TAMPA (FOX 13) - His owners call him the perfect dog. Haus is a 2-year-old German Shepherd, and usually 68 pounds of loyalty and love, especially when it comes to his 7-year-old, Molly DeLuca. After Haus possibly saved Molly's life, he's fighting for his own against deadly rattlesnake venom.
"The bond that they have created in a short time has been unbelievable," Molly's mother, Donya DeLuca said.
Wednesday afternoon, DeLuca said Molly was in the back yard with her grandma and Haus.
"She saw him jump back, and go forward, and jump back and go forward," described DeLuca. "He was just, kind of, holding his ground."
DeLuca said they quickly realized Haus was staring down a rattlesnake.
"Next thing we know is, there's blood and he was limping and crying," she said.
Vets identified three snakebites. On Thursday night, Haus' health was still touch-and-go.
"Just based on temperament, he was standing up for my daughter, he was standing between, he didn't budge," said DeLuca. "He kept taking hits, she was on the other side of him, and so was my mom."
The snake managed to inject Haus with so much venom, vets were giving him a steady drip of antivenin, instead of the more typical one or two doses.
"I feel really grateful for the dog," said DeLuca. "It is frightening to think it could have been my daughter. I don't know if she would have made it."
The DeLuca's are thankful, but fearful, their hero won't get a welcome home.
"I couldn't even sleep last night. I barely slept because it is bittersweet. I am doing everything I can. I feel like I owe it to him to keep trying to save him."
The family set up a GoFundMe account to help pay for Haus' mounting veterinary bills, which, they said already reached $10,000 Thursday evening.