All we have in my area are rattlesnakes and copperheads. I never seen what it was for sure though, I just found her in the afternoon and she was already dead.
I knew it was going to happen. She use to wear snakes down by baiting them into striking several times until they couldn't, then she would grab them. After messing with only non-poisonous black snakes and i guess realizing the bite didnt really hurt she lost her fear of being bit. She had gotten to where she would grab them right away and they would bite her but she would just pull away while holding them down with her foot. Two weaks before she died,after seeing that take place, I told my son she was in trouble if she ever ran across a poisonous snake.
She give me lots of stories to tell... Once, she ran a squirrel under a big flat rock on a day I was planting ginseng. After I seen what was going on, I sat down to watch. This rock was maybe 3ft long by 2 ft wide and the way it lay it created a little tunnel under the center, lengthwise. She went back and forth from end to end with the squirrel attempting to escape the opposite side every time before retreating back to the middle as she would jump around. She went at this a good two minutes before she stopped at the side of this rock and sat there a moment. I was viewing this from her rear but her head tilted slightly all at once, I swear it was apparent from her gesture she was studying this and thought she had finally figured it out. She stepped up aside and to the middle of this rock and with her left paw started patting the ground at one end while stretching around to her right, peaking around the side. It only took a few seconds and she actually ran that damn squirrel right in her mouth! Most HUMANS wouldn't have thought of that.
She taught me just how smart an animal could really be.
I agree Gareth, I had rather have lost a lot of things before I had her. She now has her own place at the base of my northern slope where she spent many of her days watching me, resting in the shade.
She sure was a good looking dog. Can't get much more loyal than that pit blood. Sorry for your loss. I know how that hurts. Lost my dobie/rott mix ten years ago and havn't gotten courage to get another as that loss hurts so much. My sons really loved that boy.