Friday, May 20, 2011

Easter's Lake Snake

Easter Sunday was beautiful in Charlotte. I was home from Wilmington, where I'm currently consulting on a project (four hours away from home) and only enjoying my family (Chris and Dallas) on weekends. Easter was one of such weekends.

Around noon, I decided to take Dallas on a stroll to enjoy the gorgeous sunshine. On our walk, we encountered an enormous millipede. Brightly colored and crawling across the sidewalk, I was enthralled as its body slink-ied across the path in a fluid formation, one leg after another. I gasped and bent down to get a closer look. Dallas stopped to see what I was looking at. But she looked up. So I pointed. And she looked past it. So I held her head in the correct position only several inches from the millipede. And after about five minutes, I gave up. She never did find the darn bug.

Ten minutes later we were home, and I announced to Chris that I was taking Dallas to swim in the lake. He was a bit worried about letting her off leash, but I insisted that he worried too much, and that she'd be fine, only suggesting later that he throw a few treats in his pockets.... "just in case."

We crossed the street and I let her off the leash. Dallas ran smack toward the lake and within ten seconds, found a 2.5 foot long snake sunning itself on some rocks on the shore. Seriously. She couldn't find a millipede on a sidewalk in front of her, but given 52 miles of shoreline, she'll pick out the one rock with a huge snake immediately. We screamed and she ran away before it could strike (or she could), and proceeded to spend the next ten minutes doing her "am I in trouble?" run- racing back and forth between us, fast as she possible, to avoid being caught. I kept myself between her and the snake the whole time, with my back to the snake, to keep her away.

Chris yelled "What should I do?" So I suggested he start "chucking treats at her." He looked at me like I was kidding. I wasn't. So he did.

Of course, Dallas is a lab, so when she finally realized he was throwing food, the entire game stopped and she came right to him, allowing him to easily leash her back up again, and lead her safely away from the snake.

We certainly don't want to deny Dallas a good swim in the lake, as she IS definitely a water dog, but with six venomous snakes native to our neighborhood (she found a dead copperhead two nights ago on a walk and water moccasins are also indigenous), we're not likely to risk taking her off the leash again until she gains some... maturity

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