Wow, so the first article I read (behind 2nd cut) excluded the staffordshire bull terrier mix! I've now included a better source.
Two dogs that dragged a drowning toddler from a dam in North Queensland last year have been honoured with bravery medals at Parliament House.
Canines Tank and Muck, dubbed the "four-legged angels" by police, are the first animals in the state to receive the prestigious Purple Cross award after saving the life of two-year-old Max Hillier.
The Hillier family was visiting a neighbour at Andergrove near Mackay on December 13, and just happened to have their pet dog Tank with them.
The sound of frantically barking dogs caught the attention of the neighbour, who went to the dam to investigate.
She found Tank guarding the wet and muddy toddler while Muck paced between them and the water's edge.
Drag marks in the dirt and scratches on the boy's back and arms indicated he was dragged from the water by the dogs.
Tank, a Rottweiler-cross, and Muck, a Staffordshire bull terrier, were immediately hailed as heroes by police.
Premier Anna Bligh joined the RSPCA today in congratulating the dogs and presenting Tank and his owners with the Purple Cross.
"Having a pet can be a very important part of learning life skills as children grow up," Ms Bligh said.
"We don't expect for pets to be put in a position where they save a child, but that's what happened for Paul and Georgina Hillier."
As a puppy, Tank was left abandoned in a box at a local school and eventually adopted by the Hillier family.
Mr Hillier said the addition to the family had been a God-send, and praised the "old bitser" for his loyalty and love.
"We're a very lucky family to have such a dog, with all the negatives about dams and children in Queensland," he said.
"The outcome is fantastic... he's an extremely remarkable dog."
Muck and his owners could not make it to Brisbane for the ceremony, but the Hilliers accepted the medal on their behalf.
The Purple Cross was established in 1993 to recognise the acts of animals that show "outstanding service" to humans or risked their safety to save a person from injury or death.
Only six animals have been awarded the Cross.
THE hero lay on his new, top-of-the-range mattress on a property outside Rockhampton.
His anonymity under the night sky was a far cry from the events of the previous day, when he was confronted by a scrum of journalists and an animated Queensland Premier who stroked his face.
His best mate lay nearby, both of them unaffected by their newfound celebrity and content among their loved ones.
They had been left drained by their 15 minutes in the spotlight; their sleep undoubtedly sound.
The medal signifying the closeness of their bond was safety tucked away. Following the treasured Easter camping trip, they will return to their home at Mackay and the backyard where they spend so much of their time together the playground of a boy and his dog.
Tank, a nine-month-old Rottweiler cross, was honoured on Thursday with the RSPCA's most prestigious award, the Purple Cross.
The dog received the award for dragging two-year-old Max Hillier from a dam at Andergrove in December.
Premier Anna Bligh presented the medal, describing Tank as Queensland's top dog.
"Since its inception in 1993, only six animals have been awarded the Purple Cross for their outstanding service to humans, or more specifically, for risking their own safety to save a person from injury or death," Ms Bligh said.
If Tank was human, you'd be tempted to describe his life as a Cinderella story.
Found dumped in a box behind Pioneer State High School as a puppy, he is now mentioned in the same breath as Simpson's donkey Murphy, which carried wounded soldiers at Gallipoli during WWI and is a fellow Purple Cross recipient.
Max's mum, Georgie, described Friday as "a bit full-on but exciting".
It must have been a memorable day? "That and more," she replied.
So how did Max and Tank handle the occasion?
"They were a bit tired by the end of it, but both were on their best behaviour," she said.
For Mrs Hillier and her husband Paul, unwinding on a camping trip is the perfect antidote to the out-of-body experience Thursday must have felt like.
"The boys (they have four) love camping," she said.
"We try to take Tank with us whenever we can.
"He's having a ball at the moment he's part of the family."