CHESAPEAKE -- Caroline Vaughan was in her garden in Etheridge Lakes Sunday, pulling weeds and cutting flowers.
'It was like 2 nails being driven into my foot at the same time,' said Vaughan. 'I'd rather have babies than be bit by a snake; it was easier, way easier. It was very, very painful. I had no idea venom would feel like that.'
A Copperhead snake blended into the mulch and garden surroundings behind Vaughan's home on Leleon Court. She had no idea what had bitten her until her 4-year-old Yorkie, Lily, rushed to her aid.
'She didn't care that she was getting bitten, and she got bitten, you know, all on her mouth, and she -- her nose -- and she swelled up, but she's just, there are a lot of bite marks on the snake, and, then my neighbor came over and went after the snake, you know, killed the snake so she'd let go,' Vaughan told 13News.
Besides experiencing excruciating pain, Vaughan said the lower part of her left leg got tremendously swollen. It also got very dark in color, looking like it had been bruised severely.
'I've got the steroids to help with the swelling, and same with her,' shared Vaughan, referring to Lily. 'She's on pain killers for this, but her swelling has gone down a lot.'
On its Web site, North Carolina State University and North Carolina A & T State University Cooperative Extension says that small animals, including small dogs, may get a fatal bite from a Copperhead. In people, however, they bites typically don't kill, but medical attention is required.
After spending a night in the hospital, Vaughan was home Monday with Lily beside her.
'If she had gotten bit first, she would die from it. It's that poisonous,' said Vaughan. 'Now we're just a little worried about letting her out and being the first one to find the snake.'