Nobody has ever described Nellie as courageous before. Until recently, the most typical characteristics used to characterize the homeless pit bull were afraid, protective, shy, or cautious.
But everything changed when Nellie, a 5-year-old foster child, came between her foster mother, Jane Taylor, and a rattlesnake while hiking in a Texas state park.
Nellie was rescued from a California shelter when she was a year old by the Final Frontier Rescue Project, a tiny volunteer-based group in Texas. She then spent years bouncing from kennel to kennel until meeting Taylor six months ago.
Taylor told The Dodo, "Nellie arrived to me a little overweight, which made her incredibly cute." "She was dubbed "our little potato bag" by us. But that wasn't her actual shape, so we started running with her and she's now a 45-pound pocket pittie."Nellie was terrified of loud noises, new people, and strange animals when she first arrived at her temporary residence. She was possessive of her toys and apprehensive about anyone touching her. But, thanks to the influence of her foster mother, Nellie began to accept her new existence.
Then, on a bright March day, Nellie demonstrated how much she'd grown.
"We hiked up to this gigantic granite dome... "We were traversing an area that isn't regularly passed on our way back to the car from the walk," Taylor explained. "I didn't even see the snake; I heard it first and then stopped and screamed."
"She ran from behind me before I could even move or turn around — and she was on top of the snake," Taylor continued. "There was almost as if Nellie was on it saying, 'I got this one, Mom — keep going,'" Taylor continued.
The fight didn't go long until Nellie was bitten in the face. A hiker companion placed his jacket over the snake and hauled the writhing creature away from the injured dog.
Taylor and her buddy scooped up Nellie and carried her down the mountain since she wasn't moving and refused to walk.
"Her eyes were closed, her head was leaned back, and her mouth was wide when we put her in the car," Taylor explained. "She wasn't 'awooing' in agony, but she was clearly unhappy."
"I knew I needed to bring her to the vet as soon as possible," Taylor continued.
Nellie was given two vials of antivenom as well as medication for the bite site and was placed on bed rest. And, owing to everyone's prompt efforts, the courageous dog is mending swiftly.
"She's such a tough dog," Taylor added. "She was chasing squirrels again two days later."
Now that Nellie is on the mend, she's ready to take the next step and find a permanent home.
Taylor is about to go to Hawaii to care for her aging parents, and Nellie requires a more regulated setting to feel comfortable.
"She's been decompressing and is now realizing how much fun life can be," Taylor explained. "Whenever we have company around, she simply goes insane." When the dogs arrive, she realizes it's time to play. She has so many toys that she is no longer possessive."
Taylor said, "She's extremely sweet and just wants to make you happy." "She's always checking in with you."
Taylor will be eternally grateful to Nellie for her bravery, and she believes Nellie has a bright future if she is given a chance.
"Everyone's first reaction is, 'Nellie was protecting you,'" Taylor explained. "And she very well could have, because on her walks, she really stands to attention if there's something or someone she doesn't like."
"It's really special to think she'd do that for me," she continued.