Thursday, April 8, 2010


Arwen is fearless. She truly is a confident, no nonsense kind of dog. Today, however, we found something she's afraid of. We were walking through the big field which is semi-mowed, and only on occasion. Today it was overgrown and wild, full of new spring growth and delicate little wildflowers which were bursting with color. Arwen cannot walk past a flower without smelling it, so this particular walk required a great deal of patience on my part. She, however, was mesmerized.
Suddenly, she hopped away from a particular leafy weed and darted around it anxiously. I thought for sure she was sniffing coyote urine or scat, as I've heard dogs tend to avoid them (although there are coyotes near us and they only make the girls curious) My own curiosity got the best of me and I found myself poking around. And then I see it. Black scales on a body that was about a quarter in diameter. Fairly large for a wild snake in a residential area. Whether it was alive or dead, I couldn't tell you. I couldn't resist one quick poke with my toe, although in retrospect, probably not the brightest of ideas. There was no movement at all but the poor thing was probably trying desperately to look dead so we'd move on. I saw no reason to disturb it further so we did just that.
Where did this instinct come from? We have 2 pet snakes of our own that Arwen has always lived alongside. She's never shown the least bit of fear around them at all. This must be some sort of built-in alarm warning system. Some ancient knowledge that a hidden predator is dangerous. She's a mysterious and primitive little creature, but today I learned to trust her instincts. Had she not become anxious and warned me, would I have stepped on it? It was lying directly in my path. My morning might have gone very differently. As would've the snake's...

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