Daniel Whitman, 14, escaped getting bitten by a rattlesnake because of the brave actions of his dog.
The boy was cleaning up after the dog in the backyard in Monrovia, California last week when Boone, a Siberian Husky mix, got between him and a rattlesnake. The 5-year-old dog jumped between Daniel and a corner of the yard that Daniel was heading to. Daniel did not see the snake at first, but when he did he shouted for his dad and ran inside. Boone followed after and refused to leave the boy's side.
"He [Boone] just stuck by Daniel's side," Dan Sr., Daniel's father. "He followed Daniel all around the house. He did not leave his side."
About 20 minutes later they noticed Boone behaving oddly, although he did not appear to have any wounds. "He started to kind of twist his head funny and look up at the ceiling like he was in pain," Dan Sr. told the Monrovia Patch.
Dan Sr., a retired Los Angeles County Sherrif's deputy, knew they didn't have much time to save Boone, who was bitten on the snout by the snake. He called a nearby animal hospital and was directed to the closest vet clinic with anti-venom.
Within 40 minutes they had Boone at the clinic being treated with anti-venom, which saved his life. However, the snake's venom did kill a fair bit of the tissue around Boone's snout and caused his face to swell up considerably. Thankfully, Boone is expected to recover.
Dogs can get vaccinated against rattlesnake venom, something that is recommended for people who live in the hillier areas where the snakes live. It's something Dan Sr. said he he certainly plans to tell his community about. In the meantime, he's relieved both his dog and son are all right. "I'm sad that Boone took the bite but I'm thankful my son didn't," he said.