a tale of tails, tenacity, and tedium, as told by me, usually barefoot and bellowing

Monday, July 16, 2012

How To Turn A Mutt Into A Shar Pei...

Please note the shape of Ki-Anne's head
She could pass for a Shar Pei today.
Poor Junior/Jack/Gibson got a makeover too.
Notice the white lines on Lil's sides
and a larger snout than usual.
All the dog's got alterations.
How you may ask.
One word, Copperhead!
Hubby was in the field and noticed Ki and Junior jumping forward and jumping back, barking like crazy.  Since they have been thinning the muskrats, Hubby didn't think much about it.  He thought they had cornered a ground hog or some other creature.

Hubby decided to check it out.  It was the King of Copperhead snakes.  Over three feet long and  bigger around than a tennis ball....and he wasn't backing down. 

All the dogs had been bitten but they were not giving up.  It is their job to kill the poison snakes.  They take it seriously but they are new to this. Ki is not two and Junior is not a year old.  Hubby hollered for Lil, Queen of Snake Patrol.

Lil and Squiggs show up...the expert snake team that is training the young ones.   Lil just wades right in and pop, pop, pop like Harrison Ford's whip, the snake was lifeless and the head was gone. The white marks on Lil's side are where she popped the snake so hard it discolored her fur on both sides. 

All the dogs were bitten, Ki twice, every one else got one bite.  Unlike rattlesnakes which can kill a dog, the Copperhead rarely will kill a dog.

This was a beautiful snake and was more than big enough to make a belt but the Snake patrol skinned and dismembered this giant is short order.  Not even enough skin to make a hat band.

This is one of the many reasons in this country you need good all around farm dogs.  We are so very proud.  This is also the reason they always go with me when I walk.  I want a full Snake Patrol with me.

I was at work so no pictures for Pat and the other snake lovers out there but next time, maybe I will be lucky enough to have a camera ready.
All dogs are fine.  They knew what to do.  Soak the bites in cold water and reduce the swelling. Lil kept immersing her head for relief.

This mixed mess of mutts except for Lil. a Border Collie, are developing into quite the herding team and keep the cattle in line.

Just something about having a good working team of dogs  makes the heart feel full.


Snakeman said...

We get deadly snakes in our place but need to get the snake catchers to remove them before the pets get bitten.
My advice is when in doubt, leave them alone.

Lynne said...

Sounds like you have the best team in the South . . . My oh my, I'd be terrified. No worry about poison and stuff .. .?

Sandy said...


Thank God for the snake team!!!!
I could have used them when I came across that copperhead in the garden.
Glad to hear your dogs are
okay :-)

Pam Lofton said...

Snake lovers? What the hell is that? EW! I HATE them. I could never live where you do! I'd have nightmares every night about those dang things chasing me! But YAY! for your most wonderful dogs!

jean@pilgrimscottage said...

You've got a good team, Gail! Who says dogs are good for nothing. They don't know what they're talking about!!

TexWisGirl said...

yup, i did a post last year or so entitled 'copperhead = swollen head' or something like that with little louise. i usually give them benadryl to help with the swelling/allergic reaction and administer aspirin if i think they need it for pain. otherwise, they usually do okay and their poor stretched out skin can recover in time...

Irene said...

I'd give the dogs some sort of treatment. I'm sure they're not very comfortable. Shouldn't you have something handy that you can give them?

Vickie said...

Good job, dogs! You can't do without a good dog (or dogs) in the country!

Pat said...

This snake lover (NOT!!!), really, DOG LOVER, worries about the dogs. But you continually tell me that they are okay when they are bitten by snakes. The swelling will go down....no need for any medication? They are very good dogs!

Far Side of Fifty said...

Good dogs:)

ellen abbott said...

wow, that was one big copperhead! having been bit by a small one I am surprised the dogs just sort of shake it off.

Sue said...

Those dogs do good work. Sorry they had to get bitten, though. Sounds and looks pretty miserable.

They are pretty fearless, aren't they?


Mama Zen said...

I'm so glad that they are okay!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

*shiver* That's still so scary. I'm glad they'll be ok and will survive, unlike dogs that are bit by the rattlers around here.


Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

What a GREAT story, Gail. We have rattlers here. My dog Rayona too a bite for me when I was about 11 years old. The snake was less than two ft. long but just as deadly as a full grown one. Rayona disappeared for several days or more..came home all covered with mud. We lived right near a mountain creek and though Dad tried to find her and I called and called..she didn't come.
What a relief it was to see her.

She stepped in front of me and the snake got her and not me...right on her nose. Her poor mussel was still all swollen.
I am so glad you have those dogs..
I didn't know you had Copperheads where you live.
The fact that they so quickly tore it to pieces shows how carried away they get..how hyped up they get when they confront something like that. Farm dogs are indispensable. Now if you could just get them to do that to those thiefs! :)
We live near the desert...and near water..so I am cautious..but haven't seen one in years. The building probably destroyed their habitats.
Oh...and ALWAYS carry your camera! Don't be like me! LOL

A Quiet Corner said...

Holy moose-poops Gail! In VA, our neighbor's friend was bitten by a young Copperhead and he was in the hospital for 3 days! The tissue on his pinky finger was damaged! So how can it not affect dogs?....:)JP

carolina nana said...

Good Dogs !!! Glad they are all okay. We lost a dog once that was bitten several times in the throat and couldn't breath. BY the time we go her to the vet it was too late.
Such is the life of a farm dog !!

LindaG said...

Great post, Gail. Glad to hear your dogs will be okay. ♥

Rudee said...

I would need a full snake patrol and a posse of men to carry me elevated off the ground like I was Cleopatra. That's how I do snakes. Oh...I would also need some blinders so I could see them. Nothing worse than when I squeal.

I'm a hopeless city girl and prefer the two legged variety of snake to the slithering ones.

Carol Henrichs said...

Oh Gail, what a compelling story. I haven't ever seen a copperhead that big. I think I'd faint. Good dogs! Glad everybody is OK. Glad the snake is history. Hate 'em.

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