Gracie’s Very, Very Bad Day

The mornings have been the same since March 11th.

We wake up a bit later than we used to do. The dogs are content to sleep a little later. The sun is up at that hour now. Today was even warm. Then it is the usual morning chores and breakfast for the dogs.

The treat this morning was peanut butter mixed into the kibble. This happens every once in a while. They love it.

And today was no exception.

The humans then peruse their emails, avoid the worst of the news, and begin the search for something  a tad different to do today. After 45 days, that can be a task. Some cleaning got done. Some weaving got done.

Then we sat on our front porch as the dogs rambled through the poppy plants (and the accompanying weeds) in search of gophers and lizards and whatnot.

Tiring of that occupation, they took prone positions at our feet to enjoy the early afternoon warmth. They would occasionally hear a leaf fall or a flower burst into bloom and sound the alarm with a sharp, loud bark while simultaneously launching off the porch. They would race to the edge of the fence and, finding nothing would return to their porch positions.

Then they jumped, without barking and we saw the trouble.

A little 4 inch snake, a baby rattler, on the walkway right in front of the porch. Gracie had her butt facing us. George was too the side of the critter and Gracie to its head.

We shouted for them to come. George responded. He wanted nothing to do with that thing. But Gracie was VERY curious and I had to grab her collar and drag her to the house. The snake escaped into the poppy/weed population.

Emergency procedures seemed to be in order. We found our boots and long sleeved shirts. While I was tying mine I noticed Gracie.

Stock still. Standing, stiff legged with not a muscle moving.

I called to her.

She didn’t respond.

I went and petted her. She didn’t respond.

Then, without any noticeable muscle movement, she defecated. In the house. She took 2 or three steps and did that again.

In a matter of seconds, I found her leash picked her up and was off to the emergency vet hospital.

It was one of the longest drives I have ever taken. She was laboring to breath, she was vomiting. I was positive that the snake had bitten her.

It is nearly a 30 minute drive to the vet. I was truly afraid that she would not make it. My hope lingered on the fact that she and George had received their booster shot of rattlesnake vaccine. I knew that gave me about an hour to get her to where she needed to be.

Having called ahead they were ready for me. Of course, I had passed every Sunday afternoon driver, and made a few less than California stop moves at various intersections. I was very concerned.

The staff met me in the parking lot, masked and gloved. They took Gracie straight from the car and told me to stay put as the doctor would call me as soon as Gracie was in there. And she did.

She was confused. There was no swelling anywhere on Gracie’s body that would indicate any kind of snake bite. Nothing that showed any outward injury.

But Gracie was still breathing hard and was, as the vet described her, tense and in some distress.

Blood tests and fluids, a bit of benedril was her present. Her future is a very watchful night at the vet. Then a morning of more blood tests to compare.

The vet believes she might have eaten a bee or other critter.

Until further proof is available, that is the working theory.

My return home found that the spouse had been very, very busy. The front yard (where the snake escaped) was no longer lush with California Poppies and wild watercress. Flattened by the mad weed wacker is was.

No snake would get through the area without being seen.

I took out my left over energy and flattened the back.

Tomorrow might not be a better day for my back.

Let us hope that tomorrow is a much better day for Gracie.


Categories: DOGS, George and Gracie, UncategorizedTags: , , ,


  1. What an awful shock. I hope she has recovered by now


  2. Oh my!! I am anxious for an update. Hoping she is much better today.


  3. How awful! I hope Gracie is feeling better today and you get some answers!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Poor Gracie and your poor back – please let us know how you all are doing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The vets are stumped. There is no swelling that should come with a snake bite. They are thinking bee sting rather than food allergies. She refuses to eat so far so the vet won’t let her come home. Cross your fingers, Derrick. I am hoping for a cause that I can treat at home. Like changing her food! Thank you for caring!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Fingers crossed! I hope Gracie will soon be over whatever caused this 🤞

    Liked by 1 person

  7. So how is Gracie? So scary! I have a baby rattler story for when we get to sit together on your porch. Hope to see you in the fall. Stay safe. Pups too!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. She is still at the vet hospital. She is better–up and walking around. But no energy and not eating. They are giving her more fluids and hoping she will eat. More blood work in the morning. Still no idea of what caused it. Her ear flap is swollen and hard but her liver enzyme level has come down some. We will know more, I hope, tomorrow. Thanks, Clive!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. She is better. Still at the vet’s with more blood work in the morning. Cross your fingers!!


  10. I am fine. Gracie is better. Still at the vet hospital with more blood work scheduled for the morning. Cross your fingers!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. She is better but not out of the woods. Still at the vet hospital. More blood work tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. No answers yet. She is still at the vet hospital but doing better.


  13. I hope they can tell you more tomorrow and that she’ll be able to go home.


  14. I hope Gracie is better, Gael. It must be the snake. Too coincidental.


  15. It must be very scary for you. I hope tomorrow is better 🤞


  16. I think you may be correct. Her ear flap is so swollen it is hard! I think that is where the strike was but they can’t find it. The internal digestive stuff, as I look back, has been coming on for about a month. I think we hit a confluence of two things. The doc thinks she will be coming home today (it is 4am here) but we shall see what the latest blood work says.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Aw, poor puppy, fingers crossed, prayers said, positive energy coming your way. 🙂


  18. Thanks, Carol. Hoping she can come home tonight!


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