Thursday, July 18, 2013


worried Dell by Teckelcar
worried Dell, a photo by Teckelcar on Flickr.
Dell had a very tough start to the week. Monday morning I got the dogs ready for their big walk around the neighborhood. As always they wee raring to go and dashed ahead of me as we went through the garage to the side door. While I was getting a poopy bag from our collection of plastic shopping bags we keep in the garage for such purposes, the red boys whipped around the van to wait at the door. I wasn't very far behind them and soon I was at the back of the van only to be shocked at the sight be for me.

A two foot long copperhead snake was coiled directly behind my van, pressed tightly against the closed overhead garage door.

Dell was nowhere to be seen and snake was pacing about om the other side of the snake. He was clearly interested, but oddly silent and wary. After repeatedly telling John to "Leave It" I got him to stand down. Now I had a puzzle, how to get the dog away without either or us getting bit or losing track of the snake. As I surveyed the assorted tools and brick-a-back available I settled on our garden spade, it was just the right size to cover up the snake enabling me to call over John.

Once I had John in hand I put him back in the house. I had to off the snake and there was no way I could safely do that with a loose dog such as John. He would pretty quickly figure out my intentions and would rush in and "help." Once the dog was secure I had to decided on my instrument of doom. I settled on the spade, again, due to it's relatively sharp edge and long handle. The first whack was a failure, but with the second I nailed it right behind the head and thus I had an exsnake. I scooped its mortal remains into a bag and gingerly tied it up and put it on top of the trash can.

At this point I saw a very frightened Dell. He refused to go around the back of the van, I had to coax him around the front amongst the bikes. The poor boy was limping, this front left leg being held awkwardly out from his body. He clearly had been hit by the snake in the leg.


I called the vet and told them what was happening and I would be coming in. Having gone through this with Crunch (he got nailed in the ear) I knew it was life threatening, but he would still need treatment. At the last minute I tossed the dead snake in the back of the van. I was 95% sure, but it would be could to get confirmation.

The one funny part of this whole ordeal was when I was at the vet's office. I asked the vet if he wanted to see the snake and got an enthusiastic yes. Once I brought it in the vet confirmed the species and gave an impromptu lecture on copperheads to all the techs and myself. When he was done he asked if I wanted it back.

Ah no, he was welcome to keep it.

Dell then spent a miserable day at home, barely able to hobble about. He did perk up and dinner, but shortly afterwards staggered into his crate for the night. The next day, Tuesday) Dell was much improved with just a minor limp that diminished as the day wore on.  Buy Wednesday he was pretty much back to normal.

However, he is very leery of walking past the back of the van.

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