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Dogs, Rattlesnakes, and Hiking

Last week, Mary-Alice from Dog Jaunt, a great blog all about dog travel, posted our guest post about the dos and don’ts of hiking in rattlesnake-prone regions. I hope you will check it out. Dog Jaunt has a whole new graphic look and even a neat Dog Jaunt Store, including dog travel stuff and shirts that say … “Because you dog will never ask are we there yet.”

That cracks me up.

Mary-Alice and I met at the first-ever BlogPaws in April 2010, after I could not help but photograph dear, sweet, sleeping Chloe. She celebrated her second birthday at the most recent BlogPaws West in Denver. Because of all the Best Dog Blog Award hubbub, I did not get to wish her a happy puppy day in person … so … Happy Birthday, Chloe girl. You are mucho awesome.

Recent Snake Encounters

Lilly and I have seen a number of snakes recently, both at home and on our walks, but they’ve all been of the mundane variety (garter snakes). Most of the time, Lilly doesn’t even seem to notice them.

She actually stepped right over this one in our drive way. They must not smell like much because Lilly didn’t even break her stride.

This makes me wonder if it’s more the smell and sound of rattlesnakes that gets Lilly into trouble.

After putting Lilly inside, I went back and took more photos. This is just one of the many snakes who live in our stone bridge.

I sent these photos to a university-based snake expert I was interviewing for an upcoming dog magazine article, and while I called this a baby snake in my note to him, he said this one is full grown. Still … it’s MUCH smaller than the snakes we usual see on the bridge.

A really tiny garter snake, that I truly believe must be young, now lives in our greenhouse too. It’s super fast when it wiggles its way to safety when I open the greenhouse doors, so I don’t have a photo, but I figure he is welcome to live there.

At first, I was freaked that we might have a rattlesnake den in there, but I’ve looked at it closely, and he is definitely NOT a rattler.

Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related. I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

Ruby's Raiser - September 22, 2010

We’ve had a couple of too-close-for-comfort rattler encounters since we’ve moved out west. Going over to read your guest post now…

AC - September 21, 2010

I’ve been on hyper-alert for snakes on the trails. I’m just sure to not let Kona pounce something or stick her nose somewhere that I haven’t inspected.

PS-On Kona and the dark: Kona doesn’t seem to notice that the sun isn’t up yet on our early runs. (Generally, her fears revolve around “human civilization” and nothing in the natural world. She’ll cross creeks, scramble up boulders and belly crawl under logs without prompt. She’ll then come across a hat a person dropped on the trail and make a wide circle around it). We’re out often before sunrise, but usually not as early as we were this past weekend. I try to avoid the headlamp because I’m sure it messes with Kona’s night vision, as I know it does with mine.

Shauna (Fido & Wino | R.O.A.R. Squad) - September 21, 2010

I love the Dog Jaunt saying 🙂

Barbara and Daisy - September 21, 2010

Living in a wet climate I greatly treasure the garter snakes I can convince to live in my garden. They eat the slugs!

As far as Daisy is concerned, all beings are loveable!

Mary-Alice@DogJaunt - September 21, 2010

Thanks for Chloe’s birthday wishes, Roxanne — and for a great guest post! When you look at the maps of the ranges of the various kinds of rattlesnakes, you realize just how much of the country needs to be on the alert, for themselves and their dogs.

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