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Lookie what mama found in the living room


...and thank our lucky stars that I found it before Vin or Shelby did.

He's not very big. Maybe 8 inches long. And he was slithering along in the middle of a sea of pale carpet. I grabbed a glass jar from the kitchen, and scooped him up before boy or pooch could get to him.

Another fine nature lesson for the boy. Shelby (not shown) is equally fascinated, but I wasn't going to let her stick her head in there.


Mr. Snake was our honored, if not slightly nervous, dinner guest. We had nothing for him to eat, but he sat on the counter while Vin munched on pasta. After dinner we identified him as a Sharp Tailed Snake, the short tail variety. Not poisonous, and likes to eat slugs. My guess is that I disturbed his habitat when I went out weeding this morning. Steven then set him free near a rock in our backyard to go about his business.

This is the same week in which we discovered that rats had chewed holes in the wiper fluid reservior of my car, as well as the carcass of an alarmingly large spider in the garage. I swear, we do live in civilization and not in a rainforest, however I will admit that we are seriously losing our battle with weeds, and they threaten to overtake the house. (I'm considering negotiation.)

In Shelby news, I present the lousiest photo I've ever posted to this blog. Here's a picture of me trying to get Shelby to show off her new white teeth.


Shelby got her teeth cleaned on Friday. We were nervous about the anesticizing her, but it was truly time to deal with it. We looked into cleanings that do not require the dog to be asleep, however it seemed that those treatments didn't get the tartar under the gums, and therefore would not improve breath.

They did a nice job. Her formerly yellow teeth are now nice and white and her breath is much better. She's still recovering. Because the breathing tube was in her for so long, she has a bit of a funny cough and is a bit congested. She also seems to have the "poopy squirts," which I thought was related to the cleaning, however Steven confessed that he was so glad she was back that he fed her a bunch of meat, and Shelby indulged herself just a bit too much. This explains why much of my morning was spent with a bottle of Natures Miracle in hand.

February 20, 2010 | Permalink


Our previous vet had a clear "box" in which he would place the pet - they could see everything that was going on, and then administer the anesthesia through the air ducts - kind of like a gas chamber? At first I was horrified, but when he explained that he could watch our pets and see at exactly what level they started curling up and dozing off, he could turn the ducts off. It was a more relaxed method, esp. for our cat, and we didn't have any issues after. :)

Posted by: laura | Feb 21, 2010 8:35:07 AM

One word: Eeeewwww.

Posted by: Agent99 | Feb 21, 2010 10:45:58 AM

I don't think I could deal with snakes in my house, that's why I refuse to leave suburban New England! My cat has his teeth cleaned last year. I felt bad about knocking him out too, but I'm sure it's much less traumatic.

Posted by: April | Feb 21, 2010 1:18:37 PM

Cool snake! Love Vin's expression as he studies the little guy. So glad you're not one of those mothers who teach fear and try to splatter the poor thing. Had one who came in the laundry room and under the kithen door. As soon as it sensed me he doubled back on himself and slithered back outside through the hole for the dryer vent. I could use a slug eating snake to keep my dog from scarfing them down...yuck.

Posted by: Bo | Feb 21, 2010 2:55:30 PM

Our pug Lucky, who is a year older than Shelby, needs his teeth cleaned badly. Honestly we have just been afraid to do it because of the pug/anesthesia problems. As far as snakes, we have found several through the years in this old farmhouse. What really freaks me out is that we have found them in the attic of my mom's ranch style house. How the heck do they get in the attic?? NO ONE is more afraid of snakes than me!!!!!!

Posted by: carol | Feb 21, 2010 4:23:23 PM

My recently adopted pug, Porter, never lost his puppy teeth, so he has an extra row of them like a shark. We have to get him put under anesthesia this year to get those pulled. Eeek!

Posted by: brandi | Feb 22, 2010 6:49:01 AM

...Never a dull moment, it seems , when you have kids , pets and wild life outside your door!!! Sounds like you handled it all like a champ !!! Good going !!!
( I think all Mums should get their own Olympic Gold medal for this kind of stuff !!!!!)

Posted by: Ann Crago | Feb 22, 2010 7:45:02 AM

First, bravo on handling the snake! Anypug would be safe with you as mama!

Second, love the phrase 'poopy squirts' and that the husband got blamed for them!

Last and most importantly, try Hill's Rx Diet t/d flavor. stuff is da bomb. our pugs' teeth are virtually tartar free.


Posted by: Sasha | Feb 22, 2010 12:28:06 PM

What is Natures Miracle?

Posted by: Bobo | Feb 22, 2010 7:20:50 PM

Hi Winnie,

Did you need to go for any blood test regularly when you were pregnant because of your pug? I am in my 3rd tri and was told recently that if my gynae had known i had a pug, she would send me for regular blood test... wonder if this is true.


Posted by: Arlene | Feb 22, 2010 7:22:21 PM

Is that jar usually used for food? what are you going to do with that jar after this? Really curious!

Posted by: Lind | Feb 22, 2010 7:23:50 PM

Natures Miracle is an enzyme based cleaner that dissolves organic material. So it's perfect for pet poopy messes and urine.

Yes, the jar is used for food, and it went into the dishwasher under the "sani-wash" setting after it's duties as a snake container.

My obgyn didn't call for additional blood tests when I was pregnant. Just the typical ones. I'm not aware of any risks a dog presents to pregnant women. There's just the normal stuff like worms, which only came up after Vin was born. The pediatrician warned us to worm Shelby just in case Vin plays with her poop.


Posted by: Winnie | Feb 22, 2010 10:12:30 PM

Cool, that you found one of them. When I lived with my parents, they had a pool.
They had ducks in the pool (one time).
Our next door neighbor shot a brown snake on his property. Somebody dumped their turtle in the backyard.(not cool).
Now that I live in Nevada, we have coyotes
and wild hares to deal with.

Glad to see Shelby is doing okay after
having her teeth done. I use Bio Kleen
Bac Out with my pug's mishaps. It works well too.

Posted by: Joanne | Feb 23, 2010 9:08:11 PM

Hi Winnie,

Thanks for you reply. I think the source I heard it from was really refering to cats and was mistaken and said dogs. What a relief!!

So do you mean I should be diligient in feeding heartguard after my baby is born? Was your pediatrician refering to heartworms or tapeworms or all worms or what?

Thank you Winnie,
Love your blog.

Posted by: Lind | Feb 23, 2010 9:32:53 PM

Does the natures miracle smell nice? Is it expensive? I am sooo sick of the smell of the liquid I use to get rid of doggie poo and pee.

Posted by: BoBo | Feb 23, 2010 9:35:24 PM

I think Natures Miracle doesn't have a strong scent, and it's costs about the same as the other cleaners at the pet store.

I think my pediatrician was referring to tapeworms, but I didn't ask, so that's just a guess. I don't think humans get heartworm from dogs. I did a quick google search and it seems like it's transmitted by infected mosquitos.

Posted by: Winnie | Feb 24, 2010 10:34:15 PM

Heartworms can't be transmitted to people. Tapes can and so can roundworms so use a good wormer on your dog and cat like Revolution which does heartworm and intestinal parasites and is a topical not something they need to eat. More economical as well. And dentals are the BEST thing you can do for your pet's health. Pre-op bloodwork is optional but should be done so that anesthesia levels can be given at most appropriate level for your pet. and TD bites are great - they knock off tartar with a coating that makes them extra crunchy just give 2 -3 per day after meals - maybe 1-2 for small dogs. Yes I work at a vet clinic! Also Shelby should be OK after anesthesia - the juicy cough is a side effect but usually goes away in 3-5 days.

Posted by: Ivonne | Mar 17, 2010 8:02:46 AM

Hi Winnie, I've been a reader of your blog for years - my pug, Olivia looks a lot like your Shelby & has a similar personality I think! Livvie is 7 and we've enjoyed following your adventures since Shelby was a pup. We live in SoCal also & have shared a lot of the same experiences! I'm writing today because Liv is scheduled for her teeth cleaning a week from today. We are also pretty anxious about it but the time has definitely come. Reading about Shelby's experience was great.. and as usual, what uncanny timing! I'm so glad all turned out ok for you guys. I hope Shelby feels better soon.(I bet my husband will do the same exact thing as Steven!!) Kisses to Shelby, hugs to Vin and thanks for your wonderful blog.

Posted by: Liz | Apr 23, 2010 9:57:50 AM

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