The old saying goes that dog is man’s best friend, and one Great Dane pup proved that tenfold when she went head-to-head with a venomous snake to protect her owner.
The incident occurred in Vandegrift Boulevard, Oceanside, California on Megan Montano’s backyard patio, reported ABC10 News. Montano had stopped at home during her lunch break.
Montano knelt down to leash her chihuahua, named Rebel, when she saw her three-year-old Great Dane Mia acting strangely in the yard. Suddenly, she felt Mia rush past her in a clear hurry.
“I think she thought it was an intruder and was going to probably push it out,” Montano told ABC10, speaking of the offending snake.
“I felt Mia coming in behind me, to my side,” said Montano. “Then all of a sudden, kind of felt her bump into my side, and rear back, while making a noise. I threw my head to the left and I saw the snake,” said Montano.
Montano then laid eyes on a foot-and-a-half long rattlesnake slithering in her yard.
“I should have been bit. I don’t know how I wasn’t bit,” she told ABC10. Instead, it turns out, Mia intervened in order to take the bite for her. “She kept going, pfr pfr pfr …and she kept trying to hit her mouth with her paw. Instantly, I knew it had bitten her.”
Mia’s mouth began to swell from the venomous bite and she was rushed to the vet. Luckily, she was given a dose of antivenin and was able to be released later that night. She was later taken to the vet again due to “additional symptoms,” but Montano told ABC10 that Mia is now doing much better.
“I would say Mia is most definitely my hero dog,” said, adding that she now has her beloved pets wait inside for her to clear the patio before being let out to do their business.
“Be aware of your surroundings, and just be smart. Have your head on a swivel at all times,” Montano told ABC10, warning fellow pet owners to remain aware this snake season.
The offending rattlesnake was allegedly “found, captured, and relocated” a day after the incident.
According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), Rattlesnakes are widespread in California and are found around ‘homes and yards in brushy areas and under woodpiles.’ CDFW states that the species is not aggressive and ‘will likely retreat if given room or not deliberately provoked or threatened.’
Most bites occur when a rattlesnake is handled or accidentally touched by someone walking or climbing, CDFW explains.
In another snake incident, a woman in North Carolina was struck by a black racer while she rimming the bushes in her front yard. Stunned by the sight, she fell off a six-foot ladder, injuring her right leg.