Zuzu had her first close encounter of the snake variety today. We generally see bull snakes on our property quite a bit during the spring and summer. This year so far, we have not seen as many as usual. So today was the first time that Zuzu actually got up close and personal with one.

It’s always interesting to see the “firsts” with our puppies/dogs as well as to note the differences in how our current pup reacts compared to our older dogs. Romeo’s first encounter with a bull snake scared him so much that he leaped several feet up and back when the earth moved underneath him. The entire remainder of that particular walk had him seeing snakes at every branch lying on the ground. While he had a huge startle response, he also is pretty bold now when it comes to the bull snakes and has gone so far as to pick one up. (Not really what I want him to do.)

Zuzu, on the other hand, was mildly curious and, while not as frightened at first, it remains to be seen how she will react the next time she sees one. I think her reaction was in part lessened because this particular snake didn’t really move, he stayed fairly still. Had he tried to depart, Zuzu’s reaction might have been quite different.

It took a little coaxing to get her to move on, as she was interested in observing it, although not foolish enough to get too up close and personal. We’ll see how the rest of the summer plays out when we undoubtedly encounter more snakes. I’m just grateful that my dogs get to learn about snakes from bull snakes rather than rattlers. While the bull snakes can be quite large (they average 6 feet long), they are not the deadly creatures that rattlesnakes can be.

Enjoy your walks, but step carefully!

snake variety with our dog

Zuzu likes to explore on our walks

snake variety with our dog

Bull snakes are common on our property