Monday, July 9, 2018

We've still got it

It was a dark and steamy night. I was in my bed, Smooch and Alex were in theirs.
At precisely 1:31 a.m. Smooch started barking bloody murder. 
She jumped off her chair and ran into the sunroom.
I jumped out of bed and followed her, turning on lights along the way.
I saw nothing. Then the rattling started. I turned on more lights.
Sure enough, there on the edge of the cool, concrete front porch
was a coiled rattlesnake, scared out of its wits by Smooch's barking,
which by now had been joined by Alex's.

I was so proud of Smooch for warning me. She has aged very noticably
in the past six months, and I wasn't sure she still had it in her to sniff out a snake. 
Anyway, there was no way I could let it stay there, so I ran to get 
the snake pole, the snake can and my boots.

This was our first snake of the season and I figured my snake-roping skills
might be a little rusty, particularly in the dead of night.
But it must be like riding a bike – I got him on the first try. 
I moved the can of snake with the tight-fitting lid to a safe place,
for relocation the next day.

Except by the next day, I mostly forgot about the whole episode 
(call it PTSSD, post traumatic snake stress disorder),
and when I finally remembered the rattlesnake in the can
four 100+ degree days later, he was dead, as in not rattling when 
I shook the can repeatedly. I had baked him to death in a metal trash can
and felt positively horrible. All the good snake karma I had built up
over the years by relocating so many of them – gone. 


The writing of this blog post Sunday afternoon was interrupted at this very point
when Smooch started barking on the back porch.




  1. Yay Smooch! Happy that Alex got in on it.
    You still have good Karma, but I still think it’s the same one coming back time after time.
    Now his wife was angry and came looking for him..

  2. Cue the music to the song "Hit the road Jack"...……………..and DON"T come back!!!!

  3. Good girl, Smooch! Hey, hard to feel terribly bad about the sleep interrupting rattler. You sprang into action like a champ. And now Alex has started learning another important ranch lesson.

  4. Wow ! What an excellent dog Smooch is!!

  5. Northern AB gal7/9/18, 6:56 AM

    You are waaayyy braver than I will ever be. Good job Smooch!!

  6. Good girl Smooch!!! How does she do it? Does she hear them rattle? Whatever it is, I hope Alex picks up the trait.

    1. I think she must smell them because her hearing's not so great anymore.

  7. Way to go Smooch! I guess it is officially summer at 7MSN.

  8. OMG! He was STILL ALIVE???? That's amazing!

  9. Yay Smooch, good way to teach Alex! Is there any way some snake repelling plants would grow around your house? Lisa G in TN.

    1. Snake repelling plants? I would have never thought of that. Time for a little research.

    2. i didn't know there was such a thing as a plant to repel snakes, so I googled too (and the smelly snake stuff too). Ortho makes Snake-B-Gone. Hahahahaha. O heavens! I'd cover my house in that to keep a rattlesnake away. I'm not near as brave as you.

  10. You're so good with that snake lasso. Smooch is still cool with rattler detection, not old yet. It's amazing how much more interesting your daily chores are than my own! And how are The World's Best Donkeys these days?

    1. George and Alan are feeling a bit neglected, and rightfully so. I'll post a few pictures of them tomorrow.

  11. Yep - you are good in the snake karma account!

  12. two snakes in less than 12 hours! peak season OMG! well done. with snakes I always think about our sweet Johnny

  13. An American in Tokyo7/9/18, 5:54 PM

    Omigosh, too much snake stress for me!!
    Just watching you makes me nervous!!
    I can't even handle a single cockroach!! I would never survive in your neck of the woods!! Ha ha!!

    Good girl, Smooch! Please give her a big hug and kiss from me! =)

  14. He was alive.......! So did you offer him some refreshing snack as a sorry for forgetting him?
    I don't know how you do it.... Huge respect. And hats off to the Super Smooch!
    Elsewhere from amsterdam

  15. Holy cats! How did she know it was out there?! She couldn't see it in the dark. Perhaps she could hear it slithering along or even smell it.
    It wouldn't have been a tragedy if it had died, but I know you're like me and never want anything to suffer--even the snakeys.
    I hope Smooch has been teaching Alex about snakes. It's a priceless gift, Smooch's warning system.

  16. Good girl, Smooch! And hopefully, Alex will pick up the skill. Will you do any kind of a snake-proofing class with Alex?