SYDNEY (AFP) – An Australian sheepdog is fighting for its life after being bitten while saving its owner from a huge and deadly snake, local media reported Wednesday.
Fay Palethorpe, 68, was gardening on her large Gold Coast property when she encountered a two-metre (six-foot) eastern brown snake, the Australian Associated Press reported.
“He saw me and I saw him, and he reared up about two foot into the air and struck at me three times,” she said. “I just screamed and ran.”
As the snake pursued Palethorpe across the garden her three Australian sheepdogs, known as kelpies, leapt to her defence.
“It was coming after me, chasing me,” she said, describing how one of the dogs, Tess, grabbed the snake and threw it in the air before it fled.
But the dog was bitten on the ear and was bleeding internally by the time Palethorpe reached an emergency animal clinic where Tess was given an urgent dose of antivenene.
“My vet said if it had got me I wouldn’t have reached my back stairs, it was so deadly,” Palethorpe said.
Tess sank into a coma soon after the incident on Sunday, and the vet rated her chances of survival as 50-50. But the heroic pet began blinking her eyes on Wednesday.
“Every hour is a little bit better,” said Palethorpe.