Dogs are truly some of the most loyal animals out there, and when it comes to protecting their owners, they’ll do whatever it takes to keep them safe.
People may question whether a rescue dog can provide the same amount of loyalty towards their new owner – after all, they may have been mistreated, neglected, and possibly abused in the past.
But one rescue dog is out to prove that their loyalty never wavers.
So much so, that when the heroic dog was out on a walk with her foster mom, she jumped in between her mom and a rattlesnake, putting her own life at risk.
5-year-old Nellie the pit bull had been a shelter dog for many years of her life, before a small volunteer-based organization in Texas called Final Frontier Rescue Project introduced her to foster mom Jane Taylor.
“Nellie came to me a little bit chubby, which made her super cute,” Jane told The Dodo. “We called her our little potato sack. But it wasn’t her true form, so we started doing runs together and now she’s a 45-pound pocket pittie.”
Nellie was a little nervous when she first arrived at her foster home, and she backed away from loud noises and unfamiliar people and animals. But one thing she absolutely loved was to go for runs with her mom, and one Spring morning in March, she proved just how absolutely fearless she really was.
“We went hiking up to this big rock dome … and on our way back to the car from the hike, we were traversing an area that isn’t normally passed,” Jane said. “I didn’t even see the snake, I heard it first and stopped and started screaming.”
Nellie knew that her mom was in danger, and the amazing little pup acted instinctively.
“She ran from behind me before I could even step away or turn around or anything — and she was on top of the snake,” Jane recalled. “When Nellie ran over, it was almost as if she was on it saying, ‘I got this one, Mom — keep going.’”
Nellie struggled with the snake for a few minutes before she was bitten in the face. Luckily, a passing hiker was able to throw his jacket over the snake and wrestle it away from Nellie. The injured dog wasn’t moving, so Jane and the hiker carried her to the car and rushed to the vets.
“When we got her in the car her eyes were closed, her head was tilted back and her mouth was open,” Jane said. “She wasn’t ‘awooing’ in pain, but you could tell she was unhappy. I knew that I had to get her to the vet as quickly as possible.”
Thankfully, after being treated with two vials of antivenom and antibiotics for the bite wound, Nellie soon began to come back into herself again.
She was ordered to go on bed rest for a few days, but nothing was going to keep the pup down for too long.
“She’s such a resilient pup,” Jane said. “Two days later she was chasing squirrels again.”
After the incident, Jane soon began to realize that something pretty amazing had happened. Now that Nellie had proved her bravery, she discovered that life wasn’t as scary as she first thought!
“She’s been decompressing and is finally understanding how fun life can be,” Taylor said. “Whenever we have visitors over at the house she just goes bonkers. When dogs come over, she’s realizing that it’s playtime. She has tons of toys so she’s not so possessive anymore.”
Jane still often reflects back on the moment that Nellie saved her life, and will forever be grateful for the brave little pup.
“Everyone’s first thought is, ‘Nellie was protecting you,’” Jane said. “And she very well could have, because she really stands to attention if there’s something or someone she doesn’t like on her walks. It’s really special to think that she would do that for me.”
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