KISSIMMEE, Florida (WESH) -- A dog bitten by a cottonmouth snake is getting ready to be reunited with his family overseas.
Gudrun Mastriano credits the dog with saving her life. She was watching 3-year-old Dante for her daughter, who is in Spain with her husband in the Navy.
Mastriano was walking Dante through a park in Kissimmee, Florida and the snake was waiting in the grass.
The dog got between Mastriano and the snake, grabbed it in its teeth and tossed it.
"The snake turned around and went after him into the embankment, viciously, and got him," said Mastriano.
Within three days, Dante's face was extremely swollen.
"I thought he looked like a baby hippopotamus, and I thought he was going to die," said Mastriano.
There was a fear his airway would close up.
The SPCA in Lakeland just installed a hyperbaric therapy unit, and the repeated doses of concentrated oxygen made all the difference.
"He's my hero," said Mastriano.