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.