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Colleen L

Page history last edited by clee 12 years, 8 months ago




~*A Dash of Luck*~

Written By: Colleen Lee


     It was 10:30 at night when I went downstairs to check on my four year old golden retriever, Dash, who was outside in the backyard.  I was used to the nightly routine of checking on Dash that I turned the patio light on and unlocked the sliding door with a click out of habit.  I was about to open the glass door and step out into the cool night air when an unfamiliar black silhouette froze me to the spot.  I felt all the blood drain from me when I realized what it was, a rattlesnake.

     Dash, who had been sleeping, lazily walked out from under the wooden table towards me. All the sleep in him seemed to disappear as soon as he noticed the snake. With a curious look on his face, he began to advance towards it, but I screamed at him to stop before he could get within the snake's striking range.

     "Stay Dash! Leave it!” I yelled at Dash before yelling at the top of my lungs for my dad to come and help.

     I heard my dad's hurried footsteps rushing around upstairs.  As I waited for my dad to come to the rescue, all I could do was stand helplessly at the door and repeat for Dash to stay put and leave the snake alone. The seconds that passed felt like hours, and finally my dad appeared next to me carrying his air gun. My mom, who had woken up when she heard my dad rushing out, was right behind him. Moments later, my grandma, who had seen my mom running downstairs, appeared by my side as well.

     I watched my dad break the barrel and load his gun with shaking hands. The only thing in my mind was to get my dog into the house and out of harm’s way. My dad slid open the sliding door, and as soon as he did so, I reached out, grabbed Dash by the collar, and heaved him into the house. My dad pointed the gun out the door and aimed it at the rattlesnake. He shot the body, but nothing happened.

     "Why isn't it working?" my dad asked in frustration at nobody in particular.

     He slammed the door closed and loaded the gun up again before taking another shot. Meanwhile, I was in my grandma's arms shaking like an earthquake. I felt my body becoming limp as tears began flowing down my cheeks. This kind of stuff was all very foreign for our family because we had lived in Los Angeles for the majority of my childhood. Especially to my big-time city-folk parents, it was a great shock.  Who would have known that Arizonans just killed snakes with a shovel rather than dramatically shooting it with a gun like us city-folk did?

     Terrible thoughts of what could have happened to my dog if I hadn't come downstairs earlier began appearing in my mind. Instantly, a pang of guilt hit me hard when I recalled what I had said earlier that evening. I had been complaining about what a pain Dash was and how I wished we could just give him away. At my shameful thoughts, I cried harder than ever. I should have been more careful with my words. It was like instant karma coming to get me. It hadn't been the first time that Dash and I had narrowly escaped an encounter with the same exact snake.

     The first time was when I was changing Dash‘s water. A fence was the only thing that separated the wash from our backyard, and without anybody knowing, a snake was sneaking in at the exact moment that I was throwing the dirty water away. Only when Dash ran off to one corner of the backyard did I notice the snake. The deathly sound of the rattle sent shivers running through me. I nearly had a heart attack when I saw Dash trying to bite it. The snake, feeling endangered, snapped its body forward. Luckily, Dash jumped back just in time and only got the venom smudged on his nose and muzzle. I yelled at my dog to leave the snake alone, and my dad, who had been in the kitchen and heard me desperately screaming, came to the rescue. Thankfully, Dash's attention got diverted to my dad when he had opened the sliding door, and Dash ran to my dad, leaving the snake behind. I was able to leash Dash while my dad grabbed the broom and shooed the snake away. I took Dash over to the front of the house and hosed him down. Later in the afternoon when my mom had returned from work, we had all talked about how close of an encounter that was and the worries of the snake possibly coming back.

     The snake had indeed come back, but this time, it didn't get away. My dad had killed it. I chanced a peek at the snake when I had finally stopped shaking and crying, but instantly regretted it. The snake’s head had exploded when the bullet made contact, and now it was gushing blood everywhere while a weird orange liquid protruded from its side. I felt as if I were going to be sick. I turned my head away from the disgusting sight and saw my mom coming to get my dad. She had taken my dog to the garage and was telling my dad to come and see if Dash was okay.

     All four of us made our way to the garage, leaving the dying snake behind. Although I didn't think that Dash needed any inspection because he was jumping up and down like his normal, hyper self, but my dad examined Dash's muzzle, legs, and head anyway. Even if the snake was dead, we decided that it was best to keep Dash indoors for now, just in case the dead reptile brought along other critters. All four of us carried his kennel into the house, and Dash contently climbed into the safety of his home. Lucky for Dash, he had managed to escape death yet again.

     I couldn’t go to sleep that night until almost half past eleven. Images of the snake kept appearing in front of me whenever I closed my eyes, haunting me. I couldn’t stand the images any longer, so I dragged my mattress into the room my brother and grandma shared and decided to sleep in there that night. I plopped down on top of the mattress and let the music from my iPod distract me from the nightmares and lull me to sleep.

     I honestly believe that this was a miracle. If luck hadn't sided with our family, then Dash probably wouldn't be with us. Since then, I have treated my dog with much more love and respect. He's become my top priority everyday, and I'll always know to never make the mistake of saying things so carelessly again. I am grateful that my dog, although it may sound very strange, has taught me a great lesson in life.


Comments (6)

Sierra Decker said

at 9:52 am on Sep 10, 2010

I really loved the way you used adjectives to describe the setting, how you were feeling, and the things that were happening. It really made the story come alive a lot more for me.

hkarnas said

at 12:46 pm on Sep 21, 2010

Awwww this is such a good story colleen! i loved the way u described how you felt and how you explained every little detail in this story. I can really relate to you on ever since the snake accident that you treat your dog with more respect.

tcotter said

at 3:08 pm on Sep 21, 2010

The title, cover page, and video are really well done.! Your description and how you were feeling were really well written and help me understand what you were feeling. It's a story I can really relate to because my dog was bitten by a rattlesnake and the setting and reaction to what was happening were really realistic. I felt like I was there.

Jodi said

at 3:13 pm on Sep 21, 2010

I loved your video. It built up suspense, and I just had to read your story to figure out what would happen in the end. Your story was also really good. You described your emotions very well, and after reading it all I felt like I had actually been there and seen the snake . I also liked how you described the settings and action, for I could paint a picture in my mind of the events . My favorite part was the line talking about Arizonans killing rattlesnakes with shovels, I thought it was really funny and it added a comic relief.

cbakarich said

at 7:33 pm on Sep 21, 2010

Good job Colleen! Your story told really well the emotions and events of the moment. It was also really sweet it telling the reader how much you love your dog Dash. :)

pmaguire@stgregoryschool.org said

at 9:26 pm on Sep 21, 2010

You're video was really good. You told the emotions in the story really well.

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