*This writer can really relate to this story about the family dog protecting his human from one of the most undesirable reptiles in the animal kingdom…a rattlesnake.
But this German Shepherd, named “Haus,” is being hailed a hero after he showed bravery and came between a little girl who was playing with the dog in her yard when the reptile came slithering up and decided to join in on the fun.
The Shepherd went into attack-mode and was bitten several times by the Eastern diamondback snake. But not even this stopped Haus. And according to the girls mother, Donya DeLuca, their beloved dog “kept taking hits” from the snake.
DeLuca even said she “didn’t know if she would have made it” had the dog not intervened.
Now before I go any further, I know you’re wondering exactly what did I mean when I said I can relate to this story. And seeing as though my proof lies in pictures on an old, uncharged phone, you’re just going to have to take my word for it dammit!
Last summer I heard our dog Pebbles barking without pause in the yard. It was only after a while that I became concerned because the bark was unrelenting. It had also sounded like someone had turned on the sprinklers at one point, but I thought nothing of it after seeing no water.
Still, I decided to grab the first pair of shows I could find, a huge floppy pair of sandals that belonged to my grandson, and go outside to see what all the commotion was.
I happened to be wearing a long house dress on that day. Keep this in mind: big, floppy sandals and a long dress.
I say to Pebbles, “What’s the matter girl?” as she has not moved from the spot she was in. I follow her eyes to see a rattlesnake, coiled and ready to strike at the perimeter of the fence.
Now my first thought was that the reptile, which was pretty huge, was on the OTHER side of the fence, but that was just wishful thinking. It was definitely on OUR side.
I scream, C’mon Pebbles as I start to run towards the house. I look around and Pebbles is still standing in the same spot. Barking at the thang! So I go back and grab her by the collar screaming, “C’mon Pebbles!” This time she beat me to the door.
Now here is where the sandals and long dress come in.
I was falling over them as I ran. And on my way down I found myself thinking, “Why does the girl always fall?”
It was that thought, along with the one that there is a snake back there that broke the fall and kept me upright.
So we make it to the house. And after I am sure that Pebbles is inside. Fine. I began to think: “Why the hell was I running? It’s not like a snake is going to chase me.”
So you know what I did. I went right back outside with my camera. The snake was nearly in the same spot, but had uncoiled itself (probably trying to get the hell outta there!) and was now lying across a rock.
When it sensed my presence, it hissed. Ah-ha! There goes that sprinkler sound. I always thought a hiss sounded more like the noise of air coming from between your clinched teeth.
It doesn’t sound like that. It sounds more like a waterfall.
I literally to the snake, who I sensed was warning me, but was not really making any moves to come closer: “I know. I know. I just want to take a picture.”
Yes. I was negotiating with the thang! But I also know that snakes are not aggressive towards humans unless they feel threatened.
Long story short, we got help. I witnessed the entire horrible event and filmed it and put it on Facebook (I will find it, I swear!)
All I can say is there is no greater trauma than seeing a limp snake being lifted from the bushes by a shovel. Well, unless you consider the part where that snake kept trying to coil itself even after its life had ended.
I still have nightmares. And I believe my brave dog, Pebbles, who I could swear had grey hair the very next day, that was not there the day before, does too.
Anyway, back to Haus. According to reports, he did not back away. He kept himself between the snake and away from Molly. “She saw him jump back, and go forward, and jump back and go forward,” Molly’s mother Donya DeLuca told Fox 13.
“He was just kind of holding his ground. Next thing we know is there’s blood and he was limping and crying.”
Had my personal incident happened with my other dog, the outcome would’ve looked more like this, but worse.
The Eastern diamondback rattlesnake is the largest venomous snake in North America. They can grow to 8m long and weigh up to 10 pounds. They are actually highly averse to human contact and only attack when they feel threatened or they are attacked. Bites are extremely painful and can be fatal to humans.
Haus did get the medical treatment he so badly needed. But he’s not out of the woods yet. He has been given multiple doses of anti-venom, keeping his organs and vitals strong. But the family says the veterinary bills will cost them upwards of US$10,000 (£7,000), and Haus will need more treatments during the next few days.
So far more than $51,000 (£35,000) dollars in donations have been received. The DeLuca family plans to send any funds to Heidi’s Legacy Rescue – the dog rescue organisation where the family found Haus.
“I feel really grateful,” DeLuca told Fox. “It is frightening to think it could have been my daughter… The bond that they have created in a short time has been unbelievable.”