"This is what a hero looks like."
That's what Paula Godwin wrote in a recent Facebook post where she praised her dog, Todd, for saving her from being bitten by a rattlesnake.
The Arizona woman wrote on Facebook that on June 29, she had taken both of her dogs, Todd and Cooper, for a "carefree" morning walk. Godwin was enjoying the stroll so much, she didn't notice the rattlesnake, which she said she almost stepped on.
That's when Todd literally stepped up in Godwin's defense.
"But my hero of a puppy Todd saved me," Godwin wrote on Facebook. "He jumped right in front of my leg ... ."
The post also included a collage of photos of Todd, some of which showed the 6-month-old Golden Retriever wearing the effects of a venomous bite. The right side of his muzzle was swollen out of proportion and bore marks of discoloration, which patch.com reported was dried blood from where the rattlesnake struck.
The picture has been shared thousands of times on social media, garnering more than 360,000 likes and close to 73,000 retweets on just the WeRateDogs Twitter feed.
Upon closer inspection of the viral picture, it's clear that Todd has a bandage above his right, front paw, as it looks like he is hooked up to an IV.
Godwin said that within 20 minutes of the attack, she had Todd at an animal hospital, where he was treated with antivenin, ktar.com reported.
The Anthem, Ariz. woman closed her original Facebook post asking her followers to "please say a little prayer for my sweet hero."
Godwin received that and then some, in the form of thousands of combined comments, reactions and shares.
Since then, another appeal has been made for something else to help in the aftermath of the rattlesnake bite. Money.
Friends of Todd has started a GoFundMe page to raise money for Anthem Pets Animal Rescue. According to the page's description, the group wants to raise money to offset costs for pet owners in the Anthem area, not far from Sedona, whose animals need antivenin.
The group has set a goal of $500, and raised $125 in its first two hours after being launched. However, the money raised is not going to be used for Todd's medical bills.
Godwin shared the GoFundMe page's information, saying the fund will be for those in need, adding "Todd wants to help more puppies."
It is not an inexpensive treatment. According to patch.com, Godwin's medical expenses for Todd were $1,500.
Godwin also provided an update on Todd Sunday. She said her brave dog is doing "so well," and she is amazed by how quickly he is recovering from the potentially-deadly bite.
Todd was hospitalized for 12 hours before returning home, patch.com reported. But Todd hasn't been fazed by the incident, with Godwin saying he's been a playful puppy, "just acting like nothing happened."
The growing dog is expected to make a full recovery, according to abc11.com.
"Just a thank you to all the support Your kindness and support is truly a blessing," Godwin wrote in the post, where she is kissing her hero on less-swollen muzzle.