Newfoundland dog, Whizz, has been posthumously awarded the PDSA Order of Merit – known as the animals’ OBE. The brave pooch, who saved nine people and a dog from drowning throughout his decade-long water rescue career, passed away earlier this month, aged 12.
As well as being a water rescuer, Whizz, worked alongside his owner, David Pugh, as a fundraiser and therapy dog.
The PDSA Order of Merit was presented to Whizz’s cousin, Tizz, and owner David Pugh at a ceremony on the quayside of the Docklands Scout Project on the Isle of Dogs, London on March 22, 2016.
Whizz is the third dog to be awarded the PDSA Order of Merit, which recognises animals that display outstanding devotion to their owner or wider society, above and beyond normal companionship – and represents an exceptional example of the special relationship between animals and humans.
PDSA Director General, Jan McLoughlin, who presented the award, said: “Whizz’s life was utterly devoted to saving and enriching the lives of the humans he met. His story embodies the enormous contribution that animals make to our lives. He is a thoroughly deserving recipient of the PDSA Order of Merit, which celebrates the outstanding devotion that Whizz displayed.”
Whizz’s owner David Pugh, said: “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.
“I am thrilled that Whizz has been recognised with the PDSA Order of Merit – Tizz has some big shoes to fill today!”