Nellie was never described as brave before. Prior to a few weeks ago, people typically used words such as afraid, protective, shy, or cautious to describe the homeless pit bull. However, this all changed during a recent hiking trip in a Texas state park when 5-year-old Nellie bravely positioned herself between her foster mother, Jane Taylor, and a rattlesnake.
Nellie was rescued from a California shelter by volunteers from the Final Frontier Rescue Project, a small organization based in Texas, when she was a year old. Following that, she spent years being transferred from one kennel to another before meeting Taylor six months ago.
Nellie showed signs of anxiety and discomfort when she was first placed in her foster home due to loud noises, strangers, and unfamiliar animals. She was cautious and possessive of her toys, avoiding physical contact with strangers. However, Nellie gradually adapted to her new environment, thanks to the guidance of her foster mom. In March, Nellie displayed how much she had improved.
“We climbed the huge granite dome on foot. On the way back to the car, we went through an area that is not commonly traveled,” said Taylor. When Taylor heard the snake, she stopped and screamed without even seeing it.
“She came from behind me and jumped on the snake before I could even turn around or move,” Taylor continued. “It was almost as if Nellie knew what to do when she arrived, saying ‘I got this one, Mom.’ And she did.”
Not long after the altercation began, Nellie was bitten on the face. A hiking partner covered the snake with his coat and pulled it away from the injured dog.
Nellie wouldn’t walk, so Taylor and her companion picked her up and carried her down the mountain.
Taylor said, “When we put her in the car, her mouth was open, her head was back, and her eyes were closed.” She wasn’t howling in pain, but it was clear she was uncomfortable.
“I knew I had to get her to the vet as quickly as possible,” Taylor said.
Nellie received two vials of antivenom and medication for the bite site, and she was put on bed rest. And, thanks to everyone’s quick actions, the brave dog is recovering quickly.
“She’s such a tough little dog,” Taylor said. “She was chasing squirrels again two days later.”
Now that Nellie is on the path to recovery, she is finally ready to move on and find a permanent home.
Nellie requires a more stable environment to feel at ease, and Taylor will soon travel to Hawaii to care for her elderly parents.
As per Taylor, Nellie has been relaxing and is finally discovering how enjoyable life can be. She goes berserk whenever we have company over. Watching the other dogs play there, she is beginning to understand that it is time to have some fun. She no longer clings to her toys as much.
“Now that she is on the mend, she is ready to find a forever home. She is incredibly cute and just wants to make you happy,” Taylor continued.
Nellie is communicative, and her bravery will always be admired by Taylor. She knows that Nellie has a bright future ahead of her if only someone will give her a chance.
Everyone presumes that Nellie was defending me, said Taylor. And it’s plausible that she did, as she is very attentive to anyone or anything she dislikes when out for a walk.
It’s incredibly heartwarming to imagine that she would do something like that for me, she added.