On Monday September 23rd, at 6:15pm our son Oriley was outside with the dogs playing, he was near Zeus and noticed Zeus jump towards him and grab a “rope” and start playing with it. He was shaking his head and jumping around. Our son Oriley came indoors and my husband could hear our oldest dog Chevy barking. My husband sent our oldest out, Orion, and told him it was time to clean the dog water.
Orion goes outside and begins cleaning the bucket and Zeus is now laying next to the water bucket he is cleaning. Orion noticed zeus’ eyes looked “bugged out”. He ran indoors to my husband to let him know Zeus was acting weird. My husband Gary, tells Orion to call Zeus inside (I should mention our dogs are indoor dogs and are only outdoor for potty and playtime)
Zeus walks in and comes over in front of my husbands chair and flops over onto his back, lifting his paw to my husband and acting odd. My husband and I decide to take him outdoors as we thought because Chevy our Labrador was barking maybe they got to rough with each other. As we get out the door, Zeus stumbles past us and goes and lays by the water bucket.
My husband and I go to him and as I look at his face I noticed the side of his mouth really swollen. I told my husband I was running into the house for liquid Benadryl as I was under the impression he was stung by a bee or wasp as this had happened to his sister the month prior. When I came back my husband lifts his head to assist me with giving him the Benadryl as he does Zeus’ body slightly comes up high enough for me to see a red, yellow and black snake under him.
I screamed at my husband that its a coral snake. My husband pulls Zeus Off of the snake at which point we noticed the snake was dead. My husband and I become emotionally frantic and my husband grabs juice and I tell him to go put him in my car as I ran in the house to go grab my keys.
My husband had to stay home with our four kids as I drove heading towards Spring Hill. While driving I contacted 911 to see if they could assist me in finding a hospital that was open and the dispatcher said unfortunately she could not help me. I then reached out to my coworkers at work so they could get on the computer for me to find the nearest night hospital for animals.
They were able to find a hospital in Spring Hill in the direction that I was heading and they texted me the information. I instantly called the hospital as I wanted them to prepare anti-venom and to be prepared for his arrival. While speaking to the assistant I was told that they do not carry anti-venom but she would be happy to assist me in finding a place that does, she asked me to hold for a moment, as I began to say which way do I travel she had already put me on hold.
It felt like an eternity went by before she got back on the phone but I know it was only a minute or two meanwhile during this time Zeus is in my backseat panting heavily and all I could do was tell him what a great boy he was and that I owe my sons life to him. She finally got back on the phone and stated that the only hospital that had the anti-venom was in Ocala which was about 45 minutes north of my location. She told me that she already called them and let them know that we were on the way and she asked me for my cell phone number so she could text me the address.
I drive as fast as I possibly can and get him to the animal hospital it was about 730pm at this point. They were a very caring and kind staff and they instantly took him to the back to take care of him. They informed me that sometimes it takes various vials of anti-venom and the anti-venom is $500 a vile. I told them that I could not stand to lose him because of what he just did for my family.
After the first vial of anti-venom was administered they allowed me to go back to see him. He looked up at me and wagged his tail as he laid there. I instantly got on my phone on FaceTime with my husband and the kids so they could say there hello’s and make Zeus feel happy. At that moment I just knew he was going to be OK. After a few minutes the nurses explained that I had to go back to the waiting room because they had to administer more anti-venom.
While in the waiting room some of my wonderful teammates from work showed up for support. After about an hour or so the doctor came in and allowed me and my coworkers to go back out to say hi to him again. This visit unfortunately had to be much shorter as they were a busy hospital. They then sent us back out to the waiting room and at about 12:30 AM the doctor comes back out and says that he is currently stable and because many hours had passed since the bite that he should be able to be transported to the Gainesville hospital at 8 o’clock in the morning for further care as their hospital closes at that time.
The doctor and the nurse suggested that I go ahead and go home and get some rest and that they would call me at 8 o’clock in the morning with an update on his condition before they transport him to Gainesville . After signing all of the financial documentation and medical releases I went home for the night.
I wake up sometime between six and 6:20 in the morning and as I’m laying there I told my husband I’m just gonna go ahead and call and see how he’s doing even though they told me they were going to call me at eight in the morning, my heart was hurting and I just needed to hear a good update. The nurse that gets on the line puts me on hold for what seemed like forever. She comes back on the line with sorrow in her voice she informs me that as I had called he was passing on.
i just started bawling, my kids woke up and heard me crying and then they too started crying. I knew that that hospital closed at 8 o’clock in the morning so I asked the nurse if it would be OK if I brought my children and my husband to come say their final goodbyes. She said absolutely.
My husband and I loaded the kids up into the car and I told my husband that I wanted to bring Sega which was Zeus’ mother to come say her final goodbye as she had been very sad that Zeus didn’t come home that night.
We get to the animal hospital at about 740 and they take us to the back where they had his body draped with a soft beautiful dog blanket. We were all an emotional wreck. Sega goes over to Zeus’ head and puts her paws up on the table and takes a sniff. Her ears came back she got down She instantly jumped on the sofa next to me and put her head on my thigh in sorrow.
At that moment not only was my family broken but his own mother was broken. Unfortunately the hospital had to close at 8 o’clock so we had to leave. But the hospital was nice enough to give us a mold of his paw print. We have been so lost without him ever since. His sisters also went into depression mode After we got home, it almost seems that Sega told his story. What made this whole situation even worse for me is the child that he saved Of mine, Oriley, turned 10 years old on the day Zeus died.
Now I am not one to ever ask for help and I almost feel guilty asking for help. In June of this year my husband had to undergo surgery for a 90% full thickness tear of his rotator cuff and originally we thought this was going to be only a bursa surgery so he would’ve only been out of work for one month which we had planned for. After the surgery when the doctor said he’d be out of work for anywhere from nine months to a year this has been detrimental to us.
Due to him being a heavy line mechanic the doctor has not been able to release him to go back to his job and from his last visit it probably won’t happen till after December. I have currently been the sole income earner since June and putting everything onto credit cards just to get by.
Now I am not a greedy person, The only help that I am requesting is for the $1000 that I had to put on care credit for Zeus’ care and they are only giving me six months to pay it. If you can find it in your heart to help it is greatly appreciated and I will be attaching photos of the care credit amount as proof that I am not trying to take advantage of anybody.
I can only hope that Zeus lives on as an ambassador for the pitbull breed and the wonderful family members that they are. They do not deserve the bad publicity they get because they would give their lives to save others .
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