WITHOUT her dog, Sam, Glamorgan Vale resident Rhonda Watson might not be alive today.
In late 2010, Mrs Watson was moving some of the stock on her property when she was knocked to the ground and found herself being trampled by a bull believed to have been suffering from tick fever.
Sam, an eight-year-old labrador-border collie cross, raced to the rescue nipping at the bull's head and drawing it away from Mrs Watson before being rolled himself.
Yesterday the RSPCA Queensland awarded Sam an animal achievement award for his efforts in saving Mrs Watson.
"I woke up on the ground and he (the bull) was on me," Mrs Watson said.
"He was trying to gore me but he was a poll hereford and didn't have any horns.
"He was stomping all over me.
"Sam got him off me and then he went for Sam."
Mrs Watson petitioned the RSPCA for some recognition of Sam's courage, leading to him being only the fourth dog in nine years to receive the prestigious state-wide award, and the first since 2008.
Mrs Watson ended up in Princess Alexandra hospital in Brisbane for eight days, her left knee crushed and with concerns for her upper body.
"When they got me to the hospital they were concerned about my knee, but when they saw my shoulder and arms were all black and covered in mud and blood they were worried about my heart.
"The doctors were worried about broken ribs and him standing on my heart."
Fortunately Mrs Watson escaped the attack without damage to her chest or heart but had a plate and screws put in her knee to hold it together.
"Without Sam to take him away from me it could have been so much worse," she said.
"He's not the best cattle dog. He goes for their head instead of their feet, which isn't good when mustering, but I think it saved me when he did that.
"He's such a beautiful dog.
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