Nellie had never before been referred to as brave. The adjectives fearful, protective, shy, or cautious were most frequently used to describe the homeless pit bull up until a few weeks ago.
But everything changed when 5-year-old Nellie, while hiking in a Texas state park, managed to get in between her foster mother, Jane Taylor, and a rattlesnake.
Nellie was taken from a California shelter by rescuers with the Final Frontier Rescue Project, a small volunteer-based organization in Texas, when she was a year old. After that, she spent years moving from kennel to kennel before meeting Taylor six months ago.
Taylor told The Dodo, “Nellie came to me a little bit chubby, which made her super cute. “We referred to her as our tiny potato sack. But that wasn’t her true form, so we started running together, and today she weighs 45 pounds.
Nellie was afraid of loud noises, strange people, and strange animals when she first arrived at her temporary residence. She resisted being touched by strangers and guarded her toys fiercely. Nellie started to adjust to her new life, though, thanks to the influence of her foster mother.
Then, on a bright March day, Nellie demonstrated how far she had come.
“We hiked up to this massive rock dome… We were traversing an area that isn’t typically passed on our way from the hike back to the car, too,” Taylor said. “I didn’t even see the snake; I just stopped and started screaming when I heard it.”
Taylor continued, “Before I could even move or turn around or anything, she ran from behind me, and she was on top of the snake. Taylor continued, “When Nellie came over, it was almost like she was on it, saying, ‘I got this one, Mom. Keep going.
Nellie was bitten in the face not long after the altercation began. A hiking companion covered the snake with his jacket and dragged the writhing reptile away from the harmed dog.
Taylor and her friend picked up the dog and carried it down the mountain because Nellie wouldn’t move or walk.
When we put her in the car, Taylor recalled, “her mouth was open, her head was tilted back, and her eyes were closed.” Even though she wasn’t “awooing” in pain, it was clear that she was unhappy.
Taylor continued, “I knew I had to get her to the vet as soon as I could.
Two vials of antivenom were administered to Nellie along with antibiotics for the bite wound, and she was then placed on bed rest. And the brave dog is recovering quickly because of everyone’s quick actions.
She’s such a tough puppy, Taylor remarked. “She was chasing squirrels again two days later.”
Nellie is finally prepared to move forward and find a forever home now that she is on the road to recovery.
To feel safe, Nellie needs a more regulated environment, and Taylor will soon relocate to Hawaii to care for her aging parents.
She has been decompressing and is now realizing how much fun life can be, according to Taylor. “She just goes crazy whenever we have guests over at the house. She begins to understand that it’s playtime when the dogs arrive. She is no longer so possessive because she has so many toys.
Taylor continued, “She’s super cute and just wants to make you happy. “She keeps in touch with you constantly.”
Taylor will always be appreciative of Nellie for her bravery, and she is aware that Nellie has a promising future if only someone would give her a chance.
Everyone immediately assumes that Nellie was defending you, Taylor remarked. And she very well might have because when she’s out for a walk, she really pays attention to anything or anyone she doesn’t like.
She continued, “It’s really special to think that she would do that for me.