Cheyenne, HeroMy 2 ½ year old German Shepherd Cheyenne and I live in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. Recently, I was working at the top of my driveway with Cheyenne at my side as I climbed a ladder to trim some tree branches. Needing another tool, I walked down to my garage to get it then walked back up to the top of the driveway.

As I approached, Cheyenne was barking fiercely, looking at me. As I tried to get closer to her, her barking became more intense as if she did not want me to come any closer. At that point, I saw her jump back a couple of feet, bark at what I thought was a rock, then focus back on me. I eventually got close enough to see a 3-foot Timber Rattlesnake coiled up and ready to strike. It was lying next to the foot of the ladder – right where I would have stepped if Cheyenne hadn’t stopped me. I tried to call her back, but she wouldn’t budge.

I grabbed my shotgun from the garage and returned with the rattler and Cheyenne only a couple feet apart – close enough for the snake to strike her, but by some miracle, did not. I was able to grab Cheyenne’s collar with one hand while I pulled the trigger to the shotgun with my only free hand. The threat was no more. I immediately praised Cheyenne and she began licking me. She had risked her short life to protect mine! The bond Cheyenne and I share is like no other. After this incident, we are closer than ever! The love and loyalty of a dog and the willingness of Cheyenne to give up her life to keep me safe is beyond words. –David