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Dog from pound protects master from rattler
Sierra Vista Herald/Review ^ | Shar Porier

Posted on 10/15/2007 5:21:01 PM PDT by SandRat

BISBEE — A few months back, he was just a cast-off dog, unwanted, unloved and headed for the “sleep-forever table” at a California animal shelter.

Today, Phillip is a hero in the eyes of his owner Linda Reynolds after protecting her and his companion, Jake, a Labradachshund, from a very large female Western Diamondback rattlesnake that had somehow found her way onto Reynold’s enclosed sun porch at her 33-acre ranch in Elfrida on Sept. 29.

“I was going to let them go out in the back yard and opened the door to the sun porch. That’s when I heard it. I couldn’t believe how loud it sounded. It was just echoing around the room. I wasn’t even sure it was a rattlesnake, it was so loud,” recalls Reynolds.

The 11-month-old chocolate Labradoodle placed himself in harm’s way as he nudged Reynolds and Jake clear of an armoire, underneath which the poisonous snake had taken up residency.

After she and the dogs went back into the house, she called the Cochise County Sheriff’s office and a deputy came to help her out. He shoved the armoire forward and found the snake curled and poised for trouble.

“He told me it was a big, fat one,” she continued. “The snake was more than six feet long.”

The deputy caught the snake with a special device and told her he would take the rattler to a new home where she had plenty of room to roam.

Reynolds thought that was the end of it and was grateful that no one had been hurt. But, then nearly three hours later, as she was readying for bed, she noticed Phillip was having difficulty breathing, was drooling, swollen and looked bad.

“I knew something was wrong when he didn’t get into bed beside me. I looked for him and found him at the front door dying. It was then that I found the bites,” said Reynolds. “He was bitten twice on the head, twice on the leg and once on the chest. I don’t even know how or when he got the bites.”

At the site of each bite, swelling had set in and Reynolds became afraid that she would lose the dog she had come to love.

Phillip Dillard, his full name, came to her by way of a friend, her old Army buddy and best friend Dallas Russo, in January. He had had parvo, worms and kennel cough in addition to starvation and dehydration. The first time she saw him she said he looked like Phyllis Diller, thinning, bright red fur with clumps sticking up every which way. She was going to name the bedraggled pooch Phyllis, until her friend told her it was a he, not a she.

Over the months, Phillip grew in height, strength, health and confidence and had turned into a beautiful chocolate Labradoodle with lovely wavy fur.

Now, he was in trouble again and Reynolds did not know what to do. She called her vet and was told she needed to take him to the emergency veterinary center in Tucson. For $2,000, the vet possibly could help Phillip.

“But, there was no guarantee that Phillip would get better. What was I going to do? I didn’t have $2,000 to spend with no guarantee that the treatment would save him,” she added.

She believed Phillip was going to die, so she kept him in the bedroom with her and held him through the night, elevating his head so he could breathe easier and did what little she could to make him comfortable.

“He was so swollen all over. His head looked like a football. I just didn’t believe he would make through the night.”

But, he did. The next day she started calling friends hoping to find someone who could help her.

She had heard that some horse groomers use DMSO on wounds and that it helps healing. She also heard that cowboys will put it on wounds they get in the course of their vigorous jobs and it helped them.

DMSO, dimethyl sulfoxide, can reduce inflammation, can work as an antioxidant and can prevent leakage from cells. On the Equine Medical service Web site, it states that DMSO can be used to reduce swelling in horses from rattlesnake bites. It also gives off a strong smell of garlic after application.

“They say cowboys swear by it,” she said. “So, I figured I may as well try it out on Phillip. So, first I gave him one ounce of it orally in the morning, and then I followed with another ounce in the evening. I also put it on the wounds and on the swelling.”

She moistened cotton balls and held them to the wounds, as tender as they were at first.

He had taken a bite to his lip which caused a paralysis of half of his mouth.

“Everything he tried to eat fell out of his mouth,” she added. “He drooled constantly.”

She has continued the treatment and now Phillip is looking perky again. The swelling is gone, but the bite marks remain, especially the big one on his nose. Those two gaping holes may take a bit more time to heal, but there is no sign of infection.

“I’m going to keep using it until all signs of the bites are gone,” she said.

At the present, Phillip is healthy and back to his happy-go-lucky self.

She added with a smile, “He stops and sniffs at the armoire every time he goes out now. Wouldn’t you?”

Herald/Review reporter Shar Porier can be reached at 515-4692 or by e-mail at

TOPICS: Local News; Pets/Animals
KEYWORDS: arizona; dog; doggieping; gooddog; pound; rattler

1 posted on 10/15/2007 5:21:05 PM PDT by SandRat
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To: HairOfTheDog; Dog Gone


2 posted on 10/15/2007 5:21:51 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: SandRat
Cool post.

One of my dogs got bit by a rattle (California) a month ago. I was out of town, but my wife took her to the emergency vet and after 2 doses of anti-venin and $1600 later, she is doing much better.

Mutts are definitely the best breed.

3 posted on 10/15/2007 5:24:40 PM PDT by occamrzr06
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To: occamrzr06

Lola, my pupster is a cross between Shepherd, terrier and greyhound and came from the “Doggie Orphanage”...Wonderful sentient being!!

Your wife sure has her priorities in the right place! ha. I would do the same!

4 posted on 10/15/2007 6:24:51 PM PDT by Recovering Ex-hippie (We need a troop surge in Philly and Newark!)
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To: SandRat
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
5 posted on 10/15/2007 6:39:21 PM PDT by lesser_satan (FRED THOMPSON '08)
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To: SandRat

Another maximus dogus!

6 posted on 10/15/2007 9:00:44 PM PDT by jwh_Denver ("Ok, you hens, write Hillary's next speech, it ought to be easy.")
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To: SandRat

God bless his heart. And a special “Thank you Lord,” for your miracle of healing.

May His Angels of Protection be around this brave little Soul for the rest of his life.

7 posted on 10/15/2007 9:56:02 PM PDT by Shadowstrike (Be polite, Be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.)
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