Early morning Friday, June 29, 2018, Paula Godwin, the owner of the two golden retrievers named Todd and Copper hiked down a pathed hill in Arizona. The walk was going well until they stumbled upon a camouflaged snake blending into the gray pavement.
With the owner momentarily unaware of the danger the youngest pup took action and bolted in front of Godwin’s leg, exactly where the rattlesnake would have stricken.
In several previous cases, a rattlesnake’s rattle would have been heard before a human stepped on it causing any injuries to be avoided. In many snake bites, it is not unheard of when a jogger or hiker gets too close without knowing it, triggering the snake to attack without warning.
Before Godwin could step on the snake, 6-month-old Todd took the bite for her. He suffered a swollen face due to the venom.
After the attack, the owner described her immediate instinct, as to picking up the pup and carrying him into her car while dialing the nearest pet hospital.
In less than 15 minutes the woman got the ill puppy treated with antivenom by a veterinarian that was located near her house. Twelve hours after the medication was administered, he was returned home.
Godwin told The Arizona Republic that whether or not it was intentional “he definitely saved me from being bitten, so that’s why I call him my hero.”
The rattlesnake run-in, fortunately, seemed to have no effect on the puppy’s spirits and he is recovering, as reported by Godwin. Photo after photo was posted showing the companion acting lively during his recovery along with updates describing his improving physical health.
After the experience, Godwin started a GoFundMe for owners who encounter the same problem but instead have no way of getting help for their pets in time.
Knowing that some owners would not pay for antivenom medication in situations like these troubled the grateful pet owner, “because not one second did I think that I would not take him to the hospital,” said Godwin.
The high possibility that the dog was just curious about the snake causing him to get bitten instead did not deter the owner into thinking any less of the ‘hero’ pup.
Godwin admitted to ABC News, ” Of course I would rather have been bitten by the snake, but he did [instead].”
Luckily the owner said Todd was recovering well and the swelling around his snout has gone down, allowing Godwin to continue walking both dogs like normal.
Hero dogs are not a rare occurrence, many lives have been saved by trained and even family dogs that have instinctively become attached to their human counterpart. Many of these events inspire others to start programs and campaigns whose sole purpose is to help owners that struggle with taking care of their animal’s needs.
Written by Brielle R. Buford
Edited by Cathy Milne
ABC News: ‘Hero’ puppy recovering from snake bite after coming between rattler and dog owner
The Arizona Republic: ‘Hero’ puppy takes on rattlesnake bite, saving owner, during walk
Today: Woman saved from rattlesnake after ‘sweet hero’ puppy jumps in front of her
WNCT: Hero puppy takes rattlesnake bite to save owner
Top and Featured Image Courtesy of m kasahara’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License