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Moved! Steep Grades and a Special Neighbor.

Well, it’s been a week since I’ve moved into my new home!

Yes, I had that exhale moment.

Still have a lot to do – but for all intents and purposes, we’re moved!!!

I’ve been adjusting to the longer commute, that just happens to be on a road they literally test vehicles on.  No kidding – Ford brings their trucks covered in sensors and hauling tons of weight and drive up and down the grade.  (Here’s an old article about this HERE.)

On the side of the road there are jugs of water that good Samaritans have left for struggling vehicles of the non-test type.

Regular commuters know that the air conditioning needs to be off for the majority of the trip, which, in triple digits can be quite taxing.  And when I say taxing, I mean, sheets of sweat, wet undergarments and complete loss of electrolytes.

Once that hill has been taken though, it’s worth the while.

Let’s get onto introducing you to one of my neighbors.

I say neighbor, but, it’s more like … um … a land mate?  Pet?

I’ll begin with our introduction.

I was sitting on the porch, enjoying a light breeze in the early evening.  Rose bushes were rustling, pine trees pining.  I had a hose running to water the length of the thirsty trees and looked over to check on the progress.

To my surprise, atop the picnic table was  – well … take a look yourself.

I slowly got up and put my dog inside the house.  I then calmly stated, “Um, honey?  There’s a snake on the table.”

Now, I have been aware in my 15 years in the desert that the territory comes with desert creatures.  I’ve had my run ins with an assortment of them.  But, not a snake.

I’m actually quite fond of them.  Had wanted one years ago.

But, considering our location, not all snakes want to be your friend.

My honey came out and we watched from a distance to make sure there was no rattle.  Then, got a little closer to assess the head shape.

He went in as my fascination grew.

Snake (I’ve since named Yogi – because, c’mon, pic-i-nic table!) came closer.  I grew braver.

And, closer still, into the rose bushes.

I followed Yogi around for a while, until it moved off into another lot.

 

I reached out and posted photos to a snake site.  I was informed it is a non-venomous gopher snake, good to have around!  I was also taught that if I needed it to scoot, I could spray it lightly with a hose.

I fretted a little about it interacting with my pup.  I certainly don’t want to have my time outside or hers dictated by our new friend.   Still haven’t quite worked that out yet.  (Any advice is welcome!)

Following night, we were outside when my guy announced, “Your friend is back.”  Sure enough.

 

 

This is such a low-key snake.  I mean, you can literally walk next to it.

But, the issue of the dog.  So, with Butters inside, I decided to try the spritz method.  It worked.  Yogi went back under the fence and curled up and cut its eyes at me.  Had a look of complete inconvenience and indignation.  To add insult to moisture, two sparrows alighted upon the fence and looked down upon Yogi.  I entrusted them to keep watch.

 

SO!  What to do, what to do?!  I’m an animal lover so definitely harming one is out.  Relocating it would be useless as it’s bound to be replaced by another – I mean, we have nothing but desert next to us and own 2.15 acres of it ourselves.

Must find a way to cohabitate.

I guess I’ll have plenty of time to consider just how to do that during my commute.

 

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Musings from the Laundromat: Tracks and Crumples and Butters edition.

Tracks!  Tracks in my yard.  The two doves that spend a lot of time in my neck of the desert seem to have nested nearby because I see them daily now.

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Here’s one to refresh your memory:

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There’s a few other creatures sticking close to my home – one of which I have lovingly named ‘Crumple Bunny’ which has morphed to ‘Crumples’ already.

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It’s little left ear is in constant flop – or – crumpled mode.  I’m not sure if it was born this way, or has been injured.  I’ve started leaving baby carrots around the area for Crumples and his able eared friend.

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A closer shot.  It isn’t caged by the way – I took this from my porch, the rabbit was in my neighbor’s yard behind the fence.

Or – my EX neighbor’s I should say!

YES! They finally left!!!!

They also left, 3 tires, an old car, a broken shed full of gawd only knows what – a mattress, toys – and various other items. *sigh*

I didn’t expect less of them.

Back to animals – and speaking of little left things …

Butters has been stepping gingerly on her left hind foot.

I investigated as much as I could considering:

A) She doesn’t like to be prodded or examined – doubly so when there’s something to actually examine.

B) I am not a vet.

I can’t find anything in her paw or pads – but she had been nibbling furiously on the foot attached to said leg for some time.  I thought she needed a bath – but that didn’t fix the problem.

Then she seemed fine.

I should also mention I switched her food to a more expensive “joint care” one after her last limpy period.

(This happened last year and the vet had suggested it could be arthritis since the anti-inflammatory’s she was prescribed with seemed to give her back her usual gait.)

I then noticed she wasn’t – um – ‘Answering natures call’ on a regular basis.  Also noticed her food bowl was left for meals at a time untouched.

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I (again, with all my veterinary training) just assumed since her foot/leg was bothering her, perhaps she just didn’t feel like eating.

Yesterday I thought I’d buy her old food and give that a shot.

I had barely put a scoop in her bowl and she dove in head first!

Kibble was flying – the bowl was clinking and … I felt like the worst dog mom on the planet.

She freaking HATED the ‘better’ food!

Poor thing has been hungry!  No wonder she hadn’t used the yard, she had nothing to give it!

I swear she gave me dirty looks all day yesterday after that.  At one point she lay on the couch opposite mine with my son – I could feel her looking at me, but when I returned eye contact, she turned her head.

She was probably thinking, “Really?  REALLY mom?  It took you a bag of food to realize I only ate it when I was flipping starving and wondered why I wasn’t going potty??!”

Sufficiently shamed.

She is now giving what little attention I deserve as she works on forgiving me.

As for her leg – I guess it’s back to the vet with us.

THAT will be an adventure.  And when I say ‘adventure’ I mean a drama packed, hyperventilation filled 5 minute drive followed by self asphyxiation by leash in a waiting room.  And that’s just me!  😉

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