There are no venomous snakes native to Manitoba. But there are stinky ones! In fact, Manitoba is home to one of the largest populations of Red-Sided Garter Snakes in the world. This year their numbers seem to be way up. We come across dozens of them every day as we chase sharptails.
Yesterday Henri, who up till now has ignored them, had an interesting encounter with a particularly pissed off garter snake. After pointing a couple of them sunning themselves in an open field, and being scolded for doing so, Henri decided to actually grab one and shake it. He was about a hundred yards away from me, so I could not really see exactly what happened, but I saw him grab something long and noodle-like and then yelp.
Now, garter snakes are not venomous but they do have teeth and they can bite. That is probably what caused the yelp. They can also release an extremely foul smelling musk as a defense. And that is probably what caused Henri to run back to me and toss his cookies. Or at least he tried to. His stomach was empty (I don't feed my dogs before a run) so he basically stood beside me dry-heaving and then spitting up a bit of white foam. He must have got a full blast of snake musk right down the gullet!
Of course, when you see a dog heaving but not really puking anything up, you naturally start to worry about gastric torsion. Even though I knew Henri had nothing in his stomach to bring up, I was still concerned enough to call it a day and drive straight home.
Last night he seemed more or less fine, but his gut really gurgled loudly this morning. A bit of Pepto Bismol took care of that.
Now he is lying at my feet snoring.
And I am praying he doesn't fart.
That would probably give ME the dry heaves!!