A heroic Staffie named Diesel has been given a PDSA Gold Medal, known as the George Cross for animals. The prestigious award was created in 2001 to recognise outstanding acts of animal bravery and devotion - the perfect accolade for three-year-old Diesel, who saved his whole family from a house fire.
But life for Diesel wasn't always love and lavish London award ceremonies. The Staffie was found abandoned at the age of just nine months old, having been tied to a tree. Diesel then spent a few months in the Animals in Distress rescue centre in Ipplepen, before being rehomed by the Ash family.
This May Diesel more than repayed his family's kindness, when he alerted them to a fire that had consumed the ground floor of the house. Diesel had been asleep on owner Jordan's bed, but sensed danger and roused Jordan by barking and licking his face.
Jordan opened the bedroom door to see smoke and flames coming up the stairs, and rushed to wake his parents, Chris and Tina. While his parents escaped via the spare bedroom window onto the kitchen roof, Jordan returned to his bedroom to pick up Diesel, was now cowering, utterly terrified, under the bed. Together they tried to follow Jordan's parents. The smoke was so thick Jordan almost fainted. Thankfully, they got out too, and awaited the arrival of the fire brigade out front.
Despite extensive damage to the house, the whole family was safe and well - all thanks to a lovable Staffie.
Jordan said, “I like to think it was his way of repaying us for rescuing him. Staffies have such a bad reputation but he has the most lovely, placid nature. Diesel undoubtedly saved our lives that night, without him I wouldn't be standing here today and I will be forever grateful.”