When the DeLuca family rescued Haus, a two-year-old German Shepherd, from a Florida rescue home, there was little doubt that they’d fallen in love with him on site. However, in order to make sure his new family truly appreciated how grateful he was for their kindness, Haus decided to do something quite spectacular; when faced with a venomous Eastern Diamondback rattlesnake in the family’s backyard, he stood up and fought to save their seven-year-old daughter, Molly, rather than shying away.
The story unfolded one day while Molly’s grandmother was watching her in the backyard. Suddenly, Haus began to jump in front of his pint-sized handler and rear up. “He kept jumping back and then forward – and he did it three times,” said Donya DeLuca. What no one knew then was that Haus had just squared up to a rattlesnake, placing himself between his little mistress and the potentially deadly reptile. “He had every opportunity to run but he didn’t,” Donya continued.
Following the discovery that the dog was bleeding, Haus was taken to veterinarians in Tampa; they noticed three sets of puncture marks on his leg, and deduced that he had been bitten by the rattlesnake, a common species in the area. Haus is currently in good hands, and is being treated with anti-venom medication and painkillers. The vets expect Haus to recover, though he may experience long-term kidney damage due to the snake’s venom.
A fundraising campaign launched online in order to help the family cover Haus’s medical bills raised in excess of $50,000; the family has pledged to donate everything that remains after treatment to a dog rescue operation and other charitable organizations.
“A rescue dog, for us, paid it forward by protecting my family… He just exceeded our expectations all the way around," said Adam DeLuca.
We’ll leave the last word on the matter to Molly, though: “He’s a cute dog. I like to smoosh his face.”