Jane Taylor has been fostering many dogs throughout her life, but the closest one that came to be her “foster fail” was Nellie.
Nellie was a 1-year-old pit bull left to die at a high-kill California shelter back in 2014. Thankfully, Final Frontier Rescue Project, a Texas rescue organization, was able to save her from a terrible ending before bringing her back to Austin. There in Austin, she spent years getting transported from shelter to shelter. It was at the age of 5 that Nellie finally found a temporary home as a foster dog in Jane’s home.
Nellie had been severely traumatized by her early life. She was sick and overweight, terrified of loud noises as well as unfamiliar places, people, and pets. Nellie was so shy that she didn’t like to be touched and was fearful of everything. It took plenty of love, kindness, and patience from Jane in order to gain Nellie’s trust.
“Nellie came to me a little bit chubby, which made her super cute,” Jane recalled. “We called her our little potato sack. But it wasn’t her true form, so we started doing runs together and now she’s a 45-pound pocket pittie.”
Just six months after joining Jane’s family, Nellie showed everyone just how far she’d come and how brave she could be. Jane and her friend Michael had brought Nellie on a hike. As they were making their way back to the car, the trio had to walk through a remote area. It was there that Jane heard that distinctive rattle of a snake and froze. Before Jane could do anything, Nellie was running past her then attacked the rattlesnake.
“She ran from behind me before I could even step away or turn around or anything — and she was on top of the snake,” Jane said. “When Nellie ran over, it was almost as if she was on it saying, ‘I got this one, Mom — keep going.’”
Nellie briefly wrestled with the snake, before getting bitten in the face. Michael, Jane’s friend, acted fast as well – throwing his jacket over the snake in order to pull it away from a wounded Nellie. She was lying on the ground, unresponsive. Afraid of the worst, the two humans rushed Nellie to the car.
“When we got her in the car her eyes were closed, her head was tilted back and her mouth was open,” Jane said. “She wasn’t ‘wooing’ in pain, but you could tell she was unhappy. I knew that I had to get her to the vet as quickly as possible.”
They got Nellie to the vets in time where she was administered two vials of antivenom and antibiotics for the bite. Even though she was put on bed rest, the intrepid little dog recovered quickly.
“She’s such a resilient pup,” Jane said. “Two days later she was chasing squirrels again.”
Jane is hopeful that Nellie’s bravery will inspire people to want to give her a forever home, as Jane will soon have to move to Hawaii in order to be close to her elderly parents. That is why finding Nellie a permanent home is her top priority.
Jane said, “She’s been decompressing and is finally understanding how fun life can be. Whenever we have visitors over at the house she just goes bonkers. When dogs come over, she’s realizing that it’s playtime. She has tons of toys so she’s not so possessive anymore.”
Jane added that Nellie is “super cute and just wants to make you happy,” and can now add “lifesaving” to her list of admirable qualities. Jane won’t ever forget how brave she was and wants to return the favor by finding her a home. You can click here for more information about Nellie.