You read the title right. It was me against 3 rattlesnakes.
Don't get to alarmed I can explain. If you have read my blog for any amount of time you know that me and my MOM do a lot of hiking, camping, and backpacking. That means there is the danger of coming across a rattlesnake. My MOM has already taken the step of getting me a snake shot each year. Butt that only means that if I do get bit by a rattlesnake she only has extra time to get me medical attention, and while that is good, let's face it, we are often very far away for that medical attention. Then MOM heard about this guy who teaches dogs to avoid snakes. So she signed us up for the class months ago.
This is Wes, he is the snake teacher guy. He was super nice and he had a real cool dog that you will see later. If you would like to learn more about him and his work you can click HERE.
My buddy Bert was there too. I know sometimes Bert gets teased about being a "Dumb Blond" (I don't like that very much). Butt I am here to tell you my friend Bert is very smart! In that photo above it is like he knows what is coming and he is closing his eyes to wish it away.
MOM and I listened to Wes talk to us about how important it is for us doggies to avoid those sneaky snakes. He talked about what to expect from the snakes and how we would react. Dogs react in different ways and with five us dogs in the class we saw each dog react differently and Wes nailed it.
After Wes talked to us it was time to get to work. Do you see my buddy Bert up there? See friends Bert knows that this is something he wants no part of. Sure he was a bit curious but he stayed behind Wes, like he KNOWS this is a creature you DO NOT want to be friends with.
This is how I responded. While Bert was cautious, I LUNGED forward to get the sneaky snake.
Oh I just had to have the rattlesnake. Wes had a firm grip on the rope attached to my collar. Also you may notice that I seem to have two collars on. One is mine and the other has a shocker thing on it that in the training will be used later to simulate what it feels like to be bit by a snake. In the video you will see this. You will also notice that Wes started me on the lowest setting and it had no affect on me, neither did the next level or the next. Butt finally I did feel it.
Here's Bert and his Vickie. They are taking a walk (with a rattlesnake placed in the grass, Miss Vickie knows where it is). Bert sees, butt most importantly he smells the snake up ahead. Know what he did next?
My smart friend bolted away like a FLASH! So fast that MOM's camera could not get a clear shot of Bert.
This is me still trying to figure out how to get that thing.
So now it is video time (Thank you Miss Vickie for taking the video). Before you watch the video I would like to point a few things out to you. This video is a culmination of several spliced together. Miss Vickie says that my MOM is more entertaining to watch. MOM was worried about me and it shows. She loves me what can I say. You may notice that I stepped on the snakes head and dislocated it's jaw. We took a break while Wes got some tools and fixed his snake. Yep he fixed him, that's just nutty. Yes the sound you hear is the rattle on the snake not a sprinkler. Also notice how strong I am, Wes has to wrap the rope around his waist because I was pulling so hard. I maybe over 14 years old but I could pull a horse out of a sink hole. That Golden Lab in the background is Wes' dog. She is barking at me to warn me not to get near the snake. Notice my buddy Bert wants to jump into my MOM's arms. ahhahha Let's get to the video.
What did you think? Let me say even though it was scary (mostly for my MOM) and it was a four hour class it was TOTALLY worth it. Some have asked if I will need to repeat the class next year. The answer to that is NO. See we doggies are very smart. The sent of the snake is in my head FOREVER and when I smell that smell I will know to not go near it. Sight and sound are good warnings butt scent is the best. I may not see a snake or even hear it, butt I WILL smell it. That little shock Wes gave me let me know what it would be like to be bit by a snake. Plus those sneaky snakes struck at me as well. To put your minds at ease these rattlesnakes had their venom tubs removed. They still had fangs put the venom was not there. So did I pass the class?
YES I DID! In fact I made the most dramatic improvement. From "I want to get the snake" to what you see in the photo above. MOM was suppose to take me for a walk. There is a rattlesnake about another 20 or 25 feet behind my MOM. We started walking towards the snake (it was in the grass could not see it). I took ONE step with my MOM and then I stopped and would not go any further. No matter what my MOM did, call me, pull the rope. Nope, not going to go in that direction!! My MOM would also like to point out that this makes hiking for her safer. When she sees me react in my "snake alert" way she knows to be cautious because a snake is in the area. I highly recommend a class like this if you live in an area that rattlesnakes are around, you would benefit from this training.
PeeSSSS- Just so you know I am NOT afraid of my green Sneaky Snake at home.