News on Geordie Bear

Nothing Happy about this Easter, at least not for me. My husband recommended I blog about it instead of moping. So here it is.

Today Geordie got bitten by a rattlesnake. I didn’t see it happen, but luckily I was outside with him and I saw him jump out of a bush in a peculiar way, then I heard the rattling. Had I not heard the rattling, I might not have known to act quickly. He went into shock a few minutes later and I was sure he would die in my arms on the way to the animal hospital. He was completely limp by the time we got him in the car, but still breathing. He peed, then I thought I felt his heart stop. Luckily, he started gasping for air. He’s now at the animal clinic getting his second vial of anti venom. The last report was that his kidneys and liver are fine, but we should remain “cautiously optimistic.” The doctor said she thought he had gotten bitten by a mojave based on his neurological conditions and how quickly the venom affected him. He’s going to be at the hospital for a while.

The thing I can’t seem to get out of my mind is the fact that we had to pay an astronomical figure up front to get the anti venom. I can totally understand why it would cost that much, but upfront? Really? What if we didn’t have that kind of money sitting in the bank account? Would they just let Geordie die? I’m sure they’ve had problems with people paying, but still. I just can’t even begin to think about what would have happened if we didn’t have the money.

On the way home, I called a rattlesnake removal service. We have a snake grabber, but I didn’t want to take any chances at this point. I’d had enough drama for the day. So the guy from the removal service comes with his bucket and snake grabber and searches for this snake, but can’t find it. Our backyard is sealed off to keep out most critters, and we thought it was keeping out the snakes too, but apparently not. Either that snake is out in the wild or it’s still back there somewhere. All day I’ve been going out there in fits and bursts to look for it, but I still can’t find it. I have revenge on my mind. I know Geordie was the one at fault and the snake was just defending itself, but I don’t care. I want that horrible creature dead.

Hopefully Geordie will recover. We’ve only had him for a short while, but the house feels empty without him. I’ve fallen totally in love with him. Just this morning my husband called him a dog, and I said, “He’s not a dog, he’s Geordie.”

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38 thoughts on “News on Geordie Bear

  1. This is one of those posts where clicking [Like] somehow feels wrong… I’m glad Geordie’s hanging in there! Hopefully he’ll be back with you soon! When you write that post, that one I’ll [Like]. I can imagine you’re anxious to hear from the doctor. Metaphorical fingers crossed for you!

    (When I took my dog, Sam, with me on a visit to my folks in the California southern desert, my biggest fear was that she’d come across a rattler during one of our walks. Fortunately, not, but I was very nervous about it.)

    ((FWIW, they do taste like chicken, so if you find it, maybe the best revenge is eating the damn thing. If the situation were reversed, it certainly wouldn’t give it a second thought.))

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    • So far it looks like Geordie’s gonna pull through, but I can’t say for sure. Things are looking up, though.

      You know, I’m not terribly anxious to hear from the doctor because I can call at any time! Even at 3am! While I complained about the money upfront policy, I have to say, they’ve done an excellent job. And really the service is better than being admitted to the “people ER” where you typically have no idea what’s going on and contacting a doctor for a medical report is impossible except by writing a little message on a board in the room and hoping someone sees it 12 hours later. I wonder if the animal clinic will take me if I get bitten. Seriously. I’d even sit in a kennel if it meant my husband could call at any time and get a full medical report.

      Yeah, I scan the ground when I take Geordie for walks. Those snakes are really hard to see, though. I almost stepped on one when I was jogging. I saw it at the very last second and jumped back. Luckily, it was close to dead (which is why it was in the street, exposed.) I showed it to my husband later and even though it was on the street rather than on the dirt, and even though I pointed at it, he still couldn’t see it for a long while. They just really blend in. It’s also important to keep in mind they don’t always rattle. The one that bit Geordie didn’t rattle until afterwards. Sometimes they don’t rattle at all. So there is often times no warning at all.

      The other thing I have to worry about is scorpions in the house. And of course, we would have bark scorpions instead of the less toxic kinds. I haven’t seen any this year, but we’ve had a few in the past. The thing is, Geordie will probably find it first. He won’t be terribly interested because they’re small, but I can see him going over to sniff one. That wouldn’t be good. I don’t know what I’ll do about that.

      As for the snake, I was thinking about putting its head on a spike and sticking it up on the wall as a warning to all other rattlesnakes. But first I’ll present its head to Geordie. If not this, then I’ll get other creative ideas from Game of Thrones.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, they have an awful lot of evolution going into making them excellent at hiding, plus they have that whole “lurking under rocks” thing going. And they can be scary fast, to boot.

        Scorpions… a creature so loathsome it begs for immediate death. (They’re actually kinda cool in a horror movie, bug-lover way. But the way they look… just plain nasty.)

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  2. This is quite horrendous Tina, and I really feel for you, as well as for Geordie too. Your love for Geordie is palpable and the idea of him being away from you whilst he receives his treatment must be difficult to (Geordie) bear. The prognosis, such as it is, indicates your distress will be temporary, and it would be lovely to hear some good news on that front here on your blog over the coming week.

    How awful it must be that you don’t know whether the snake is still on your property; you must be desperate to find it, and also to discover how it can have gotten in. Are there further protective measures you can take? I daresay that’s a question you’ve already sought answers to. At least you can rest assured in the knowledge that Geordie will be incredibly cautious with snakes in future.

    What fantastic good fortune that you were immediately on-hand when the little fella was bitten, as time was surely of the essence. And how fortunate too that you heard the rattle and so knew what the situation was. The situation is dreadful Tina, but so easily could have been worse still. And yes, Geordie is to most intents a person, is loved as one, and loves in turn as one. ❤ ➡ ❤

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    • Thanks for your kind words, Hariod! I visited Geordie last night and while he looks like he’s in a great deal of pain, the doctors think he’ll pull through. They said we might even take him home tonight! It was a high dose of poison and he’s a small dog. I imagine that was excruciatingly painful. You hear the horror stories from people who get bitten by rattlers and they are much bigger creatures than my Geordie. When I first heard that rattle, I didn’t think it would be possible for him to survive. I just started bawling, thinking he would surely die.

      There are further protective measures I can take. I could send Geordie to rattlesnake training, although I don’t see that that will work. You’d think this experience will make him more cautious, but I don’t know. He’s a hunter and a killer. Big time—it’s in his genes. I think he probably dreams about it. When he plays with his toys, it’s play hunting (it probably doesn’t help that I chant “kill it!” when he shows off his skills.) When I take him for a walk, I see him looking under every bush for lizards, he scans the ground nonstop for something he can pursue. If he’s not outside, he sits by the door and watches for critters. I don’t think training will work on that. What I can do is put him on a leash every time he goes outside. Or I can destroy the garden that we spent so much time making and give snakes nothing to hide under. Even then, though, they could still show up. I really have no idea what I’m gonna do, but for the short term, I’ll put him on a leash. The desert is a very dangerous place. This whole time I’ve been worried about coyotes because two of our neighbors had their dogs taken that way, and we have coyotes all over the place since we have a wash that winds around our property. (I call the wash the “javelina highway” for the alliteration, but really that means all creatures use it as a highway.) It was nice living in Vermont with Skippy because we’d just open the front door and let him roam around the neighborhood. He’d always come back and bark at the door when he wanted in. Things were a lot easier there.

      But, anyways, things are looking up! And yes, I’m incredibly fortunate to have heard that rattle. There was no doubt at that point about what to do.

      Liked by 1 person

        • Right on his snout. Apparently he’s still bleeding from it. That damn snake got him right through the bone and now he’s got blood clogging his face and has to breathe through his mouth. That’s got to be uncomfortable. I hope he won’t need to have surgery after this. The doctor mentioned something about that, but it could heal on its own.

          I’ll be sure to give him a tickle for you. He could sure use it, the poor little baby bear.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh no! Keep us updated if you can. I feel so bad for Geordie – that just sounds so awful and I know how our dogs can become part of the family so that must be so hard on you. I’m hoping for a string of good luck to come your way – you sure could use some.

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    • I will keep you updated. Thanks for your concern! I really appreciate it.

      Geordie seems to be making a recovery. It looks like at this point he’s going to pull through, and he might even come home with us tonight! Things could change, but so far, things are looking really good. He’s going to be in a lot of pain, but they’ll give him some medication for that and hopefully he’ll feel better being at home. They say he’s looking around at things now, which is a good sign.

      No kidding about the luck lately. I’m usually a pretty lucky person, so I figure this is all just some uneven way of making sure I get my fair share of the bad. Still, I would like to go back to 2014. This year sucks.

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    • Thanks so much. He seems to be making a recovery and they say he might even be able to come home with us tonight. As you can imagine, I’m so relieved. This will be a long recovery, but at least he’s still with us for the time being.

      I’m thinking he might have scared the snake away, but they do sometimes come back. I’m going to keep an eye out. In the meantime, I’ve got to come up with some way to prevent this from happening again. I have no idea what to do besides keep Geordie on a leash in the backyard, but he will hate that. Still, it may be the only way to keep him safe. Even then I’ll have to stay out there and watch him to make sure the coyotes don’t eat him.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Geordie Bear is back! We are having a hell of a time taking care of him. We’ve had to force feed him with a syringe, which is really not fun for anyone involved. Plus, he’s pooping blood. And I mean just blood. It’s pretty awful. But at least he’s with us now! I’m working on a follow up post so I’ll have more details there. Thanks for asking! You know how much it means to me. 🙂

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  4. I am so glad to hear that Geordie is pulling through, poor mite. He’s lucky he has such a loving companion person to care for him and see him through. Clearly you were smitten with him from the start, and this has been a terrible ordeal. As a child, I had a dog, a dachshund, who was bitten by a snake and didn’t make it. The vet didn’t even realize it was a snake at first. He thought it was a BB gun, there were so many bites. The dog had fought the snake tooth and claw. It’s in their blood and they are spirited little ones, aren’t they? Hoping his recovery continues smoothly.
    You do live in a dangerous place, that’s for certain.

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    • I’m so sorry to hear about your dachshund! I love those, they’re so sweet. What kind of snake was it?

      It really is in their blood. I just took Geordie outside (on a leash) and the first thing he does is dash out after a lizard. Even though he’s clearly feeling sick, it doesn’t matter, he’s got to get the lizard. I don’t think rattlesnake training will work on him. I’ll probably do it just because, but I’ll also keep a close eye on him from now on. I doubt there’s any way I can really snake-proof the backyard, so I might have to take him out there on a leash every time, which really stinks. But better than having a repeat of what happened.

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      • We lost the dachshund (her name was Hogan, after Hogan’s Heroes, LOL) when I was about ten, so some of the details are hazy, but we supposed it was either a rattler or what we used to call a cottonmouth (water moccasin). She used to dig under our fence and go out in the woods. That time she came back dragging herself with her front legs. I don’t know how she managed to get home. It moves me to think of it even now.

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        • Oh no! Poor thing! That must have been so hard for her. I can’t believe she made it back home after that. Geordie was immobile in a minute…that poison acts really fast. She must’ve been one determined little girl.

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          • Well, that must mean it was not a rattler. We had so many kinds of snakes in Florida, it’s hard to know. After that I never had a dog again, but if I ever got one, it would be a dachshund 🙂

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          • I don’t know much about rattlers, but it does seem like if she got bitten that many times, she wouldn’t have made it home. Geordie was able to run from the backyard into the house, but by the time he got to his hiding spot, he couldn’t move anymore.

            I advocated for getting a “wiener dog” because they are just so sweet. When I was a little girl, my elderly neighbor had one and sometimes I would spend the night at her house. That dog was so funny…she’d go under the blanket and curl up in a tight ball by your feet. There is no better way to warm your feet! They are great dogs. You think you’ll get one someday?

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          • I am a lifelong cat person (we currently have 5), so I don’t anticipate having a dog, but never say never! Sometimes a special animal comes along that needs a home.

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