We live in a rural area where people routinely dump their dogs. Reba, a 45-pound red Queensland Heeler, was one who came to live with us. She is very protective, as this story will prove.
Getting bitten by a rattlesnake once is possibly an accident. Choosing to be bitten again is true bravery! Reba has been bitten three times in the two times she saved me.
One day, I stepped out of the house barefoot and immediately heard it: The deadly buzz of an angry rattler. Instantly, I froze. Desperately I scanned our yard to see where the intruder was located but the yard was empty. The unmistakable sound increased. As I started to move, Reba snapped at my ankle and I saw the snake bite her twice on the face as I leapt back to the safety of the house.
We rushed her to the emergency vet. Antivenom cost $600 a dose and she needed three or more. There was no way I could afford over $2,000. Devastated, we gave her fluids and took her home to see what would happen.
For the next week I gave her super large quantities of Benadryl, more sub-cutaneous fluids and prayed. Her head swelled to the size of a small watermelon, and then, miraculously, the swelling faded.
Fast forward two years. I open the door to our house and see a rattler coiled up against the door frame. I think I screamed. Suddenly, from out of nowhere, Reba attacked, drawing the snake’s attention to her and allowing me to get safely back inside.
This time, we skipped the vet. Again, she swelled mightily and again, she survived.
Today, Reba is 19, somewhat deaf, and a bit slower, but she’s still going strong. I don’t know what I’ll do when we finally lose her. She is, beyond a doubt, my hero dog.