Alex Loredo’s first thought was “I am going to lose my best friend.”

By Emily Schroeder
June 15, 2021
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person petting a golden retriever
Credit: Sally Anscombe / Getty

Marley solidified the title of man's best friend (and forever hero) when he boldly stepped in to protect his owner from a rattlesnake outside of their rural California home two weeks ago. According to Marley's owner, 18-year-old Alex Loredo, what seemed like a typical morning quickly turned into a canine crisis.

Loredo tells KNBC, "I was walking out of my door because I heard the dryer buzzer go off." The dryer is located behind the house, "so, I had to go out and walk around." As he was en route, he heard something "really loud" before quickly spotting a rattlesnake about 1 foot away-making a buzzing and rattling noise underneath a table.

"Before I could even turn, Marley had run out the door, pushed me out of the way, and gotten in between the snake and me," Loredo told the TV station.

Within seconds, the snake attacked the courageous Labrador retriever pup. Loredo, witnessing the event, told KNBC, "My heart just dropped." But not wasting any time, Loredo and his mom rushed Marley to a veterinarian for treatment.

Loredo told KNBC that Marley's condition worsened in the car: "Five or six minutes into the car ride his tongue started to go numb." Loredo said the 7-year-old Lab started "panicking" and "bumping into the door."

It was no doubt a frightening scene for any animal-lover to witness, so we can all sympathize. "My heart was racing, and I didn't know what was going to happen next. To be completely honest, I thought he was just going to die in the car," Loredo said.

Fortunately, the vet quickly administered antivenom and Marley was admitted for a few days to mend. Two weeks later, KNBC reports that the fearless Lab has recovered and his "playful spirit is back." An ulti-mutt relief!

This serves as a good reminder to brush up on the dos and don'ts if you live in snake country. According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, dogs are at an increased risk of being bitten because they hold their nose to the ground while "investigating the outdoors." The organization also recommends talking to your veterinarian about canine rattlesnake vaccines and what to do if your dog is bitten by a snake.  

We're so happy that Marley's story has a tail-wagging ending. Thanks to Loredo for staying calm and acting quickly and Marley for taking his doggy duties so seriously-these two best friends sure are bonded for life.