brothers’ owner, Andrea Gaylord, couldn’t get to them during Camp Fire (if anyone is wondering how people lost track of their fur babies, at one point the fire was growing at an average of more than a football field every second).
Miguel was found by volunteers in another city but, while Madison had been spotted in a nearby canyon, he hadn’t been caught. Volunteer Shayla Sullivan didn’t give up hope, leaving food, water and items of Andrea’s clothing near the wreckage of her house.
Finally, the evacuation order was lifted and Andrea returned to the site of her old home… and there Madison was, still guarding his property after nearly a month.
Dogs and human were ecstatic to be reunited. Andrea told ABC10: “You could never ask for better animals.” Hear hear.