Lifestyle

Family pet died a hero

Westlawn family Jodie and Chris Pugh and children Makayla, 5, Savannah, 3, and Noah, 7, mourn the loss of their husky dog Anouk, who was bitten by a brown snake in their backyard on Wednesday.
Westlawn family Jodie and Chris Pugh and children Makayla, 5, Savannah, 3, and Noah, 7, mourn the loss of their husky dog Anouk, who was bitten by a brown snake in their backyard on Wednesday. Debrah Novak

IT TOOK more than 10 minutes for Chris Pugh to get the better of the 1.8m-long eastern brown snake that had killed his dog and threatened his family, but the Westlawn father-of-three had no regrets yesterday about removing the head of the reptile on Wednesday.

Anouk, the two-year-old husky, didn't stand a chance against the venomous brown, which is believed to have been taking shelter under the family's cubby house.

The drama began about 11.30am when Noah Pugh, 7, virtually stumbled into the snake on his way to the outside garbage bin before he alerted his mother Jodie.

Jodie gathered her other children Makayla, 5, and Savannah, 3, and called out to the family's dogs Squirt the Maltese terrier and Anouk.

"When Anouk didn't come, I started to panic," Jodie said.

Noah spotted Anouk through the house's side window, passed out on the driveway.

Jodie called her mother to look after the kids while she took Anouk to the vet and Chris downed tools at work to rush home and remove the threat.

"I couldn't go to Anouk straight away, I didn't want to take my eyes off the snake because I needed to know where it went in case it moved," he said. "It was that cranky we were almost hostage in our house ... it just kept on raising its head at us, every time we moved."

When Chris arrived, he got hold of a shovel and tried to kill the snake while Jodie drove Anouk to the vet.

But every time Chris tried to move to the back of the snake it followed him and lunged at him.

It wasn't until he found a large rock and threw it on the snake, which pinned it down, that Chris was able to finish the kill.

Meanwhile, faced with poor prospects of survival for Anouk and a potential bill upwards of $3000, Jodie had to make the heart-wrenching decision to give Anouk a lethal injection.

Chris and Jodie told the kids that Anouk had died a hero trying to protect them and the family wrote cards and laid flowers at Anouk's funeral.

Topics:  eastern brown snake, husky



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