When the Whitman family of Monrovia, Calif., rescued Boone, a Siberian Husky mix, five years ago, little did they know that one day he’d return the favor.
Fourteen-year-old Daniel was cleaning up after Boone in the Whitman’s backyard earlier this month, and as he headed over to the dog’s favorite corner to do his business, Boone raced in front of him. “I looked over and I saw the rattle of the rattlesnake start going off,” Daniel told KTLA.
The snake was coiled and ready to bite.
Daniel and Boone ran into the house. “He just stuck by Daniel’s side,” Dan Whitman, Daniel’s dad, told the Monrovia Patch. “He followed Daniel all around the house. He did not leave his side.”
About 20 minutes later, the Husky started behaving strangely, “looking up and dozing off,” Daniel told KTLA.
The rattlesnake had bitten Boone’s snout.
After calling the police to have the snake killed, Dan rushed Boone to a local animal emergency hospital. Boone’s face and the front of his body were extremely swollen.
“The swelling was so bad that the fluid had nowhere else to go from his face, so it went down into his neck and into his front leg,” Dan told KTLA.
The skin on Boone’s snout around the bite site also began to peel off. “From what I understand, the venom of a rattlesnake kills the skin and will make it almost melt off the face,” Dan said.
Boone had to be given two anti-venom treatments over the next couple of days. He has fully recovered.
“I can’t say much more other than to thank him,” Daniel told KTLA.
If you live in an area with snakes, a vaccination against rattlesnake venom is available for dogs. Should your dog be bitten, it will increase his chance of survival, but he will still need to receive anti-venom treatments.
Dan told the Monrovia Patch the incident has inspired him to raise awareness of the vaccination.
“I’m sad that Boone took the bite but I’m thankful my son didn’t,” he said.
PHOTO: Darko Pes