Dog bitten by snake prepares to reunite with family

Published On: Nov 29 2012 06:00:38 AM HST

A dog bitten by a cottonmouth snake is getting ready to be reunited with his family overseas.

Gudrun Mastriano credits the dog with saving her life. She was watching 3-year-old Dante for her daughter, who is in Spain with her husband in the Navy.

Mastriano was walking Dante through a park in Kissimmee, and the snake was waiting in the grass.

The dog got between Mastriano and the snake, grabbed it in its teeth and tossed it.

"The snake turned around and went after him into the embankment, viciously, and got him," said Mastriano.

Within three days, Dante's face was extremely swollen.

"I thought he looked like a baby hippopotamus, and I thought he was going to die," said Mastriano.

There was a fear his airway would close up.

The SPCA in Lakeland just installed a hyperbaric therapy unit, and the repeated doses of concentrated oxygen made all the difference.

"He's my hero," said Mastriano.

"I would have died. The park attendant would have never come. My car was there, but the park attendant would have never come to find me," she said.

Dante was well enough to travel by plane to Spain on Wednesday.

Mastriano said her daughter can't wait to be reunited.

Mastriano is already booking flights for next September so she can visit her whole family, her daughter and Dante.


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