Yesterday afternoon, I sat out on the back deck to re-read the final Harry Potter book. (I read it cover to cover on Saturday, but I always immediately re-read them.) Anyway, Ginko hung out with me in the shade since temps crept toward 100. Lilly, however, stayed in her usual spot out front, where she can see the entire valley. At one point, she made a noise, and Ginko sprinted to see what was up. But, he did not get far.
He stopped short of the deck’s three stairs. He bristled in a way I’ve never seen, and he began barking furiously. It was both an unfamiliar body posture and timber. My first thought was that there might be something big — a deer, an elk, a mt. lion — in the creek bed he overlooked. I worried maybe Lilly was fighting a coyote as she did the first spring we got her.
As I scanned the area, however, I heard it …
Rattling. Really loud, really close rattling.
I looked down to find a coiled rattlesnake, with its head up, ready to strike. Honestly, it took a couple of heartbeats to register before I screamed, “Snake!”
I grabbed Ginko by the collar and raced for the back door. Once he was safely inside, I ran out the front door and called for Lilly. Her recall at home has gone to pot since a recent bath incident, so she refused to come. I felt I had no choice, so I chased her, grabbed her and ran back inside.
Home alone since Tom was out on a fire dept call, I quickly dialed two of our neighbors for help. Neither answered. I did not know what to do. Getting the pups and myself inside uninjured was first, but now what?
So, in a decision I can only blame on years of training as a reporter, I went out and took a picture of it, using the zoom function so that I didn’t have to get too close.