Fearless Senior Yorkshire Terrier Takes Bite From Pygmy Rattlesnake to Protect Owners on Hike

August 9, 2020 Updated: August 9, 2020

An 11-year-old Yorkshire terrier named Bear, in South Dakota, has truly lived up to the title “man’s best friend.”

While hiking with their dog in late July, married couple Devin and Alex Diede walked right into the path of a pygmy rattlesnake crossing the Centennial Trail near Sheridan Lake in the Black Hills mountains. As the snake didn’t use its rattle to warn of an attack, they were caught completely off guard.

Thankfully, Bear performed admirably, protecting his humans from the dangerous reptile.

Aware of the danger, the dog rushed in between his owners and the striking snake. “Alex would have stepped on the snake and [it would’ve] bit her if Bear had not been there to take the bite,” Devin told KEVN.

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(Illustration – Konstantin Gushcha/Shutterstock)

It all happened so quickly that the Diedes weren’t even sure if he had been struck. “He didn’t he didn’t yip or bark,” Devin Diede explained, revealing just how stalwart their little dog was.

After the encounter, they were unable to locate a wound and could only guess that he had been bitten by the fact that he was having trouble walking.

Rushing back 2 miles to the trailhead, carrying Bear all the way, they managed to get him to an emergency animal clinic in Rapid City, about 30 miles away.

After being looked at by a veterinarian, it was determined that he suffered a wound on his chest. Fortunately, only one of the pygmy rattlesnake’s fangs had broken his skin. “The vet took him and immediately started a blood transfusion,” said Devan.

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(Illustration – Courtenay Harding/Shutterstock)

They had to leave Bear at the clinic overnight to make sure he wasn’t suffering any adverse effects from the bite he had sustained. But the senior dog proved to be a lot tougher than his age might suggest.

By the time the Diedes came back to check on him, they found that Bear had made a quick and impressive recovery, and they were able to bring him home after just 24 hours. “He’s doing surprisingly well,” explained Devin. “He’s walking around just fine and as happy as could be.”

He added, “He’s a tough little guy and most definitely a hero.”

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(Cheri Alguire/Shutterstock)

This is hardly the first time a Yorkie has saved an owner from a snakebite. In 2017, a 10-year-old Yorkshire terrier named Spike in South Africa sacrificed his own life to save his owner from a deadly cobra that had gotten into the yard.

Owner Louise Grobler told Metro, “I was so close to the snake, I think if Spike didn’t jump up and grab it by its neck, it could have bitten me as well.” The fierce Yorkie caught the cobra in its jaws before it could harm Grobler and managed to tear it to pieces.

What Grobler didn’t know was that Spike had sustained a fatal bite in the process. Not more than half an hour later, Spike tragically passed away. Grobler had other dogs who were bigger and younger than Spike, which made his act even more significant.

“Spike was also very protective of me,” the owner said, “but never did I imagine that my little dog could save my life.”

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