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Native Californian, biologist, wildlife conservation consultant, retired Smithsonian scientist, father of two daughters, grandfather of 4 small primates. INTJ. Believes nature is infinitely more interesting than shopping malls. Born 100 years too late.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Fred remembers Rattler

Fred perked up and sniffed the air vents as we approached Chimineas.

It was warm, slightly overcast, and breezy as we cruised San Diego Creek Rd toward the ranch gate.

And there it was in the middle of the road, a two-foot rattlesnake.

I had obsessed about the risks to my exuberant hound ever since Craig told me last week that the rattlers were back and popping up everywhere.

Fred had his rattlesnake vaccination a couple months ago, but I was still concerned about his high jinks in the sage where rattlers lie in wait.

This was a chance to test his memory.

I opened the car door, hooked him by the collar and led him the snake, which snapped into a sigmoid coil and rattled.

Before I could shout "NO!" Fred cowered and pulled me back towards the car.

I think he might have remembered his last lesson.

I am happy to report that in the three and a half days of Chimineas adventures that followed Fred encountered no rattlers -- at least none that I know of.

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