Dogs are considered to be man’s best friend without good reason. They area affectionate, loyal, and intuitive. They can also be fiercely protective when the occasion calls for it. And that’s what one family in Idaho witnessed last week when their two dogs protected three-year-old Harper from an angry rattlesnake.
The Bacon family lives out in the open grassland that covers the border between Idaho and Nevada. The sagebrush is home to many critters, including bighorn sheep, coyotes, and Rocky Mountain goats. But it’s also home to more dangerous wildlife such as American black bears, venomous scorpions, and Great Basin rattlesnakes. And if it wasn’t for the love and bravery of their furry friends, Rodney and three-year-old Harper might have had a deadly encounter with a rattlesnake that had taken up residence on their property.
The family owns two dogs. Trek is a German Shepherd and Gracie is a Pitbull. The dogs adore their owners, and love to accompany little Harper whenever she heads out on an adventure. So when Harper and her father took a short walk out to Rodney’s SUV to grab the mail, Trek accompanied them.
But when they reached the SUV, Trek started acting strangely. While he was gathering up the mail, Rodney heard his daughter saying, “Stop pushing me, Trek! Stop pushing me!” Not quite sure what was going one, Rodney gathered up the mail and his daughter and headed back into the house. That’s when Gracie, barking loudly all the while, darted out of the house.
It wasn’t until after following the dogs back out to the SUV that Rodney realized there was a coiled rattlesnake that was ready to strike. “The closer I got to the snake, the more aggressive she got,” Rodney said about Gracie. He left to get a shovel, but by the time he returned, Gracie had already killed the snake. Unfortunately, she was bit in the process and took off after the snake stopped moving.
The family set out to look for Gracie, afraid that she would die from her injuries. Sadly, she couldn’t be found and they returned home without their loyal protector. Surprisingly, Gracie returned the next day. Rodney came home during his lunch hour and found Gracie, face swollen so badly it was almost unrecognizable, waiting for him. And she wasn’t empty handed. Gracie was standing over another dead rattlesnake. An extra bite on her leg was evidence that she had taken this threat out as well.
Rodney quickly leashed Gracie up and headed over to the veterinarian hospital. Gracie had been bit a total of three times by the two snakes. But despite the family’s fears, the vet assured them that Gracie would be just fine. She’s still a little swollen, but she can breathe, eat, and drink without any problem. The family is grateful that they all made it out of the situation alive, and that their normally shy pup will be back to full health very soon.