Tiny Chihuahua Steps Between Rattlesnake, Toddler

Family: Little Dog Is 4 1/2-Pound Hero

Family members are singing the praises of a 4 1/2-pound hero who jumped between a toddler and a rattlesnake.

That hero is a 10-month-old Chihuahua named Zoey, who got bit on the forehead. She barely survived.

Zoey was in the family's back yard on July 12 with her owner, Monty Long, and his 1-year-old grandson, Booker West.

The toddler was playing by the birdbath when Zoey darted between him and a rock on the other side. There was a rattlesnake on the rock and the tiny dog had jumped in and taken the snake bite so the boy didn't.

"As soon as she went in, she yipped and came running back out," Long said.

The grandfather said he ran over and grabbed the toddler, then took him out of harms way. Then, he said, he grabbed a pipe and took care of the snake.

"It was up in the position to strike again," Long said.

Zoey still has a one-inch scar from the attack.

"Her head was the size of a large grapefruit," said Denise Long, the boy's grandmother. "You couldn't tell where her eyes were ... just this little button that you could tell was her nose."

The vet treated Zoey with antivenin and blood plasma. She has since recovered from the snakebite.

Denise Long said she hated to see her dog get bitten, but she's glad it was the dog and not her grandson. So is the toddler's mom.

"I was terrified," said Lynsie West. "I used to go out on my four-wheeler all the time and I'd see them constantly (snakes), but it never scared me as much as it does now. Oooh, it just gives me the chills."

Monty Long said that after everything settled down and the dog was treated by the vet, he had time to stop and think about what happened, and what almost happened.

"That's when the cold chills went up my neck, for about two hours," he said.

Long said he'll be keeping a closer eye on his own back yard from now on. He said this isn't the first time there's been a snakebite on his property.

"About four years ago a rattler bit Cherokee (his painted horse) on the nose," Marty Long said.

The quick-thinking Long placed a hose in the horse's nose before it swelled shut. That action, and another call to the vet, helped save the horse.

The Longs said they understand that snakes are part of the landscape where they live, in the foothills west of Loveland. They said they're glad that Zoey lives there too.

"She's not your typical Chihuahua." Denise Long said. "She's not mean. She's just a sweet little dog."

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