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How this 'Traveling Hero' saved a life - Orlando

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
November 28th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Dante the Labrador used his bad luck to save a life. Dante has the misfortune to be left behind with a caretaker when his owner, a navy officer, was deployed to Spain with his wife. The decision, it turns out, was a fortunate one for the Navy vet's mother-in-law.

ORLANDO, FL (Catholic Online) - Left with Navy Commander Carl Eierle's mother-in-law, Gudrun Mastriano, at her Kissimmee home, Dante was certainly sad. However, the three-year-old lab did not let the sadness stop him from becoming a hero.

While walking home, Mastriano and Dante happened across a cottonmouth snake. The deadly snake was poised to strike Mastriano when Dante intervened, placing himself in front of the snake just as it struck.

Dante was bitten on both his face and leg as he dragged the snake away from Mastriano.

Mastriano then rushed Dante to a local veterinary clinic where he was treated with antivenin. Dante's face swelled by about 17 inches, but rapid veterinary care saved his life.

"I thought he looked like a little baby hippopotamus," Mastriano said.

Dante was subsequently treated in a hyperbaric oxygen therapy unit to speed his healing. The treatments lasted a week, and the entire healing process took two months.

For his reward, the hero dog has been reunited with his owners in Spain. Loaded into a crate marked "Traveling Hero" Dante can now relax with his owners, in a place where there are no venomous snakes for this lovable hero to fight.

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