atrox - fierce, savage - referring to the sometimes savage disposition of this species
I hadn't intended that my first post would be about snakes - but circumstances changed that. Two weeks ago on a Sunday (June 6th to be exact) we had our first rattlesnake visit. As I was looking out the kitchen window I noticed some squirrels behaving strangely - they were frozen in place and moving their tails from side to side. I took a second look and noticed a snake sliding by. He (the snake) didn't seem to notice them. I took a video of him and didn't think anything more about it. My snake philosophy was "live and let live". He wasn't bothering me - so why should I bother him? I didn't think anything more about it until about an hour later, I was outside walking the dogs on a leash - before I knew it Annie (our Terrier) and I practically walked on top of this "sleeping" snake. I yanked on her leash and she gave a small "yelp". I didn't see him strike her and brought her inside. I checked her over and she seemed find. I went outside to try to identify the snake. I still didn't know if it was a rattlesnake or not. He was still in the same spot, coiled up. About twenty minutes later, we checked on Annie, L. said she was acting strange and holding her tail between her legs. I felt her all over and I could now feel two bite marks on her hip. L. went to get the neighbors for help. I got on the phone looking for an emergency animal hospital. The nearest one was 45 minutes away. I got in the truck and rushed her there. As we drove, I prayed we would make it. Annie laid on the floor of the truck and looked at me with the most sorrowful eyes. Meanwhile, the neighbor killed the snake with a shovel while L. looked on. I arrived at the Vet's and they took her in immediately. I learned later that rattlesnakes choose to "envenom" their victims (or not) - that is what happened to Annie. For whatever reason that snake bit her without injecting his venom.
This morning, two weeks later we've had another snake "visit". We were sitting here enjoying our Sunday morning. I heard the birds "chattering" in an unusual way - not the normal bird noises. I went outside and looked around and noticed the squirrel's were running around and the bird's were chirping frantically - then I saw him - slithering across the drive. It was a rattlesnake - Diamondback. Dad went to get a shovel - he rattled to strike - Dad went and got the shotgun - 20 guage. It was over quickly - You might ask - about my snake philosophy - it is now "Live and Let Die".