I work at a veterinary clinic near Orlando, Florida. Here is where I met Bella. It seemed a routine recheck for a dog that had been bitten by a rattlesnake three days earlier and taken to a local emergency clinic for care. There she received two units of antivenin and her blood work was assessed to make certain the effects of the poison interfering with her ability to clot her blood were no longer a threat.
Snakes are a serious threat in Florida and may be seen in plain view anywhere, anytime. I read the emergency clinic report dutifully and did my exam. Bella was bitten in the facial area – the swelling can be seen under her left ear. I informed the owner of the resulting wounds that would most likely occur because of the poison and the care they may require. Snake bites are deceptively small, but the danger is huge and the resulting damage to the tissues affected by the poison can be quite extensive. She said she would do anything necessary to save her dog. Then I began to cry.
Bella’s owner shared the details of the incident. Bella was was bitten because the rattlesnake – not a pygmy rattler, but a BIG rattlesnake with SEVEN rattles the owner said – was actually striking at her. Bella, sensing danger, put herself in harms way to protect her owner and took the bite. My heart melted as I stroked Bella’s face and told her what a very good girl she is. She gave me kisses as her owner and I continued our talk.
What a remarkable story. A loyal dog saved her owner and now a loyal owner is determined to save her dog. Hats off to all the great dogs in the world and especially to Bella!
This story reminds me how my Savior knew the danger I faced and He took all of the danger for me to live. It may not have been a ‘snake bite,’ but my Savior did put Himself in harm’s way to save me. He died on a Cross so I do not have to die and I do not need to save Him back, but have dedicated my life to sharing His Good News with everyone I meet.
Hebrews 2.9 reminds me – “but we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable Gift! ” 2 Corinthians 9.15.
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