‘Hero’ Golden Retriever Bitten By Rattlesnake Saved Me
PHOENIX, AZ — A Phoenix dog is being hailed as a "hero" for jumping in front of his owner and taking a venomous rattlesnake bite to the face. Paula Godwin, of Anthem, told Patch she took her two dogs hiking on a trailhead near North Seventh Avenue and West Carefree Highway around 7 a.m. Friday. […]
PHOENIX, AZ — A Phoenix dog is being hailed as a "hero" for jumping in front of his owner and taking a venomous rattlesnake bite to the face. Paula Godwin, of Anthem, told Patch she took her two dogs hiking on a trailhead near North Seventh Avenue and West Carefree Highway around 7 a.m. Friday. As they strolled down the hill, her curious 6-month-old golden retriever, Todd, jolted toward her foot. "I didn't see the snake and I am so careful when it comes to these things," Godwin said, noting she's lived her whole life in the area and knows of the dangers. "That dang rattlesnake was so camouflaged I did not see that thing." The snake, an adult with a grayish color and white speckles, didn't make a sound until it was too late.
"I think the snake was sleeping because I didn't even hear a rattle. It was super quiet," said Godwin. Todd put his nose down close to the ground to see what was on the trail. The snake immediately bit him on the nose and cheek area. "Right when he struck he started to rattle," she said. Had Godwin not jolted and pulled back, the snake might've bitten her 3-year-old retriever, Copper, too. "Todd saved me," she said. "I would've been bit for sure if it wasn't for my puppy looking to see what it was." The dog immediately cried and yelped in pain. Godwin scooped him up, rushed down the trail, and put him the car, racing to Animal Hospital at Anthem. "I broke a lot of traffic laws for sure to get him there," she quipped. "I did not pay any attention to traffic laws for 10 minutes." While larger dogs don't typically need anti-venom, Todd was young and had been bitten in the face, so staff at the hospital immediately gave him some of the medication. Todd remained hospitalized for 12 hours. After $1,500 in care, he got to go home Friday night. "My husband and I stayed up with him all night, monitored him and just made sure he was comfortable" said Godwin. Two days later, you'd never know he was bitten by a rattler, she said. "He wants to play. He's so rambunctious and he's just acting like nothing happened," she said. "It's so crazy." The swelling on his face has gone down "tremendously," she adds. Though they can't wash the dried blood off his face for about 10 days, doctors say he won't have any long-term problems. Even so, Godwin says she wishes the snake had bit her instead. "At least I would've understood why I got bit," she said. "He was so innocent and didn't know what was going on." Godwin said she's actually thankful the snake was an adult and not an adolescent, which typically release more venom.

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