Thursday, May 22, 2008

Blue Dog and the Rattlesnake

Yesterday morning as we were sitting down for breakfast Soph went out to the backyard to say hi to our dogs, Blue and Thunder. She came running back into the house with a terrified screech calling Blue's name. As Blue slowly made her way to the door she turned her head and I gasped. Her head was so swollen at first I thought she was some other dog, but as I looked into her pitiful eyes I knew it was my Blue girl. The dog we've had for twelve years, way before kids even before marriage. I suspected right away she had been bitten, I was hoping maybe just spider or bee, not snake. But later that day the vet called to tell me she was 99.9% sure it was a rattlesnake. Because of the nature of the swelling, bruising of the gums, and bleeding in her mouth. She couldn't find the fang marks, but other than that it had to have been a snake. Because of her age and side effects of the anti-venom meds she didn't want to give them to her, oh and the cost. I can only imagine the cost of those meds because the bill I paid was already a good chunk of change! She spent the better part of the day at the vet, came home that afternoon with antibiotics and meds for the swelling.

Do you remember the story of Rikki-Tiki-Tavi ? It is one of my favorites. I loved that little mongoose and how he protected his family from the evil cobras. Even though I wasn't there I think that is what happened with Blue. Some rattlesnake slithered into our yard, probably chasing a little field mouse. Blue probably awoke when she sensed something sinister nearby. I imagine she barked a warning and the rattler curled up and began to shake its rattles. Daring her to make a move. Hence, the standoff began. Blue, who never backs down to anything, would not have stood for this offensive stance from the snake for long. Determined Blue would do whatever it took to keep her yard safe knowing the girls would be out soon. Ye those of little faith, if you knew this dog as I know her you wouldn't doubt my words...the stories I could tell.

Well, Blue girl is on the mend and the snake yet to be found. This weekend we are moving wood piles and mowing for the first time this season in hopes of stirring up some snakes. We'll be having rattlesnake shish kabobs while kicking back and rereading Rikki-Tiki-Tavi, if you'd care to join us!


fairenuff said...

I believe, I have a dog who is just the same.

Amy said...

Oh my! Poor Blue. :( I'm glad she is recovering... I hope she is all better soon. What a loyal friend for your family. :)

Pat's Place said...

Wow! I bet you are right! Last night a bird flew right into my head and I shrieked. Daisy was at my side in an instant--growling at whatever scared me. The bird was long gone, but Daisy stayed glued to my side the rest of the time I was in the back yard. Hip, Hip, Hooray for our canine protectors!