WARNING: The pictures in this story might be disturbing to some readers.
An Edmonton-area dog, who saved her owner’s life last year during a horseback riding accident in Arizona, has been inducted into the Purina Animal Hall of Fame for her heroic efforts.
“What an honour,” Tracy Matkea said of her four-year-old dog, Becky Jo.
“I’ve always thought she was special, just like all the animals we’ve had… but to have her actually honoured into a hall of fame, that’s just amazing.”
Early last year, Matkea – who lives in Arizona during the winter – was out for a ride on one of her colts when she fell off and hit her head. Matkea doesn’t remember much of the accident but knows her foot got stuck in one of the stirrups and she was dragged for about half a mile.
Luckily, Becky Jo was along for the walk and jumped into action.
“Becky must have stayed with me for approximately 10 minutes and then decided she needed to go home and alert my husband that there was a problem,” Matkea said on Tuesday.
Watch below: A dog who jumped into action when her owner was badly injured while riding a horse is getting some special recognition. Quinn Ohler explains. WARNING: Some viewers may find some of the images in this story disturbing.
Becky Jo ran back to the house and was able to alert Matkea’s husband, Butch, by barking at the end of the driveway. Butch followed Becky Jo on a four-wheeler back to where his wife fell off the horse.
“I was conscious at the time but incoherent and bleeding really badly,” Matkea recalled. “He patched me up enough to get me back home and from there I was airlifted into Phoenix into a trauma hospital.”
Matkea ended up receiving more than 100 stitches and staples in her head and scalp from a massive laceration. She suffered a major concussion, broke her orbital bone and ended up with several cuts and bruises.
Doctors told her it was very “close to the end” for her because one of the main arteries in her head was severed.
“There was quite a bit of blood loss and they’re saying it’s about an eight1 to 10-minute window that I had left down there had someone not found me,” Matkea told Global News in January 2016, two weeks after the accident.
More than a year later, Matkea still suffers from post-concussion syndrome but is otherwise doing well physically but knows the situation could have been much worse if it weren’t for Becky Jo.
“I think any of our other dogs throughout the years would have stayed with me,” she said.
“It’s just amazing because at some point in time she made the decision she needs to go home.”
For her life-saving efforts, Becky Jo has been inducted into the Purina Animal Hall of Fame, which honours outstanding life-saving acts of animal courage and heroism.
Becky Jo is one of three pups being inducted this year. Each inductee receives a medal of honour, $5,000 and a year’s supply of pet food.
As of 2017, 175 animals have been inducted, including 147 dogs, 27 cats and a horse.