I looked out my back door earlier and saw my malamute jumping around in an erratic way. She kept flipping something up in the air and catching it. At first I thought it was a piece of rope. Well, as the thread implies, it wasn't. It was a very ticked off snake. It was striking at her face and possibly made contact a few times. So, I ended up killing it with a shovel. My apologies to all snake-lovers out there. I'm usually very "live and let live" with snakes. Just not when they are biting my dog. Granted, my dog probably started it, but like all mothers, I side with my babies.
Anyway, after killing it, I inspected it and it appeared to be a harmless garter snake. I came inside and double-checked on the internet and am confident that's what it is. There aren't any other snakes in this area that look much like it. Garter snakes aren't poisonous, but they do have a few toxins in their saliva that makes their bites fairly unpleasant (burning) and they release another toxin through their skin that makes their attackers ill.
So I'm in need of two pieces of advice.
1) First of all, my dog. She was salivating heavily and eating grass, so I know she got a mouthful of yucky stuff. However, she only gets taken to the vet when she needs a shot or if its life and death. Why? Well, because she's rather like handling an angry, insane elephant when she's out in public. It takes two or three people to hold onto her (remember, these dogs are used to pull heavy freight), she pukes in the car, and she has to be muzzled because she hates other animals. So whenever she's taken to the vet, it has to be carefully orchestrated. She has to enter through the back door like some sort of doggy potentate, bypassing the lesser dogs in the waiting room. SO, since her life isnt in danger, does anyone know of a homemade solution for the burning, unpleasant taste in her mouth?
2) This was a young snake. Now I'm afraid there might be a whole nest of them somewhere, just waiting to come out. My daughter is NOT happy about the discovery of a snake in the yard and I'm afraid one more sighting will keep her in the house indefinitely. Does anyone know of any (preferably humane) methods of keeping snakes out of the yard? I don't like the idea of fighting snakes all spring.