Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Rattlesnakes at Runyon Canyon...

Today I saw my first real live rattlesnake at Runyon Canyon after almost a year of walking Cooper on the off-leash dog park trails.
Caution Rattlesnake signLuckily the squeals of two girls in front of me was enough to scare the snake back up into the undergrowth, but it still gave me that queasy feeling in my stomach at seeing one in the flesh. Up to this point I'd only ever seen shed snake-skins or been told of snake sightings.

I quickly put Cooper back on his leash for fear of him thinking it was a stick or new toy to play with and stomped my way down the rest of the trail to more well travelled pathways as it slithered away.
Runyon Canyon Park Mulholland entrance
I do feel much safer these days knowing that Cooper has been given his rattlesnake vaccine, which will give us more time if the worst ever happens, but as ever he was oblivious to what was happening around him. 

He soon found an abandoned ball to play with (and proceeded to lose it five minutes later), plus other dogs to chase after to amuse him.
cooper with a ball at Runyon Canyon
I know most Americans must be used to the indigenous snakes, but we have very few snakes in the UK and only one poisonous variety, the adder, so signs for rattlesnakes, coyotes and mountain lions in California's parkland always make me slightly apprehensive.

But you can't think about it too much, as you'd never go anywhere and where would we be without Runyon Canyon to tire Cooper out every other day (who is heavily panting away asleep as I'm typing this).

Right, I'm going to have a nice cuppa to calm my nerves...

P.S. A special thanks goes to my other half, Charlie, for cursing me this morning by saying rattlesnake season was nearly over.

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