Danger within 100 feet

The white laser flashlight beam bounced along the street. A nearby streetlight cast shadows of the couple who held the flashlight.

It was an extremely dark seven o’clock when I turned the car into my street. The couple was walking toward me, but still far beyond the range of the car’s headlights.

Bernie and Chris were in the car. I pulled into my carport, and the couple passed me. They were focused on an object on the sidewalk about twenty feet from me.

Curious, I opened the door and walked over to them. The woman held the flashlight; its white beam zeroed in on the remains of a small rattlesnake.

“We were walking, and I thought it was a long thin stick. I almost stepped on it, and it suddenly curled up to strike me.” He said.

He held a long broom. They had gone home for it and come back to dispose of the snake.

The snake was almost unrecognizable. Its rattles were evident as was its head. Its body was smashed almost flat.

My question is… This snake was a baby… where were the others?

The snake was about 100 feet from my house. It means there are other baby snakes and at least one parent fairly close by.

I am concerned for Bernie and Chris. Although they have been rattlesnake alert trained… I don’t want them exposed to snakes.

Both dogs will alert on the rattlesnake smell… but once the snake is dead, that smell is no longer present. Without the distinctive smell of a live rattlesnake, a dog will treat it as an object… a snake, a stick or a toy. The dog will not fear it.

The woman remarked, “I heard a man got bit by a small rattlesnake the other day and spent two days in the hospital.”

I heard enough. I quickly walked back to the car. I told the dogs to wait. They obeyed when I opened the door. I didn’t want them to rush out and go and investigate where the snake was.

I released them, and when they jumped out, I quickly commanded them to get inside. They bounded up the porch steps. I followed them and opened the door.

Once inside the house, I felt safe… for the moment. Now I worry about tomorrow. Where are the other snakes?

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