Remember Gracie’s ‘Very, Very Bad Day‘ ? I certainly do. And it appears that Gracie does as well.
Last night, after dark, I took the pups for their nightly, before bed, constitutional. Normal, everyday thing to do with to adult children dogs. They still need routine to keep them from driving me up the wall with Cocker Spaniel energy. So out the door we go. Me with the flashlight, them with their bark collars on. (The neighbors appreciate that at such hours). Usually, under those circumstances, they bound out the door and do not verbally discuss the matter.
George gets to the bottom of the front porch stairs, turns, and lets out a ferocious bark. My ears hear a sound that sends fear into my heart. Over George’s voice is the distinctive sound of a rattlesnake.
My flashlight catches it. I manage to grab George. Gracie, who had headed the other direction comes running and stops, dead stops, when she sees the intruder. Her bark was more ferocious than George’s. But she stays away. She knows it is a snake and she knows that they hurt.
I swear she knew not to get closer to that thing.
I rangle the dogs into the house and the real fun begins.
Spouse grabs the pellet gun. It is empty. The ammunition isn’t where he thought it was.
I remain with the light on the intruder. It is flicking its tongue but no otherwise moving. I realize that it is trying to get out from under the steps through the 1/2 wire mesh that surrounds the lower edge of our porch. Spouse had installed the mesh to keep the chipmunks out a few years ago. But somehow the snake had gotten in and tried to get out where it couldn’t.
So it remained where it was. At an angle that prevented its demise.
Being in a state of high adrenaline, we used the only thing we had at hand. The fire extinguisher. White smoke filled the air. My asthma kicked in. And the snake disappeared.
Until we stepped on the lower step. Then it let its displeasure be known. For around 10 minutes, under the protection of the front step, he rattled continuously. He didn’t move. He just made noise. He finally stopped and we had no idea where he was. We retired for the night.
This morning I called the Central Coast Snake Services. The owner, Emily, had been here right after Gracie’s Very, Very Bad Day. She had given us tips and suggestions on how to make life easier and safer when you live in rattlesnake country.
This morning she answered the phone by saying, “I was thinking of you. I saw the forecast for hot weather and thought of your front porch. They like to find cool places to wait out the heat”. Or words similar to that.
Emily arrived within 45 minutes.
We took down some of the wire mesh and she CRAWLED UNDER THE PORCH!!! She didn’t know if the snake had stayed or not. But under she went. Flat on the ground. With a six inch clearance.
I am shivering in my boots from the mere thought of what is under there and she calmly crawls under the porch. WOW!
Then she calls out that she sees him. Nestled up against the stair supports, under that first stair. He is coiled and she thinks he is molting because he is white.
White? Oh, yeah, we use a fire extinguisher on him!
So the frontpiece of the stairs comes off. And there he is. Quiet and white.
A young male, dressed in chemicals. Quiet and ready for a new home.
Emily gently bagged him and will re-home him to a place of less human occupation. He is young so she believes he will adapt.
I am so amazed at the skill and the service that Emily gave us. To think of us before this even happened. To come immediately when I called. And to tell us to call ANYTIME we see a snake. She will come. Time is of the essence and she will do everything she can to save people and reptile. She did just that with us.
I cannot thank the Central Coast Snake Services and Emily enough.