“Magpie” is more than Deeds Mauss’ best friend. She’s his protector. The female black labrador calls the 3-year-old American Fork boy and can track him down if he wanders off. Deeds suffers from autism, epilepsy and mild cerebral palsy. Now, after an unfortunate accident, he's learned his furry protector needs some protection of her own.

Yesterday, “Magpie” swallowed snail bait in the family’s backyard and is now in critical condition after ingesting the poison. Dogs are attracted to snail bait. "Magpie" toppled a barbeque grill to get to it.

"My mom was actually the one who was with her," said Owner Owner Bobbie Mauss. “I got a frantic call that she wasn't acting normal."

The pooch started convulsing as if she was having a seizure.

"When a dog eats snail bait, they'll start having pretty severe muscle tremors to the point where they can't stand," says Dr. Evan Caplis.

Doctors at Southeast Veterinary Hospital in Sandy pumped the dog’s stomach and flushed out toxins through an IV.

“She’s really responding to the therapy," says Caplis.

Dr. Caplis believes “Magpie” will survive and serve Deeds once again, but the separation is difficult for the three year-old boy.

“He didn't sleep well last night. We go and check on him and he'd be sitting up awake in his bed,” says Bobbie Mauss. “He told us he didn't want to go to school, he just wanted Magpie home.”

Doctors believe the pooch will return home tomorrow. The Mauss family is asking for donations to pay for the mounting medical bills. You can donate via a link at dog4deeds.com.

Meanwhile, Dr. Caplis hopes Magpie’s story will enlighten other dog owners about the dangers of snail bait.

"We just have to be conscientious to not put the snail bait out there where the dog can get to it is the bottom line," says Caplis. "Look for other ways to get rid of the snails and make sure your dog is fenced off, away from the poison."