Dog dies a hero protecting family from snake
THE HEARTS of a Dirranbandi family have been left broken after they had to lay their precious dog Minty to rest after she heroically put her life on the line to protect them.
The jack russell mini foxy cross was only two years old when she tragically passed after getting bitten by a brown snake on the Australia Day long weekend.
Kirsty and Tim Hamper and their two daughters, Pippa, 4 and Natalie, 2 were at home when Minty alerted the family to danger by barking, before chasing the snake under the house. After Mr Hamper crawled under the house to get her out, they realised instantly she had been bitten.
Despite the family's rapid response to get their vet on the phone, after discovering she had no anti venom on hand and St George an hour away, they came to the heartbreaking realisation that nothing could be done.
"I explained it to my girls what was going to happen. We spent the next 45 minutes cuddling her and spending time with her," Mrs Hamper said.
"After she passed we buried her in her favourite spot in the yard and we all wept.
"My youngest who is two years and nine months had the closest bond with her because they grew up together so she took it the hardest.
"She cried and cried and after a few hours said mummy when will my heart stop hurting?"
Mrs Hamper said finding snakes in their yard had become a more regular occurrence as of late, with Minty alerting them to another brown snake and python in the yard earlier that week, as well as a western brown a month prior.
"We have been getting more recently I believe due to the drought and lack of water and food around. Our yard is the only source of food for a lot of wildlife," she said.
"Christmas Day, she alerted us to a western brown under our back door ramp which was hidden. I hate to think if what would have happened if we didn't know it was there and went outside."
Mrs Hamper said their beloved Minty not only made the whole family feel safe by always alerting them to any danger, but was also a faithful companion to her daughters.
"She was our third child. She was never far away from my girls and would be there to eat the fallen mulberries they picked, to help the girls put the chickens away or play mud pies," she said.
"She was truly loved and will be forever missed. We got her for the reason to alert us to snakes but also so she could be a loving friend to our girls.
"We are still so heart broken by her passing. My youngest now says that Minty will always be in her heart and she can always give her cuddles in there.
"My oldest tells me that she was very loved and she showed us so much love and that's what she will remember."