A black and white Newfoundland and marine rescue dog, Whizz, has been awarded the PDSA Order of Merit. This is the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross and recognises animals that display outstanding devotion to their owner or wider society, above and beyond normal companionship.
His trainer told The Telegraph that he trained Whizz as a rescuer when the dog was only one year old. “I am bursting with pride for Whizz.”
“He was a dog in a million and I am truly heartbroken that he isn’t here to receive his medal. Whizz loved working and had an extraordinary talent. Not only was he strong and gentle – he was also so emotionally intuitive. This made him the perfect rescue and therapy dog and a beloved companion to the hundreds of sick children and adults he met along the way.”
During his rescue career, Whizz saved many people including two little girls who had floated out to sea on an inflatable raft and then got into trouble. He also was a regular at Newfoundland Water Rescue Days, a fundraising event where people would enter the water and then be ‘saved’ by the rescue Newfoundlands.
Whizz also visited the sick and injured in hospital as a therapy dog.