DayBreaks for 08/16/19: Lessons My Dog Taught Me – About Snakes
From the DayBreaks archive, August 2009:
(Written on August 10, 2009) – Well, what a day it has been. Actually, what a 24 hours it has been. Starting last night at about 9:30 p.m., Casper (our white boxer) discovered a rattlesnake about 6 feet up the hill behind our house. At first I didn’t know what it was when I heard it – it sounded more like an electrical buzzing than the rattlesnakes you hear on TV. Casper was jumping against a retaining wall at the edge of our patio that hold the hill in abeyance, and I eventually saw why: a rattler, about 2 feet long, that started slithering up the hillside toward some brush. I immediately brought him back inside and blocked off the dog door so neither Casper nor Rainie (our other dog) could get outside and get bitten. I then launched a frantic search for the ammunition for either the .22 or the shotgun.
By the time I found the ammunition, the snake had crawled up under some brush, but I could still hear it, even though I couldn’t see it very well (it was dark, my eyes aren’t the best anymore, and the brush concealed most of it except for its tail.) Since it was late, I used the .22 and not the shotgun. I didn’t want to alarm the neighbors. I thought I hit the snake…but perhaps it just jumped a couple of times. Then it disappeared. Laurel (my wife) was concerned about it, but I assured her that the snake wouldn’t come back during the night to bother the dogs. As it turns out, I was wrong.
We all passed a fairly sleepless night and every time the dogs got up to go outside, I listened…but heard nothing. Nothing, that is, until about 5:30 a.m. when Casper went outside and I heard the very distinct sound that I’d heard the night before. I raced out to the patio door, but before I got there, I heard Casper yelp. As soon as it hit the door, I looked out and there was Casper, by then about 10 feet from the rattler that had curled up next to some flower pots on the deck. I got him inside, but the snake was laying on concrete so I couldn’t shoot it with the rifle or shotgun for fear of ricochet. I shut the dog door again to keep Casper and Rainie both inside, and that’s when I saw Casper bleeding from the nose. He’d been bitten. We hurried him to the emergency vet where they began anti-venom and we drove home, leaving him behind.
When we got inside, we were stunned to see that Rainie had also been bitten and her snout was swelling. We took her to the vet in town for treatment. As of this writing, both dogs are still at the vet’s, in stable condition and expected to recover…we’re still praying about that at this moment.
This episode taught me a couple of things:
FIRST: Even a little snake can be horrifying deadly. This wasn’t a large rattler by any means, but it is the little ones that are the most deadly because they are easily frightened and they’ve not learned to control their venomous injections – so they shoot the venom with, dare I say, venom! A small snake can give you a bigger, more deadly dose of venom than a larger one would. I would suppose that when Eve saw Satan, the serpent, in the garden, she wasn’t too alarmed. I doubt that he looked like a hulking, menacing anaconda with fangs dripping with poison. He probably presented himself in a beautiful, innocent, small looking form – she certainly didn’t seem to be alarmed by his appearance. A little bit of Satan’s influence in our lives can destroy or disfigure. It is often the seemingly innocent flirtation with something sinful that explodes into a full-blown affair, a pattern of theft, hatred, prejudice, etc. Once the poison is in, it’s very hard to get it out. And it always leaves a mark and causes great pain and distress.
SECOND: When you see something deadly, you better take deadly action yourself rather than playing around with it in a non-lethal fashion. I was so wrong to be more worried about the possible noise of the shotgun going off and disturbing the neighbors than I was about the potentially deadly snake that was virtually on the doorstep. Satan is out to KILL you…don’t be fooled. Don’t think that just because you might have sent him packing the last time that he’ll stay gone. He’ll be back. He’ll be ruthless and he’ll be deadly…if you don’t cut his head off when you have the chance. Don’t mess around with deadly things like sin in your life. Kill it…NOW…before it might kill something you love!!!!
It looks at this time like our dogs will survive, yet they are paying a price for my reticence to kill the snake when I had a chance. Don’t let your family or soul pay for your reluctance to take definitive action against the things that entice you!
PRAYER: We need to be much more alert and savvy to Satan and his whereabouts in our lives, Lord! Help us to be able to see him and recognize his poison early and to take effective action by the application of Your Spirit. Lord, kill the sin-lust that rages in our heart and keep us pure and holy in Your eyes. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>