Yesterday evening, we all were hanging out together, periodically going out into the backyard to check out the sky and weather because it was quite the sight to see. I have some nice pictures but I'll save those for later to cheer us all up. It was the calm before the storm. The sunset was amazingly vivid because we had our first true monsoon anvil-shaped clouds coming in from the north and east southeast. I think. I'm really bad at things like that. Anyways, we were hoping hard that some rain would make it to the ground and that said ground would be our area.
As the evening went along, we began to see lightning from both sets of clouds. As cool as that was, it was pretty worrisome because we could see that virtually no rain was hitting the ground. Dry lightning causes many fires here and the entire state seems to be on fire already. The sky grew darker as the reddish-orange sun set and the clouds seemed to converge into one mass between the surrounding two mountain ranges. I didn't notice the storms brewing in the southwest.
It was dark and the SO and I were chatting about what was going on with the lightning after darkness had settled when we suddenly heard a sudden noise, the family dog begin to intensely bark, and one loud buzzing noise we couldn't quite place. I ran in to grab a flashlight as the SO started hollering, stomping, and banging on things. We thought an aggressive javelina had charged at the dog through the wire fence as she wandered along the perimeter of the yard. As the unknown sound continued, it slowed down enough for us to realize what the source was: a rattlesnake in the backyard.
We grabbed Lady in and I went in with her and called out to FMIL what was going on. We never saw the snake directly, but after some investigation, the SO determined that the snake was under a large bush in the corner of the house and that the two animals had surprised each other. There had been no warnings on either end. FMIL checked for injuries and didn't see any at first, but within five minutes we noticed her front leg was wet and realized she started licking at a now bleeding bite wound. We found and called a local 24-hour emergency veterinary clinic and rushed to bring her in. I was filling out new patient forms in the car as the SO carried her and FMIL anxiously drove. Lady was doing very well all things considered. She's a typically high-energy crazy spaz but cooperated with us more than I've ever seen her done.
The check-up was a stressful two hours. They did blood work and gave her intravenous fluids. We went over facts, statistics, symptoms, potential situations, and treatment options. At one point while we waited to see her, we went and got a prescription for her filled at a nearby Walgreens that happened to have a 24-hour pharmacy. We finally saw the results and her. All things considered, this was a near best case scenario. She had some venom in her but was reacting well. They gave her the first dose of painkillers we had obtained and we were able to take her home for the night.
We all sat around for the next few hours for as long as we could stay awake spoiling her in the living room. Non-stop petting, keeping her from licking her legs, attempting to keep her calm, trying to walk a dog who's used to roaming the back yard as free as a bird on a leash in the front yard while using flashlights and stomping, and just talking. Our first monsoon storm of the season (and first significant rain in more than 80 days) rolled in and we welcomed the cooler breeze and much desired rain with open doors and windows. The boys sat in the front yard talking while I read by her side in the entryway, I'd surf the web while the brothers sat and laid down with her, and FMIL constantly pet Lady and checked for worsening symptoms for the rest of the night. We stayed up 'til past dawn and started to sleep or take naps in overlapping shifts for the rest of the new day.
This morning, FMIL took her back to the clinic to run follow-up tests. There has been some swelling and a little tenderness but she has not needed the pricey anti-venin. We were fortunate to confirm that it was indeed a dry bite. Snakes and nature are clever creatures and we were grateful for the distinction. Over the next few days, Lady will continue to spend the hot summer days indoors, but we're also keeping her in at night until we know how badly her leg swells. The tissue around the site may still undergo necrosis, but with how it looks and how the blood work has turned out, it probably won't. We were all very lucky. Lady probably has saved any of us from getting bitten because we often wander around the yard throughout the day. It's not the first rattler sighting in the yard, but it's been the first rattlesnake bite in the family. These boys have been bitten by other things and some snakes but not like this.
Lady is doing much better now and is basking in all of this attention. Her appetite is a little off, but the medications is really working and she does not seem to favor her leg. Actually, she seems to have a bigger issue with the fact that her other front leg was shaved for the IV, lol. We're happy to have her around and witness the rain. It has been a long and intense day (or two).
So before I turn in for a semi-normal night's sleep, here are some pictures of more pleasant things from the past two days:
The baby dove seems to have flown the coop already and they left behind this empty egg.
This hummingbird hangs out in the mesquite tree across from the palo verde tree with the feeder in it. It likes to dive bomb any other hummingbird that tries to grab a drink.
Our monsoon forming reverse sunset.
Our kitty watching his dad and the monsoon outside. He has been cautiously concern about Lady too.
The sunrise we saw this morning after our long night of staying up to stand guard.
The colors were absolutely stunning and we all know that pictures often don't quite do them justice, even one's camera has a sunset setting. I love breathing with the humidity but I don't enjoy feeling the heat because of it. I think we were all suddenly reminded about how very powerful nature, life, and family can be today. For this day and age, I would say that we were already pretty aware and respectful but you just never know... seeing it and living it every now and then really drives the point home.
Thank you for all the well wishes so far. I'll be sure to pass them along to the household and that hot mess of a puppy. She'll just love the attention. I'll see you soon. <3