Michael Seaburgh insists the pain from the rattlesnake bite on his hand is nothing compared to the distress he would have felt if something had happened to his dog, Max.
"I knew the snake was going to bite him, so I figured I didn't want the dog to get bitten," said Seaburgh.
The 62-year old Phoenix man was out cleaning his swimming pool Monday morning when he heard a rattlesnake behind some of the pool equipment.
Max had heard it too, but instead of running away, the Airedale terrier started snooping around.
That's when Seaburgh rushed over and put his hand in front of the dog's face, a split second before the snake lunged out.
"The snake was underneath so he didn't have much wiggle room to actually strike, but the dog's snout was right there," said Seaburgh. "My hand was right there and the snake's head was 2 inches from my hand and he got me."
Seaburgh doesn't consider himself a hero; he said he was just doing what any dog lover would do to protect their pooch.
Dr. Frank Lovecchio with the Banner Poison Control Center said they've had 39 rattlesnake bites so far this year, and they're expecting more with all the extreme heat we're having.
"Right now snakes are out," said Lovecchio. "If you are hiking, out and about, please realize that this is the season for snakes to be out as the temperature rises, and as the humidity rises we will see more and more snakes."
"If the snake had bitten the dog in the snout, it probably would have killed him," said Seaburgh.
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