The Snake Dog and the Great Flood

Yesterday was a productive one. The sun came out and I had daylight hours to tackle the great basement flood. The warm sunshine warmed my mood. There was much to be optimistic about, first and most importantly, my cellar was filled with rainwater, not sewage. I had the loan of a couple of different types of sump pumps, I had some cute rain boots from Eddie Bauer that I got for Christmas, and I had a friend coming by to help in a few hours. Things were looking up.20130203-131357.jpgThese boots made my smile, I felt like the Morton Salt girl on a sunny day with a sump pump. It’s amazing to see how much the clover is greening up already. 20130203-131426.jpgAs I watched the water flow I thought about the view back to the house. I ran inside to get my fisheye lens. I noticed that I had someone watching me.20130203-131528.jpgKirby doesn’t usually like to be photographed, he typically sees a camera and hides on the other side of the house. But something about the sump pump process intrigued him. Perhaps it was that I had a giant blue snake running across the lawn.20130203-131700.jpgKirby is the boss of the yard, and it’s his job to keep everyone safe from snakes. Since we live in the woods we get a few that invade the lawn in late summer and Kirby dispatches them all. The first summer he lived here he was bitten on the tongue by a copperhead and it was scary. Copperheads are not typically lethal, but a swollen tongue could compromise his airway. You would think that this would have put the fear of snakes into the boy, but no dice.20130203-131732.jpgSince that first encounter, Kirby has taken charge of the snake population on the mountain. Over the years he has been bitten about 10 times. I keep Benadryl and baby aspirin on hand as well as some antibiotics the vet gave me. One time I heard Kirby’s distinctive “snake bark” and headed outside it make sure he was ok. He had copperhead about 4 feet long in his mouth and was running laps around the lawn, he was letting all the other snakes in the woods know who was boss. I worried that he may have been bitten so I managed to lure him over with cheese laced with Benadryl. He snapped it up and went back to the dead reptile and continued his laps. After 10 minutes he fell asleep. I disposed of his trophy and took him into the house.20130203-131854.jpgI discovered that he had not been bitten, that was two summers ago and he has not been bitten since then either. Last year he dispatched at least 10 snakes that I know of. He’s a beast.20130203-131916.jpgHe’s also a slob. I think he’s like the character Pig Pen from Peanuts. He can come home from the groomer looking all white and fluffy, a silky joy to pet. Within minutes he will have rolled in the leaves or pine tar or something slimy and he is as much fun to pet as a tumble weed.20130203-132014.jpgStill, he makes me feel safe, what other 15 pound being can do that. I know he has it handled. He would never let a snake get anywhere near me. The other dogs know he will handle the situation. He is the Snake Killer, he is Kirby.

20130203-135237.jpgYou cannot deny his majesty. He is the king of all he surveys – within the confines of the radio fence. I was glad he was standing by yesterday to keep me safe from that big blue snake.

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38 thoughts on “The Snake Dog and the Great Flood

  1. Pingback: Kirby’s Story | the eff stop

  2. Pingback: The Suet Thief | the eff stop

  3. I read your post to hubby on the way home from Joplin tonight. Kirby rocks! I kept saying…”oh…Kirby is so cute….I love her boots….the other dog looks like “Baby”…” but he was driving and couldn’t look! ;) (but he did love the post!) Love your house, btw!

    • I think Squeegee is probably the one who looks like your Baby – she’s a kook. It could be Velcro though. I love my terriers. My house is not so curved as the fisheye makes it seem ;)

      • Baby looks like a mini dalmation-terrier mix. Sugar looks like your other terrier, I think….bigger spots.

        Your house is so cool! We drove by our old place in Joplin today. It’s about 90 yrs old. It was cold in the winter and hot in the summer….but a neat old rock house on route 66.

  4. The dog sounds like the king of this castle… it always surprises me how some dogs just have the knack and tenacity to take on the snakes… when I lived in Rhodesia my Mom had Schipperkes as her pets.. these dogs had the amazing capacity to attack dangerous snakes and kill them with out ever being bitten.. yet these dogs came from Belgium where they had probably never seen a snake like those of Africa… dog stories like this always give me a good feeling… I love dogs…

    • I love dogs too, Bulldog. Such wonderful friends. Jack Russells were bred to hunt foxes by digging down into their dens – so they will go after anything on the ground. Kirby is a wonderful companion and a great hunter. Like a schipperke they pack a lot of dog into a small package.

  5. Kirby is so cool — he looks very much like one of the dogs I grew up with, Okie, short for Oklahoma (a long story). Also quite the defender.

    I worry about those copperheads. One got a HUGE german shepherd in my neighborhood a couple of years ago. My guess is Kirby has learned to keep himself away from their mouths while doing his own damage!

    • He has gotten quite good at dispatching them. The other plus is that the other pups have not been bitten in a couple years. Truthfully, I’d rather he left them alone, but he is a born hunter. I think he may have built up a bit of a tolerance. He hasn’t require a vet visit for a snake bite in years, he did however, require a vet visit for a thrashing from a pit bull the neighbor refused to contain. He’s a tough one.

      Was Okie from Oklahoma? The terrier is a classic look. I think their picture should be the one you see when you look up “dog” in the dictionary.

  6. Kirby sounds like a real treasure.
    Much like my SIL’s dog Megs (who’s a Patterdale Terrior & bred to keep foxes and bird predators away from the chooks).
    Love the yellow boots – they look very sturdy.
    Hope the rain doesn’t fill up the cellar again – good luck with that.

  7. You’re Kirby sounds a bit like my Sam, only thing is Sam don’t kill snakes. My Sam is a 8 pound bundle of love, but he can attract dirt like a vaccum. I swear he could stand still and get dirty. Looked like a beautiful day though. :-)

    • Kirby is a odd duck, I think he loves to be dirty. But he is a wonderful pal. He’s got an interesting back story, someday I’ll post it. When I was taking photos yesterday I didn’t even notice that Kirb was the star attraction. He’s got stealth like that.

  8. Oh my gosh, Lorrie! I didn’t read your previous post until now – a FLOOD! good grief – what a mess. Did you lose anything? hope not – I hate stuff like this so much- at least we have had sunny days and looking at a nice week to dig up your yard( if there is such a thing!?!) So sorry!
    Kirby is a very impressive hunter – give him a hearty pat from me – K

    • Kathleen, I thought I had lost a dehumidifier – but it fired right up after we got the water out. My cellar is really a 10 by 10 hole underground and water drains though it so I don’t keep much down there. After I sumped it a friend came over and we shop vacced out the mud – it’s cleaner now than it has been in the last decade. But rain is forecasted for tomorrow. I hope they start digging so I can put this behind me.

      Kirby is the best – I’ll put some work gloves on and give him a pat for you :)

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