Zoey the Chihuahua may be among the smallest of Denise and Monty Long’s four dogs, but she’s the biggest hero in their Masonville home after saving their 1-year-old grandson from a rattlesnake.
Zoey’s heroics came last week while the Longs were baby-sitting their grandson, Booker West, as they often do at their home just west of Loveland.
The youngster was playing by a birdbath in the carefully manicured backyard with Zoey standing nearby.
So, as the snake coiled to strike, the dog jumped in between the boy and the rattler and suffered a bite to the head.
Monty Long heard Zoey yelp and went to see what was wrong. As he bent down to pick up his grandson, Long saw the rattler coiling up as if to strike again. He pulled the boy out of the way just in time.
The couple rushed Zoey to a veterinarian in Loveland, who began treating the 11-month- old, 5-pound long-haired Chihuahua with plasma, morphine and anti-venom treatments.
By then, the dog’s head had swelled to the size of a large grapefruit.
About all they could see of her face was the little black button that was her nose.
The snake bite left a vertical scar across Zoey’s head and she almost lost an eye.
But the treatments worked, and by Sunday, Zoey was back playing with the Longs’ two Labrador retrievers and their Yorkshire terrier.
The Longs have noticed bull snakes in the yard behind their yellow farmhouse, but they’d never seen a rattlesnake until Thursday.
Now they keep a wary eye out for their dogs and their grandson, who is no longer playing near the birdbath.
Denise Long said she’s glad Zoey is getting attention for her heroic deed. Most times, only big dogs get credit for saving lives, she said.
But in this case, it was more the size of the dog’s courage that mattered.