A boy and a dog. The sentence conjures up lazy summer days and childhood memories: wilderness adventures and exploring with a pup at your heels.
But this story, while heartwarming, is also terrifying because it involves one other creature besides man and dog: snake. Copperhead snake, to be exact.
The dog in this story also did not belong to the boy in question; he belonged to a man named Shelby, who is the brother of the woman who originally posted this story on Facebook. The dog is also not your typical Lassie in looks, but he proved that he had just as heroic a heart through the series of unexpected events that took place during an otherwise typical night.
Shelby had taken his pit bull/Labrador mix, Hurley, out for their nightly jaunt. As was their custom, they waited until after 10 p.m. to go out so that Shelby could let Hurley explore a nearby field uninhibited.
They were minding their own business when a scream pierced through the evening, and Hurley set off instantly. Not knowing who was screaming, where his dog was running off to, or what was happening, Shelby followed his four-legged friend as best he could.
The situation quickly materialized. As Shelby caught up to his dog, he realized there was a young boy in the field — he was the one who had been screaming.
But Hurley was busying himself with something else, swinging his head viciously from side to side. He had grabbed a copperhead snake away from the child and promptly killed the offending reptile.
The boy ran off to his mother’s car, which was nearby, and they drove off. Shelby never got a chance to check on the kid or find out anything more about his condition, but he and his sister assume that they bolted because the boy had been bitten and time was of the essence.
Shelby was quick to call animal control, and soon the cops were notified as well. The snake was no longer a threat, so naturally attention turned to the dog.
Hurley may have killed the snake, but the snake hadn’t gone down easily. It had fought back, and by the time cops arrived they all knew the dog was suffering.
Hurley was checked multiple times throughout the night, and his process was closely monitored. Someone was looking out for Hurley just like he’d been looking out for that little boy, and he pulled through the night — sore and tired, but alive.
Thanks to the courage of this pit bull mix, a boy may have been protected from a chilling demise. It was later discovered that the child had stumbled upon a copperhead nest. But fortunately for him, Hurley was not far behind and was willing to charge into the face of danger when he heard the little boy’s cries.
Shelby and his sister, Stacie Rae English, would love to know how the unnamed boy is doing and to make sure he’s OK, but they have not heard from him. Either way, they know they have a very special dog in their life, and English hopes that this story helps people to see pit bulls for the true heroic potential they possess.
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