Saturday, September 13, 2008

Bruno and the Snake

We had a big drama yesterday.

Dan came back home earlier than usual from work, and that is one big blessing in this whole story.

About 10 minutes after her arrival, Bruno - my remaining dog - was bitten by an adult, 1-meter long brown snake. Bruno unfortunately did a wee-wee on the thing, and got bitten. Not that she let it go. When Dan turned around to see what the commotion was, Bruno was shaking a 1-meter thingy in her teeth, blood sprouting all over her. It is good that she is trained to obey - LEAVE IT means leave it. RUN. UP. STAY. Otherwise we would have had a dead staffie *sigh*

We rushed her to the vet within 10 minutes, but by the time we got there she was losing her back legs and bowel control. God, I was so worried about her. Especially as I run into the vets saying "She is still all right" only to hear Dan screaming from the front yard "STRETCHER! Her legs are gone!"

Her heartbeat was 145 per minute and she was labouring for breath. They gave her one vial of anti-venom, antibiotics, Vitamin C injection, etc. etc. and we drove her (much more perkier, but unable to stand on her back legs) to the veterinary hospital 45 minutes away, where a friend of ours is a vet.
By 6:00 PM she was vomiting, and her blood would not clot. She was given the second vial of anti-venom, and we waited for the next clotting test at 11:00 PM. According to the vet, she had about 85% chance by then.

Today at 9:00 AM they gave her the third vial and she is finally clotting almost normally. As Fiona, the vet said, "she has suddenly metamorphosed into a very cuddly animal; but having said that, I'd rather see the fidgety Bruno back to us again.." She is going to stay at the hospital until Monday..

The pleasure is costing us well over 1500 bucks. I might be found standing on the corner of Queen and Edward, selling Big Issue, or playing the accordion. Just kidding - we have insurance for this kind of stuff.

As if that wasn't a worry enough, this shitty 1 meter snake is still somewhere around the house (I have heard it in the roof of my office before), probably with some injuries as Bruno did manage to get her teeth into it. From what we know, that is something to worry about big time.. Friends are urging snake-catchers, as these wonderful little creatures lay 30-40 eggs and hatch in 4 months. I had two encounters with this snake already - one when it was a babe, and I let it be; and the other late autumn when I moved a green tree frog out of my footpath, and it was doing the Indian Dance about 2 cm from my hand (at night), but thankfully did not strike. It spent the winter in my office, slithering around the ceiling - but I let it be, because I don't believe I have more right to this place than it does. What happened with Bruno is that she peed on it, it struck, she grabbed it in her teeth and shook it badly enough to be splattered with blood. So now I have a potentially dangerous and injured snake somewhere around the house, feeling vulnerable and so not in a mood to behave. We have to be extra careful.

Last week, on the tree outside the car port, we had a dozen miners, the whole babbler brood and our (by now adult) six butcherbirds, plus a crow - making such an emergency racket that it was hard not to notice. They were all sitting up high off the ground, behaving nervously and looking into the shrubs bordering us and the neighbours. I suspected then that they were aware of a snake, but Dan and I couldn't find it. I am glad we did not, Dan shuffling as she usually does in her Christ-like sandaled feet!


I got lots of support from my friends, all begging me to get a snake-catcher (or charmer, or whatever) to get rid of it. But the best email came from my dear friend Rehab in London:

"Hi Sam,I was wondering why I am not hearing from you any more. Now I know. So, you were hearing a snake in the roof of your office where you work. No big deal, eh? I have gone as far as hearing a rat which was enough for me to end my stay and run like a pro. Fear has an amazing effect on a middle-aged, over-weight woman. They should consider it in the Olympics. I hope Bruno will recover well. Let me know what's up with her. Don't do the Big Issue or accordion thing. Bruno gotta have her share in this especially the mess is partially hers. Have her learn some tricks and bring in some cash lol. Snake charming might be an option now that it is the major culprit.

So, we have a case of a poisoned dog and a rabbied snake. I salute you... you came face to face with it twice and did nothing (the snake lol). It only took him a wee-wee over his bald head for him to avenge his honor... I told you it's a he.. and probably of Arab origin lol. "


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