Thursday, June 21, 2007

Run Free Little Poi Dog

I said goodbye to Dolly when I left Oklahoma, just in case. Turned out to be a good idea-she had another stroke and was put down. The vet, who was a substitute vet, cried too.

A tiny little fawn colored long coat-Dolly was the beauty dog. Mom and I bought Dolly and Dottie (Mom picked them both out) at the same time-they were not litter mates but came from the same kennel.

Dolly could communicate through a variety of methods,the stare, the silent bark, and my personal favorite-the back up to the rocking chair and bump it with her ass. This meant "take me out". She pretty much made that up on her own.

For some reason when I talked to Mom this morning I knew this would be Dolly's last trip to the vet, just like I knew our last sleepover was our last. I had hoped she would make it until I got moved in, but she had to go, and that's OK.

After we cried I was given strict orders not to stop on the way home and buy another dog. Prissy was my gift to Mom last year when Dolly started failing-and that didn't work out so well. So now the 4 Pois are co-owned by my parents. The cat also co-owns my parents with me. I think the snakes are all mine though.

Little spirits like that go on forever I'm sure of it. They cannot be contained in tiny bodies or any body at all. Run Free, little one.

What did Deb do?

Eased Bette into the pillowcase by remaining calm and relying on her urge to climb. I got her to wrap around the hook, then stuck hook and all in the case and worked the hook out as she relaxed and went off to explore the case.

She got a little grumpy when she realized she couldn't get out, but for the most part remained calm about the whole, strange ordeal.

What would Steve Irwin Do?

There is an old saying "when does a 10 foot snake go into a pillowcase?....whenever it wants to" The problem here is that Bette is just longer and stronger than I am. No packing has occured as I struggle, literally and figuratively with getting her highness into a pillowcase, trying not to upset the snake (who doesn't understand the movers are going to arrive any minute) and trying not to get bit (because I don't want to).

These are the facts-if Betty won't be coaxed, I can't force I have to make her WANT to go into the pillowcase. Chasing her around the room until she flees into the pillowcase is not an option-I won't stress her out like that.

I've put the pillowcase around her bucket (which is really a poop shoot from a porta potty-a bottomless bucket. Now I just have to convince her that crawling in is a good idea-she loves to curl up in that bucket but with me in the room she is far more interested in me than curling up for a nap.

I tried to put light in the tank-hah-she just basked under it. So, I turned the light off and am cooling down the house. (Baby snakes are outside on the patio.) Steve-o always had good luck catching reptiles when it was chilly outside.

This is one stubborn girl-now she's curled up outside the bucket. Get in the bucket Bette.

Steve was always patient-so I just shut the door to the bedroom and turned off the light so she can't see me pack. That way I can continue to work while she decides to go get in the bucket. (This insight came after an entire night of trying to coax a python into a bucket/bag.....)

I will be patient. I will not be dismayed because it is raining cats and dogs and my carboard boxes are out in the truck and my largest snake is still unsecured for travel. (She IS still secured in a tank so it could be worse.) I have body odor beyond belief-THAT never shows up in all those fancy schmanzy wildlife shows. And I absolutely will NOT fall into the mea culpa act of why on earth did I get such a big snake-I wanted her and I DO want her and I love her to bits. It's not the end of the world if I can't coax her into a pillowcase by 9 am.

SHE is going into the case so she can travel safely-Steve would never just toss her into a box and hope she stays put. Steve-if you are up there-would you mind giving Bette a little nudge towards the bucket??????

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Moving snakes

2 corn snakes 1 king, 8 baby balls, 3 sub adult balls, 1 superdwarf, 1 jampea dwarf, 2 dwarf tigers 2 big balls and 1 old cantankerous wildcaught ball, 1 7 foot maybe dwarf reticulated....22 snakes but whose counting.

Packaged as-baby balls (in quarantine) and colubrids....(can't get python diseases)

sub adult and adult balls....

reticulated dwarf juveniles and queen Bette Davis gets to go alone.

That way if I have to move them out of the car etc, I only have to move 4 boxes-each snake is in its own pillowcase.

All went without a hitch, except for Molly, the razor girl tiger got loose and led me a merry chase and made me wish that I had bothered to fix the burnt out light bulb in the room. Of course she went around the room and right for the closet, and then straight up. I got her to wrap around the milk crates (I'm clever) got the crate out and then got her to wrap around my arm. She didn't want to let go and I didn't want her to have a worse experience than she'd already had, so I sat down and stuck my arm in the pillowcase and we just chilled until she relaxed a bit and then I gently pushed her off.

Not to be outdone, Tarzan, Molly's brother, charged out of his box and snapped at my leg. Then he stopped, as if he realized he doesn't act like that at all. I picked him up and he went quietly into his pillowcase-except for the part where he got his tail tangled up on the edge which meant I couldn't close the case. We untangled and he went peacefully, just like his usual self.

I'm going to rest a bit before I move Bette-she's the biggest and she can be the calmest but with all the others putting out stress pheremones (and Bernice not eating her rat which has the room quite ripe) I'm going to give us some chill time before we have a go.

The snake wranglers make it look so easy-but they are just dumping wild snakes in bags-I am trying to place mine gently in so as not to stress them out and it's a little bit different vibe.

Lessons learned:

Clear the room of any mice/rats

Move the retics FIRST-I know all the opening and closing of all the tanks made them think it was feeding time. A hyper ball is one thing, a hyper retic is a whole nother critter.

Andy Warhol update: Two adult mice will keep him quietly digesting for two weeks, but he was one hungry little man.

Return of Andy Warhol

So, last night I was tossing and turning and ended up on my stomach with my nose hanging off the bed. The cat was curled up on my shoulder with her nose hanging off the bed too. I opened my eyes and was face to face with a much loved little white face with red eyes-Andy Warhol, the missing snow corn, was popping up to say hello!
I hopped up, turned the light on and lifted the mattress and there he was, waiting to be picked up and cuddled.

So it's colubrids 2-captures 2
Ball pythons 3 captures 3

Now the funny thing was-I was sleeping in the guest room!

Andy feasted on two adult mice today-a whopping meal for a guy his size. I really am glad he made it back in time to load up on the truck. He's a hoot! Now I feel like my family is complete and we can move in peace.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Rodent invasion

So this is it-I've been reduced to watching the squirrels play while I drink my morning brew. They have infested the backyard since the pois are gone-hope the ass wipe behind me enjoys the rodent poo. God knows what's lurking in the ground cover in the backyard (over 1/2 the backyard is ground cover). I don't want to move the gerbil food (they reentered the food chain) so I am going to scatter it in the ground cover. I will try to do it without an evil heart, but it may be hard to pull that off.

It's not biological warfare-it's biological justice. Harass my little dogs-they will leave, but beware what replaces them.....It is dangerous to upset the balance of nature-move in to an area, wipe out all the predators and look what happens.

Yes, time to go feed the squirrels and the mice and the rats.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Missing the kiddos

It's a hollow feeling to wake up to let the dogs out and then realize they aren't here. I need that morning injection of enthusiasm like a drug.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Oh-Greta-What fun

Greta loves the road! She's had two long road trips, walked right into the new vets' office-she's a natural. She may be the camping buddy I've dreamed of.

Cody hates the car-loves arriving. At least he doesn't throw up any more. I keep hoping Greta's enthusiasm will spill over to him. Can you believe it was only January when Greta came to us, a broken, frightened thing? Now she's a world traveler.

She's one of those dogs that's just really happy to be with you whereever that might be. Oh-we're in your parent's backyard-great, isn't this fun? I'll lie under your chair and chew a bone. OH, we're in our own backyard....Isn't this FUN? I'll lie under your chair and chew a bone...OH, we're in our own living room. Great. I'll lie under your recliner and chew a bone.

The truck? Oh yes, please. Don't care where we are going, or how long it takes, just let me in the back and I'll lie on the mat and chew a bone. I LOVE the truck.

A rest stop-what fun! New smells, a nice pee....yes, this is great. And look, there's the TRUCK!

You left me at the vet-but now you're back and you've brought the truck. What fun!
Glad to see you-I've missed you and the truck. Got a new bone?

Where are they now?

Dogs in Oklahoma-2 at kennel, spots at moms. Cats and Snakes and Uncle John in Dallas. Uncle John goes to Oklahoma on Tuesday. Back to Dallas for snakes and cat....oh and furniture-but who cares about that?