Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Dog, The Snake, and The Road Trip

The morning was clear and calm until....

Nah, I'm not going to go all writerly on you. I'll just tell you what happened.

A few days ago I let the dog out into our backyard. The sprinklers had just turned off so the ground was nice and soft. Too tempting for a digging dog to resist. After a few minutes I realized that I hadn't seen the dog in a while. My daughter was sitting outside the back porch door, also taking advantage of the wet soil and was digging her own hole. I asked her where the dog got off too.

She runs around one corner of the house and shouts, "Not here!"  Around the next corner.
"Mom I found her!" Then...

"Hey mom! The dog's bothering a worm!"

Now, we have been having a lot of rain and the millipedes have out in full force. I can not tell you how many times I've had to shout, "Stop playing with those!" At first, I didn't think much about it. But something told me that I should probably investigate. So I walk around the corner. 

Yeah, soooo not a worm.

The dog is trying to pull this long snake out of the ground, like a chicken pulls a caterpillar. I go running over screaming for her to drop it. She does and I grab her collar and drag her back inside.*cue bad mobster accent* Then I grab a shovel to go to take of it.

 When I go back, it's slithered backed down it's hole. I'm no herpetologist, but I do know that bright colors mean trouble. I came inside and started up my computer. I wasn't wearing my glasses so I was hoping that I had seen enough to identify it. While I was flipping through websites my daughter realized that she had left a toy outside. She went out the side door to get it. I was engrossed in my research, so I missed her leaving.When I look up my daughter was inside, but the door was still wide open...and the dog was missing. 


So I run back outside and sure enough, this dog has found the damn snake a second time. And is pulling it out of the ground. I'm screaming at her to stop but she succeeds on jerking it out. It dangles out of her mouth for just a few seconds, then wraps itself around her muzzle. 

Then she began to shake it mercilessly. The snake just winds tighter.  The whole time I'm shouting, "Dropitdropitdropit!"

Finally she does. I left the shovel by the snake hole last time, just in case. Maybe I'm psychic. Anyway, I drug the dog away and picked up the shovel. I tried, I don't know how many times, to get it's head off but the ground was too soft and the shovel wouldn't go through. So I beat it to death. I'm sure I sounded like a loon as I slammed the shovel down over and over again, yelling at everyone else to stay back.

Finally the snake stopped moving.  I took a quick picture of it, knowing I would need one to identify what type of snake it was. Then did what every cliche killer on the face of the planet does. I wrapped it's limp body in a plastic bag, tied it up, and tossed it in the trash.

Using the picture as a reference I eventually did find it's name on line. Coral Snake––and yes it's venomous. Double damn.

I call an emergency vet, who recommended I call a clinic an hour and a half away because they specialize in venomous snake bites. I do. He recommends that I take the dog to my vet right away. I do.

My vet says there's nothing they can do and to take her to the clinic that I had just called...who had sent me to them. Blergh. So...I do.

After a conversation with them I come home and get directions to the clinic. Now me, an active four year old, and a husky  who's not quite a year old get to take a nice long car ride. Yay us. *sarcasm intended*

I guess becoming a snake wrangler took it's toll on the dog, because for once she wasn't a bouncing mess in the car. We get there and they usher us right back a room. The vet comes out and informs me they can't find a bite mark, but that's not uncommon for coral snakes because their fangs are small. There's no way for us to know whether she's been bitten.

There is an antivenin but it's fairly pricey. Now I'm on the fence. I can pay a crap load for, a possibly unneeded treatment, or I can take leave her with them for observation. If she has been bitten, the delay could cause major distress, even death. It could also cost us five times as much to keep her alive.

Double Blergh.

In the end we decided on the treatment. We left her there with the vet and all the way home my four year old is insisting that we will never see her again, and how she's all alone. Thanks for the guilt trip kiddo.

The next night I get a day I get a phone call. This is what he said, and this is how I translated it.

He said: Solei is a very strong dog. 
Translation: She probably knocked someone down

He said: She was very anxious all night.
Translation: She whined and dug at the crate and drove us all crazy.

He said: Since she is doing so well, and we are close to the 36 hour observation window, and her anxiety is high, I think we can let her go home this evening.

Translation: OMG. Come and take this lunatic dog out of here before we all lose it.

When we get to the vet's office that night we get the run down. They had to take out her blanket, bedding, and plastic tray because she was destroying it. Then she kept flipping over her water bowl. Next she started tearing at the crate itself, so they put her in a sound proof plexiglass cage.

 Great, my dog was put in the Hannibal Lecter cage. That makes a dog owner proud. 

She responded great to the treatment, or she wasn't bit, we're still not sure which. But we did get to bring her home, that's the important part. 


  1. "Then did what every cliche killer on the face of the planet does. I wrapped it's limp body in a plastic bag, tied it up and tossed it in the trash." <--- OMG, LOL. :D

    Poor dog. I think you were smart to get Solei the treatment. Hopefully she's learned not to bother "worms" anymore.

  2. That was quite a hilarious read. As a lover of snakes, venomous ones scare the crap out of me, and I'm glad your dog is okay! :)