If you live in snake country, it pays to never let your guard down. Thankfully for one Idaho family, both their dogs were paying attention and ready for danger when two prairie rattlers crept near a little girl on the homestead.
Rodney Bacon lives with his family in Owyhee County, Idaho, close to the Nevada state border. With an abundance of prairie grass and sage bush, rattlesnakes thrive in this environment.
One day, Rodney went outside to collect the mail from his SUV with his 3-year-old daughter Harper in tow. Their German shepherd, Trek, was right behind them. Suddenly, Trek began pushing the little girl away from the car. “Stop pushing me! Trek stop pushing me!” Harper shouted.
What Rodney didn’t know was their dog was trying to keep Harper away from a coiled rattlesnake nearby the car. Trek’s behavior just seemed so out of character—something was up! Dad and daughter then headed back inside, while the family’s other dog, a pit bull called Gracie, ran toward Trek, also becoming quite agitated.
“As soon as I closed the door the other dog starts barking at it,” Rodney said. “And that’s when she was going after it, and the closer I got to the snake, the more aggressive she got. She ended up killing the snake by the time I got the shovel.”
Gracie had been bitten while doing her heroic deed in protection of her family. She then ran off, nowhere to be found. They looked everywhere for her but could not find her. “I thought she ran off to die,” Rodney said. Thankfully, she returned the next day. But that wasn’t the end of the story.
“The following day I came back at lunchtime and there was another rattlesnake there and she was sitting there and she killed that one too,” Rodney explained. “And she had another bite on her leg. At that point I tied her up and I was like, ‘I’m taking you to the vet right now.’”
Despite having a big, swollen head, she’s doing fine now. “She can breathe, eat, drink, and she’s wagging her tail as happy as ever,” Rodney reported.
Rattlesnakes just want to survive, same as humans. They don’t deliberately come after us, and their bite is a last resort. Give all snakes a wide berth, and especially keep your children away. Sometimes it becomes inevitable that snakes are killed when they invade our living space. The pit bull just went by her instincts and there’s no fault in that—she hadn’t a second thought about it; she was protecting her family. Thank goodness everyone was okay in the end, including both dogs!