As the story goes, a man was walking along when he came upon a snake. He thought seriously about killing him due to their shady reputation. The snake pleaded with the man to spare his life, stating that he was a kind and gentle creature who would never harm a soul. The man thought about this for a moment, then decided to let the snake live. Immediately, the snake turned and bit the man. The man, very surprised at this evil deed, asked the snake, “Why would you harm me?” He calmly replied, “Because I’m a snake”!
My pal, Spin, a Jack Russell Terrier, apparently had never heard this story. So, when an uninvited and unwelcome intruder slithered into his yard last Saturday evening, Spin was not aware of the impending danger.
I heard Spin yelp. I froze. I feared the worst and I was right. Spin ran to me, his face already starting to swell. The fang marks were evident on the left side of his jaw. I stayed calm and so did Spin.
Thankfully, he was current on his rattlesnake vaccines. He is also strong, young and healthy. I had researched emergency medical treatment for rattlesnake bites prior to this encounter, which helped immensely. But, even with all that going for him, Spin was still one sick puppy, needing four days of intensive care. I never left his side, holding his paw every inch of the way. When it was all said and done, both Spin and I had survived!
That being said, let me tell you a bit about Jack Russell Terriers. They are described as being bold, fearless, intelligent, courageous, inquisitive, tenacious, energetic, and relentless. So, upon his recovery I asked Spin, “Why do you believe that you survived the rattlesnake attack?” He confidently replied: “Because I’m a Jack Russell”! I then asked him what he would do if he ever encountered a rattlesnake again. He quickly responded, “Well, I’d tear his head off, of course! Must I remind you – I’m a Jack Russell”.
The moral of this story is: Be Prepared! Keeping your best buddy’s rattlesnake vaccines current drastically reduces the severity of the outcome if your pal is bitten. It may very well save his life as it did for Spin. These evil varmints are lurking about in woodpiles, barns, under decks, and in rock crevices, ready to strike – yikes! Please don’t let your guard down – pay attention – and keep an emergency vet’s phone number handy. Have a safe fall! Spin & Chic
Chic Miller 530-347-0544
Bella Vista Farms Animal Sanctuary
4301 Lower Gas Point Road Cottonwood, CA 96022