Saturday, March 13, 2010

Snake alert

The hot weather has brought the rattlesnakes out, earlier that expected. Out on our dog walk the other day, we inadvertently disturbed a giant snake that was taking the sun coiled up under the shade of a low branch. I got the shock of my life when it started to rattle vehemently, just a metre away from me. Louis had already gone past and was halfway up the hill, while Daisy, Louis and Bertie were a few metres behind me. So there we were, me, then the snake, then the dogs. Luckily the training paid off when we most needed it and they obeyed my command to 'wait'. Roxy curiously started to edge towards the rattling snake, but stopped instantly when I told her to. What a relief! But what a dilemma. Should I try to get past the snake and back to the dogs so I could take them round another way, or should I try to get them past the snake without the snake touching them? How was that even possible? Fortunately, the snake saved me from my dithering and slowly slunk off into the brush. I later read that leaving them space to retreat is the best thing to do. I was shaking like a leaf, and think of that snake every time we go past that bush now. In the meantime, the dogs are booked in at the local vet for rattlesnake bite vaccinations. They behaved beautifully but we can't take any risks, and I can't always control where they go or what they might find when they are sniffing around in long grass. They, of course, were completely unfazed by the entire episode and normal service was resumed instantly.

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