By HERBIE GOMEZ
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (Feb 16) – A pit bull terrier proved beyond doubt that a dog can become a man's best friend when it saved and gave its life for its master's wife and her grandmother in Barangay Lapasan here.
The dog named "Chief," saved 87-year-old Liberata la Victoria and her granddaughter Maria Victoria Fronteras from a cobra that snaked through an opening in the family's kitchen shortly around 8 a.m. Monday.
On two occasions, the snake was about to attack the women when the dog dashed from a corner and used itself as a shield.
Marlone Fronteras, an employee of Nestle Philippines who owned the terrier, said Chief seized the venomous snake in the neck with its teeth and repeatedly slammed it on the floor until it died.
The dog was bitten too by the cobra; it died a few minutes later after giving its master a farewell gaze, according to the dog owner's friends Mare Sabelita and Derf Ian dela Rama.
An organization of pit bull terrier owners here, Royale Pit Bull Club-Ancient Fraternal Order of the Pit Bulls Inc., honored Chief and gave it the moniker "grandfather" of all pit bulls in the community.
Marlone told the Malaya, that he, his family and members of the pit bull owners' group gave the dog a "hero's burial" the same day.
"We just waited for the children to arrive from school because they loved Chief so much," said Marlone.
Sabelita said Fronteras's wife Maria Victoria was teary eyed when she narrated the dog's "heroism" to friends.
"The snake was in front of us., maneuvering a deadly attack," Sabelita quoted Maria Victoria as saying. "I screamed out loud to ask for help."
Hearing this, the four-year old pit bull terrier dashed from its sleeping area to fight off the deadly snake, said Sabelita quoting Maria Victoria.
The cobra fought back and bit Chief at the lower left portion of the jaw. The dog then repeatedly slammed the cobra after it succeeded in immobilizing the snake with its sharp teeth, she said.
Dela Rama said la Victoria was watching television when she panicked and alerted her granddaughter. The old lady said the cobra was about to attack her and the dog came to her rescue.
Maria Victoria said she saw the cobra expand its neck as soon as she turned the lights on. She said the cobra looked like it was spitting as its inched closer, about a meter away, toward her.
De la Rama said the terrier, "out of nowhere," jumped on the cobra , bit it the neck, and then shook it till it died.
Moments later, the dog slouched flat and fainted, spreading its arms and feet on the floor, after killing the killer snake.
De la Rama said the dog went wobbly and lost control of its organs some 30 minutes after being bitten by the cobra; it started to urinate and defecate uncontrollably as it grasped for air and panted heavily.
The Fronterases sought the help of veterinarian but they were reportedly told that it was too late because the snake bite was near the dog's brain and the venom had already spread.
Sabilita said Marlone rushed home when his wife called him up to tell him of what had happened and the dog's master was stunned.
The Fronteras children, who treated Chief like a member of the family and who called the dog "Kuya Chief," were deeply affected, according to Sabelita.
The last thing Chief did was waggle its tail and gaze at Marlone who had just come from work, said Sabelita.
"Chief gave his two deep breaths and died. (It) was fighting and saving (its) last ounces of breath to see a glimpse of (its) master for the last two seconds of (its) life," added dela Rama.
Sabelita said he hoped people would change how they look at pit bull terriers, a breed strongly discouraged in many countries and banned because of their "cruel looks."
We never get the change to know them more," said Sabelita.