Wendy and the Snake

It happened at Lake Macquarie, New South Wales, Australia. This area has been opened up for building in the last five years and therefore very few houses are as yet erected. The remainder of the land is still in its natural state of bush. We were building a Week-ender and had cleared our block. The adjoining land was still dense bush, which was from where the snake came. It was a Saturday in October. Our eighteen-month-old son Gregory was put to bed for his midday nap, the remainder of the family going down to the water 100 feet away, Wendy our Corgi being with us. I looked toward the house and saw my small son coming towards us. He had evidently not wanted to sleep, so I decided to allow him to walk to us without help from me.

Suddenly, Wendy raced towards him and stopped stock still, about five feet in front of Gregory. It was then I saw the snake-a four foot Red Bellied Black, deadly poisonous-rear its head and make a strike at Wendy, who dodged, but stood her ground. By this time Gregory was at Wendy's tail, and of course, did not realise the danger he was in. As Gregory continued to walk past, Wendy stood between the snake and the boy, moving all the time, so that she remained between the two, her eyes never leaving the snake.

I then grabbed my little boy and ran with him to the water's edge calling to my husband who was out sailing. It took him about ten minutes to return to us, during which time Wendy stood her ground, not giving an inch to the snake. I then called Wendy off, as I considered it too dangerous for her to tackle this deadly menace (being only twelve months old at the time). It was not until I reassured her Gregory was safe did she leave the snake, and even then it was to smell the boy all over, almost to reassure herself that all was well. She then went back with my husband and watched while he killed it.

Wendy - who has earned herself Award of Bravery for 1961 from The Welsh Corgi Club of N.S.W. -
with her young master Gregory Thompson

I have since been told she was waiting her chance to "have a go" and would have won out, but as I ordered her not to attack she obeyed. I do not regret the decision I made that day. Wendy had risked her life sufficiently to prove her loyalty and devotion to her young master.

Author unknown
From The Welsh Corgi League's Handbook 1962