Living in the desert allows one to have any number of animal adventures. This one started with our dog Cinder who was outside making her last potty stop before bed. I heard her barking in the fashion that says “Oh! Look what I found.”
I said to myself “Oh, I’ve heard that bark before — let me go see what it is this time.” It turned out to be a small (18-24 inch) diamond back rattler just lying all stretched out on our back patio, about 4 feet from our door.
So I grabbed the dog, who despite her snake avoidance training, was very interested in going over for another look and smell. We will have to invite the trainer and her rattlesnakes Stella and Ned back for some additional training. But right now for the snake at hand.
This is our fourth rattlesnake adventure so we are getting much more relaxed around the creatures. I went inside and asked Mary if she wanted to be involved in the latest Animal Adventure. She declined. my sincere invitation. “That’s all right,” I said, “I can handle this all by myself.”
So I called 911 call and Rural Metro, our fire and medical service, was on the way. Meanwhile, as help is on the way, I search for a working flash light — the hardest part of the evening. Finally finding one I went out to see if the snake was still there. He was, but he was taking a break for the back yard. I didn’t want him disappearing into the plants, leaving me knowing he was out there somewhere.
I fearlessly grabbed our metal rake and kept raking him back to the center of the patio where he had started. We learned in snake avoidance training just how far they can strike. I carefully maintained that distance with an extra foot thrown in for safety. The snake slithered away and I pulled him back several times. Finally, he decided it was better to just curl up and play dead until this metal thing stopped chasing him.
About that time, I heard the ambulance arrive. Yes, the snake removal team does bring an ambulance, 3 really cute guys, a snake stick and a wooden box. One guy took my name and phone number; the second opened the box and the third used the stick to pick up the snake and unceremoniously drop it into the box with a thud. The lid was flipped shut and the snake was on his way to another home.
I thanked them profusely and told the guy taking my name and address that we had to stop meeting like this. He told me this was a good meeting as there was no fire or blood. Ya’ gotta love it!