Reason #518 Why I Hate Snakes

West Highland Terrier Puppy

Sometimes you write a post, and it comes back to bite you in the ass…in my case, literally. Though it wasn’t my ass and it wasn’t me that was bitten.

In September, I wrote a post called Ssssssnakes, and it was all about my passionate hatred of anything that slithers. I mentioned a 4 foot long rattlesnake, a 12 foot long rattlesnake, AND had a picture of a rattlesnake.

I’ve also shown you lots of pictures of our backyard, the flowers and our fruit trees and the palapas. One thing I haven’t shown you is the huge hill that we live against.

A hill full of snakes, rabbits, rodents, coyotes, and our neighbor even saw a bobcat last week! We hear the rattlesnakes up there, and our neighbor killed one in his backyard, but we’ve never gotten one in our backyard.

Until last Thursday. I had just put the girls down for a nap, and Tater was laying in our bedroom watching TV. The windows were open, and I could hear the dogs barking at what I assumed (yes, I know that ‘assuming’ makes an ass out of you and me) was probably people behind the gate on the hill. I yelled for them to stop barking, but they continued. Jason, who was downstairs, finally went out to see what all the ruckus was about.

Then I heard him screaming, but couldn’t make out the words. In 11 years together, I’ve never heard him like that – it was a scared, panicked scream. Jason’s usually the most calm, cool and collected person I know when it comes to stressful situations.

I ran downstairs and outside as fast as I could to find out what was going on.

A rattlesnake in our backyard.

A 4 foot long rattlesnake. This time, it was for real.

The dogs attacking it.

Jason trying to get behind the bushes where it was to whack it with the shovel.

Jason yelling to me that Bitty (as in Itty Bitty, her name) was bit and to get the dogs inside.

Me trying to chase the dogs inside.

Me getting the dogs inside, and seeing Bitty bleeding from in between her eyes on the bridge of her nose.

Jason still trying to get the snake, but couldn’t because it was behind the bushes. Shouting for me to get his gun.

Me getting the gun. Him shooting the snake.

3 times.

And the snake still was striking at him.

Jason finally getting the snake out of the bush far enough to try to whack off its head.

Have you ever heard a rattlesnake up close? It is SO loud. A sound you couldn’t miss hearing and a very scary one.

Listening to the rattlesnake strike the shovel continuously.

And finally, Jason was able to cut off its head.


Me calling the vet.

They had the anti-venom. Bring the dog immediately.

Jason takes Bitty to the vet.

She was bitten not once but 3 times in the face: once between her eyes, once above her eye, and once on her cheek/jaw.

2 vials of anti-venom, which by the way, cost $750 each.

Not sure if she would make it.

Transferred to an animal hospital with a hyperbaric chamber to help speed up the healing process.

Critical care. IVs. Pain medicine stronger than morphine.

Dog with Rattlesnake Bite

Dog with Rattlesnake Bite

And then finally, she comes home.

And she’s okay. Tired, not able to eat much, and very weak, but she’s home.

THANK GOD it was one of the dogs and not one of the kids. The kids are in and out of the house all day running around the backyard. Barefoot, innocent and unafraid.

I’m still too afraid to let them out to play, and I know I will have to soon…they love being in the backyard. I just need to let my fear subside, and quit thinking about the what-ifs.


I’m guest posting today over at Things I Can’t Say sharing a story about how I need to cherish the “Mommy?” question when I hear it for the 100,569th time in an hour instead of snapping “WHAT?” in return.


  1. How scary! I'm glad your baby was okay... and that it wasn't one of the "real" babies. I'd say you have a justified fear of loathing snakes!
  2. Oh wow! How scary! I'm glad you are all OK, and that Bitty is OK too! I live in Texas, so I totally understand a fear of snakes, especially rattlesnakes!
  3. OMG. OMG. OMG. OMG. OK I just had to get that out. I hate snakes SO much. Poor, poor Bitty! I'm so glad she's ok, and that the kids weren't out there.
  4. YIKES! Poor baby! That is so scary. And I had no idea anti-venom was so expensive. This is the third story I've heard in the last year of this happening to dogs, the first being my cousin's. I hope your Bitty is on the mend!
  5. I'm glad that your dog is okay! How scary! The what-ifs would drive me crazy.
  6. So glad she is ok. I would have a very hard time letting the kids outside ever again!!
  7. Oh my Natalie! I'm so used to reading funny posts from you that it took a moment to sink in that this was a REAL rattlesnake...not funny!! Thank God your husband and you both kept your cool (even if you didn't feel like you did) and a)Killed the snake so it's not coming back for a return visit and b) Protected the dogs So glad she is doing doing great now.
  8. I would have been so freaked out by this. Good thing Jason was home. I'm glad to hear Bitty is doing okay.
  9. Oh Natalie...When you first tweeted about this, I freaked. I can't imagine dealing with it. SCARY!
  10. That was harrowing to read. I'm so glad everyone is ok.
  11. Poor Bitty! That is one of my biggest fears too, we live by a desert wash, and there are always snakes in there. When I was taking the recycling bin out last week, a baby Sidewinder slid right past me--I freaked out, but fortunately it was small enough for my husband to kill quickly. Talk to your vet--there is a rattlesnake vaccine that you can get for the dogs--you may not need one for Bitty if the anti-venom stays in their system, but you should get it for the other dog. I have a 15 lb doxie that I got it for, and he just needs a once a yr booster. I also heard that if you have a King Snake in your yard that they eat the rattlers. I am thinking of getting one!
  12. Oh, Bitty! Poor sweet thing, trying to defend her turf. I'm so glad she's okay, and so glad it wasn't the kids or you or Jason. ::shudder::
  13. What a tale. I am so glad it turned out alright and everyone is going to be fine. But most of all, I like that the snake is dead.
  14. oh my god, I hate snakes, my heart was POUNDING reading this...and tears were stinging my eyes for your poor little doggie. I know that if I lived somewhere where having rattlesnakes in my backyard or in the hills behind me I'd never sleep...that is how much I hate them. I don't trust anything without legs. I am so glad Itty is ok, and I hope you are too. Please be careful! I'll be worried about you all summer.
  15. I freaking stopped breathing as I read this - we don't live in an area with rattlers, but I have two dogs that I love like my children, and I can't imagine going through this. So glad Itty-Bitty is going to be ok. Ugh. Wow. Damn.
  16. Oh my gosh. I have tears. I cannot imagine how scared and panicked you all were. Thank goodness she is okay. I don't know if I'd ever let my babies outside to play. That is soooo scary.
  17. My very first memory ever was of me as a little girl sitting on the potty in our house outside of Dallas. A rattle snake stuck its tail out at me. Perhaps this is why I have so many issues. I'm so sorry that happened to Itty Bitty---poor thing! I've asked my parents how anyone could just let their kids go out and play in Texas with such beasts slithering around on the ground. I mean, there are lots of adults walking around, so you know they survive, but it seems risky....
  18. I'm glad Bitty is ok. Thank goodness it wasn't one of the kids! I would be scared to let anyone out of the house, too. And snakes don't usually bother me. I read your post at Shell's. I know I shouldn't, but I've told my kids that I'm changing my name.
  19. Oh my! I saw your tweets about it. She looks horrible! What a terrifying time! I'm glad she is ok. I flippin HATE snakes too!
  20. That poor baby. I would be terrified to go back to the backyard myself. That is way too scary. I'm so glad that your dog is doing better. It just makes me sad.
  21. OH MAH GAH. The poor dog. The threat of snakes would make me piss my pants every single day with fear. Seriously. (loved your post at Shell's) (MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY MOMMMMMMYYY!) (smooch)
  22. how terrifying! so glad bitty is ok...i'm sure your kids will run from snakes, not towards them like the dogs, but i'd be scared too!
  23. So glad Bitty is ok - this is the most horrifying story. So scary to think of the kids playing in the yard. You'll be ok though once the trauma starts to wear off. Read your post over at the other site. I've been listening up lately too - my daughters are almost 7, 3 and 3. The oldest is so interesting - her thoughts and ideas are fascinating and she is really "thinking" now and likes to discuss the "what-ifs". My little ones are finally expressing their likes and dislikes and their thoughts too - fun stuff comes out of their mouths. This is a good reminder though. There was a commercial a few years ago for a car, the father was putting the daughter in the car and she was talking and talking and he finally closes the door, goes around, gets in the driver seat and she is still talking. That is my girls. And it makes me insane sometimes, but I am SO going to miss it when it's gone.
    • mommyofamonster says:
      I know...we will miss it, won't we? But for now, sigh, I guess we all are going through it together - it's nice to be able to share the feelings and know we aren't alone in feeling them!
  24. Oh my gosh! That is so scary! I am glad to hear that your dog is doing ok. I hate snakes too. I just found you over at Shell's blog...I'm your newest follower!
    • mommyofamonster says:
      Hi Natalie! I already like you because how could I not with that awesome name ;) Nice to meet you and I look forward to getting to know you better!
  25. Holy MOther of Freaking HECK! I lifted my feet at my desk and I live in Minnesota.
  26. I don't know if JDaniel would ever get to play outside again. How scar! I am glad the dog is okay!
  27. Ask your vet about getting the rattlesnake vaccine. We live in an area where the bastards get big enough to eat vertically challenged adults, and we invest in the rattlesnake shots for our dog. It's a series of shots over a couple months, but it just might save them. You've probably already done it since you obviously have kids and live in the boonies surrounded by nature like us, but I would get online and show your kids pictures of rattlers and coral snakes so they know what to avoid if they ever encounter them. If there are any kinds of festivals in the area that involve a snake pit, take them so they know what a rattler sounds like. A little knowledge goes a long way in these kinds of situations with kids. My parents did it with us because we lived on 30 acres in the middle of BFE, and I'll be doing it with my daughter soon.
    • mommyofamonster says:
      Hey Sara! Yep - we are now planning on getting the dogs vaccinated - we've been here 11 years and this is the first time this has happened. And the weird part? We don't really live in the boonies! It's just that damn hill we back up to. Me 3-year-old heard the snake (he was in the house thank GOD) and we showed him pictures because he was curious. Still planning on always sending the dogs outside before the kids from now on!
      • That's the good and bad thing about dogs. They will ALWAYS go after the snake. It alerts you to the fact that it's there, but they almost always get hurt. It's even worse if you have a breed that was bred for that activity...
  28. This is why I live in the city. I could not deal. I'm glad your dog is ok. That all sounds horrific!
  29. What a horrific story. I would have been terrified. So glad that Bitty is OK. We have two dogs and they are like our kids. Glad this story had a happy ending and hope Bitty is feeling better. (P.S. I'm your newest follower from Things I Can't Say. Great guest post today!)
    • mommyofamonster says:
      So nice to meet you and thanks for the follow! Looking forward to getting to know you better!
  30. I have such a fear of snakes, yet a morbid curiosity for them, so I had to read this post! OMG! I would have died on the spot. Gun?! You used a gun? And the snake kept slitherig?! WOW! Glad to hear the doggie is doing better!
  31. Wow! That is one lucky dog! So glad Bitty's okay. My parents used to live in OC and had baby rattlers every spring/summer and I kept my baby out of their yard. I definitely understand not wanting yours to go out there.
  32. I too hate/am terrified of snakes. Your poor dog, I'm so glad that Bitty is ok.
  33. DUDE!!! That is so scary! I saw your tweets the afternoon this happened but never found out how your doggie was. Poor baby!!!!!
  34. Oh my gosh!!! So, so scary. I guess there is one drawback to your warm tropical paradise. lol.
  35. You had my heart pounding, there, Natalie. Poor Bitty. My first encounter was hearing the rattle and knowing instinctively what it was but not WHERE. Turns out, I had driven over it and it was half in-half out of my back tire. I pulled out my 45-automatic and emptied the clip trying to hit its head. I'd shoot left; it would veer right -- a dance we did until the final few shots. So, I really understand the pandemonium going on at your house. Something inside goes high-octane until that danged snake is dead. I'm so glad the children weren't harmed and that Bitty made it home. The alternative is too hard to think about. Wow, though, at the cost! Hope you get the vaccine. Now, go have a nice calming drink.
    • mommyofamonster says:
      Yep - we will be getting the vaccine for the dogs....we have to! Can't afford another one of these situations, let me tell ya!
  36. OMG! That is horrid! I was feeling it all with you as I read. For sure it was blessing your kids weren't out there. I hate snakes as well. Thankfully never yet came across a harmful snake but out where we used to live common oh so common. Not sure bout rattlers so much as copper heads. My daddy has killed his fair share of copper heads. So glad Bitty is okay. I know when we lived out in middle of nowhere(ish) I told my kids what snakes looked like and never ever mess with them. Come get an adult. That and scorpions.
    • mommyofamonster says:
      Exactly! We have been showing my son pictures of the snakes and telling him over and over NOT to try to touch them! Thankfully, last time we had a little snake (not a rattlesnake) in the backyard, he freaked and wanted nothing to do with it! That made me feel really good :)
  37. Snakes are my biggest fear. This post reminds me why! I get chills just thinking about it. I'm not sure my kids would ever go outside to play again. Glad your doggie is doing okay!
  38. I came from Shell's blog. I'm so glad your dog is okay. How scary! I detest snakes so much.
    • mommyofamonster says:
      Hi Amber! Thanks for visiting! Yes - we're glad she's back to her normal self now, too!
  39. That is totally freaky! I am so glad she is okay. I wonder if that Snake Away stuff you can buy at Lowe's work on Rattlesnakes?
  40. I can't even believe how scary that was! Even reading it! OMG!!!!
  41. So glad your Bitty is okay, sweet thing. I live in California, too - open space behind us and across the street. We have all the negative wildlife issues that accompany what is beautiful about living here. Ugh. I keep reminding myself the positives outweigh the earthquakes. And the snakes. And the coyotes. Hope your blood pressure levels and you are able to enjoy your backyard again. Just think of all the time you've lived there and HAVEN'T had a problem... I know. Easy to say. Hard to do. Good luck, Natalie.
    • mommyofamonster says:
      Yes, very hard to do! Only us California people understand that all of the positives still outweigh the crazy-insane negatives of living here!
  42. Oh my word - so scary. I would totally have to move. hugs!!!
  43. Oh no! I'm so glad your Dog was ok! Those pics are heartbreaking! I came by from Shell's to tell you I loved the guest post. I have a 6 yr. old son named Ethen! He also has a nasty habit of telling me he loves over and over and over and over...I feel so bad when I turn to him and say "what?!" really aggrivated and then he just says, "I love you." Sigh...Great post! I hope my daughter in laws don't hate me...
    • mommyofamonster says:
      Nice to meet you!! Thanks for coming by, and I hope my daughter-in-law doesn't hate me, either!
  44. Oh man! I remember the tweets about this! I am so glad Bitty is Ok and it wasn't one of your kids!
  45. I'm so glad the dog was ok. I remember seeing your tweet about this - how crazy! And I thought I had a lot to worry about with ducks in my backyard! (I'm not really an animal person. ;) )
  46. Good Lord woman! How did I miss this?? Other than ignoring the google reader, that is, and possibly twitter? HOLY CRAP! Terrifying!! I am so sad about your poor doggy, but SO GLAD it wasn't one of your kids!! I can't even imagine. Living out here it's always a possibility, though. I don't blame you for keeping your kids inside. Is there any kind of rattlesnake deterrent you can use??
  47. OMG, this is so scary!! Thank God it wasn't one of the children. Poor Bitty.
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  1. […] got into the trash and ate some pork bones. Stomach surgery was a fortune. Then 2 years ago, she was bit by a rattlesnake and it cost us another fortune to keep her alive. She is our money-pit-always-into-something dog, […]