I strolled along the beach with my dogs, Ferrari, a two-year-old mini pomeranian, and Rusty, my 17-year-old Pomeranian in the sunshine.
A dog groomer and lifelong animal lover, I always took my neighbour’s ridgeback cross, Raja, out with us for an early morning walk at Doggy Beach, Noosa, before it got too hot.
The dogs loved having a good sniff in the wooded area behind the beach, where blue-tongue lizards and brush turkeys would nestle among the undergrowth.
Placing my towel on the sand, I got ready to take a dip, as I did most days.
Suddenly, I heard frantic yelps and barking. I knew immediately it was Ferrari.
I couldn’t believe my eyes.
A terrifying 3.5-metre-long, brown/orange coastal carpet python had wound its huge bulk around poor Ferrari’s little head.
'A terrifying 3.5-metre-long, brown/orange coastal carpet python had wound its huge bulk around poor Ferrari’s little head. '
In horror, I realised the snake had clamped its jaws over his right ear and eye.
I hadn’t a clue where it had come from, but realised it must’ve slithered from under the tree roots at the back of the beach, straight past Raja and Rusty, and gone for the smallest, easiest target.
Before I had time to react, the snake had curled its scaly body further around Ferrari, squeezing tighter with every passing second.
Rusty and Raja stood next to me in shock.
And, no matter how hard Ferrari dug his little legs into the sand to free himself, he was no match for the python.
It’s going to kill him! I panicked.
Many years earlier, I’d heard about another local dog who was attacked by a snake in its back garden.
Thankfully, it had managed to escape, but it was left with several broken ribs.
Well, snake – not my dog and not today! I thought, leaping to action.
Lunging towards it, I grabbed the python’s tail and banged it furiously on the wet sand.
As it curled tighter, I knew it would soon crack Ferrari’s tiny ribs.
Mustering all my strength, I repeatedly slammed the end of the snake back down as hard as I could.
Finally, as Ferrari let out a shrill cry, the snake’s jaws opened, releasing my petrified pup.
In shock, I realised I still had the huge, angry hissing carpet python in my hands.
Taking a deep breath, I swung back and hurled the slithering serpent forwards as hard as I could. It landed with a huge splash two metres away in the water.
'He’d suffered puncture holes above his right eye and ear from the snake’s teeth and he had burst a blood vessel in his eye.'
By now poor Ferrari was frantically running up and down the beach, traumatised by what had happened to him.
‘Can someone catch him.
He’s been bitten by a snake!’ I shouted as people dashed over to help.
Peering around for the other dogs, I spotted Raja, who had charged into the water and was facing off with the angry snake, determined not to let it strike twice.
Thankfully, Raja retreated and the python slithered away through the water as people in boats and on the beach looked on in shock.
Turning my attention back to Ferrari, I was grateful to see my pup was now by my side. A woman next to me kindly handed me my towel to wrap him in.
Scooping up Ferrari, I was horrified to see he was shaking and covered in blood.
‘Thank you so much,’ I breathed, relieved he was still alive.
As I rushed Ferrari back to my car in the parking lot, another kind lady took Rusty on his lead as Raja followed.
Everyone on the beach cheered me on.
‘That was amazing! It was a huge snake,’ one said.
‘You wrangled that snake like Steve Irwin,’ another chimed in.
Once inside my car, I rang my husband, Paul.
‘Ferrari was bitten by a snake,’ I cried, recounting the terrifying tale.
‘What?’ Paul gasped, clearly distressed.
In a daze, I dropped Raja and Rusty home, before rushing Ferrari to the vet.
He’d suffered puncture holes above his right eye and ear from the snake’s teeth and he had burst a blood vessel in his eye.
‘It’s lucky the snake didn’t pierce it, he could have lost his sight,’ the vet said.
Back home, I rang my daughter Jessica, 22, who couldn’t believe it.
‘You’re a bloody weapon,’ she laughed.
My son Ben, 24, and his mates were all impressed, too.
Back at work at my dog grooming business, everyone wanted to hear about my amazing rescue.
Thankfully, Ferrari made a full recovery.
I was so shaken it took me a few days to go back to the beach, and only with someone to support me. Now I’m always on the lookout for anything lurking in the undergrowth.
I never imagined I’d have to wrangle a python.