We recently had another great adventure at Marland Mansion. I know that Casper wants to tell you all about it, but first I have a story to tell. It is really a funny story, and an embarrassing one, but the most important thing is how pawesome Casper was through the whole thing. (Of course.)
Part of our tour led us onto the grounds of the mansion. There was a small lake and a lot of lawn. As we walked down a sidewalk on our way to view one of the outbuildings another member of our group says to me, “Look what you stepped on!”
Well, there was a lake nearby so my thoughts were that it was goose poo or maybe a tiny frog. I picked up my left foot. Nothing.
“No, there,” she says as I begin to pick up my right foot, “A snake!”
People who know me know that I am afraid of snakes. Not just kind of afraid, but panic-attack-freak-out afraid!
Before I even saw the snake a scream rolled out of me. I say rolled out because this scream came from so deep within I had no control. It was not from my mouth, my throat, my gut. No, it was from my very soul! I screamed and began to shake and noticed that the snake under my shoe was about 5 inches long and very apparently already dead.
Do you think that mattered? Nope. Big Nope.
At this point I am flapping my arms, screaming, hopping and generally acting like a raving lunatic. Meanwhile, I am watching this all happen from a distance like some kind of out of body experience. It was like the rational me was standing there watching this maniac completely humiliate herself and she was saying, “Woah! Slow your roll! It was a tiny dead snake. It’s over now. CALM DOWN ALREADY!”
Crazy me heard all this and wanted to do what I was told, but still was screaming. I could hear the poor woman who told me about the snake laughing and apologizing and I managed to tell her it was ok, I think. My girls are laughing hysterically at their crazy mom and grabbing me and telling me its ok. Then I realize that Casper is probably freaking out too!
The thought of how he might be reacting to my panic made me immediately start to calm down. I got the girls in line and patted Casper, saying it was ok. He was fine, a little worried, but really doing amazing. I am completely shocked he did not pull down Dan trying to help me, but he was as professional as possible.
Then all this clarity was lost when my youngest decided to touch the dead snake and then come touch me. I told her to stop. I tried to tell her I was serious and that this was not ok. I started to panic again. I wanted her OFF OF ME, but I didn’t exactly want to shove the poor kid to the ground. Besides, I had many witnesses. I had to be a good mom!!! She took a while, but finally got it and stopped.
At this point the whole group, about 8 others and the tour guide, are either laughing or staring. That poor guide. I apologized as much as I could muster, still a bit shaken by the whole incident. It was maybe a minute and a half, but seemed like an eternity, and still does.
The whole thing was horrifying and hilarious, but since I am the type of person I am the hilarity won out and I had to share. Oh, and the worst part was later. As we walked back to the mansion a dread came over me. It was really windy out. I could just imagine the snake being blown up by a gust and smacking me in the face! Well, that didn’t happen. No, it was worse. The snake was gone. I realize that it could have been blown away or a bird took him away, but in my head it had been alive all along and now wanted revenge. *cringe*
Woof! Casper here, and I wanted to tell you what I thought about the whole thing.
It was doggone funny!
Mama just barked as loud as I have ever heard her. My first move was to put myself in front of dad as a leaning post and to block him off from the group. Then, I stopped to look around and make sure I wasn’t in trouble for chasing a cat or somethin’. Once I did that, I checked in with dad to see if I needed to save her from drowning in her invisible simmin’ hole. I was ready to help but we figured out rather quickly that she wasn’t drowning on dry land or about to have a heart attack, although the latter might have been a judgment call. Dad was laughing after he decided she was in no real danger, so we stood back and enjoyed our interpretive dance break of the day. (I was wondering why Alyssa didn’t join in; she usually does.)
As we began to walk-on and dad said it was Okay so I asked dad why Mom didn’t like such a little snake? He explained her fear and that it is the same as if he stood me in front of a grocery store meet freezer when I was first released for service. I told him I understood. Of course, I suggested that we get her more snakes and bring them to her a couple times a week. Then, after a few weeks she will be less scared and she won’t forget how to human when she sees one. Dad laughed, and said No, buddy, that works for our training together, but in this situation, we don’t need to find her a fix. I’m sure she will at least like the cookies she’ll get out of the deal but I guess that’s more treats for me!
Tagged: dane, disability, dog, fear, great dane, marland mansion, mobility dogs, Oklahoma, ponca city, service animals, service dane, service dog, snake
I never liked snakes, either, so I can relate. We moved into our first home, 35 years ago; it was a lovely townhouse and every week, we’d check on the progress. We chose our carpet colors, etc. We were newlyweds with our first home, how lovely. I was downstairs watching tv and sitting on a beanbag chair. All of a sudden, there was a snake slithering towards me! I jumped off the chair so fast, ran upstairs and went outside to wait for my husband to come home from work. When he saw me, he asked what I was doing outside and I told him about the snake. He went in and came out again; he went to pick it up but it hissed at him and freaked him out. We had to ask a neighbor if he wouldn’t mind getting it out for us. By this time, all the kids in the neighborhood heard what was going on and they were all in my house. It was like the Pied Piper; they were all laughing at us. I called the management board and they said it was probably stuck inside the wall since construction and finally found its way out! YIKES!!! Not only that, after we had central air installed, through the front closet to the garage, we now had mice invading our home. That was the final straw; I hate mice!!! After five years, it was time to move! Too bad, it was a lovely townhouse before the invasion started.
Good boy, Casper! You were a trooper throughout all of the excitement. I must say, they were having a little “zoo” at the mall one day and there was a huge python. I was brave enough to go and touch it, but would definitely not have my photo taken with it wrapped around my neck!! NO WAY!!..Hopefully, no more snakes darken your path.
Than you, had my first laught of he day!
I totally understand the panic she felt. But for me it’s spiders. Me and spiders cannot co-exist in the same room or area. I’ve been know to scream ‘KILL IT!” and when someone does, I demand to see the body. Thanks for sharing this with us.
OMGosh, Lauri, you have my sympathy and know that I would have reacted exactly the same way. When we first moved into our house we were redoing our front beds and I was planting and I came across what I now know was a 6″ earthworm. At the time I thought it was a snake and believe me, everyone in the neighborhood knew I thought it was too. It took me six months before I would go back out there. My neighbors still laugh about that and that was 20 years ago.
Laurie…thank you, I needed a good chuckle! Still giggling! I can just imagine how you felt. 😀
Casper, you definitely were pawsome throughout this event. Gotta’ love you and you whole family. Give your mom a big Dane kiss for providing comic relief during your your. I get you were worried about mom.
You guys are great! Thanks for sharing this story. 🙂 🙂 🙂
Oh, Lordy, I totally understand as I am scared spittless of snakes and spiders, always have been. I understand the entertainment value to onlookers, but I do not appreciate anyone making fun of my phobia. And, NO, Casper, bringing mom snakes will not help, trust me. If you ever want another cookie from mom you better forget about snakes. I do applaud you for first taking good care of dad while trying to figure out what all the excitement was about. You are a good partner, my Little Ghost, and I am so proud.
Oh, Lauri! I totally understand!!! I still hold the world record for standing long jump over a harmless garter snake (7 feet vertical and 10 feet horizontal, up two separate sets of stairs). The people who witnessed me become airborne were totally amazed and wondered how I managed to make that jump! Fear is a GREAT motivator!!! (And I had nightmares about that monster in the yard for WEEKS!!)
I totally understand the snake fear since I am the same way. Worms even gross me out. Living here in florida I have to make lots of noise and poke at the garden before I even begin anything. I have told my neighbors when you hear me scream you will know that I cam across. If I keep screaming, you better come help. They laughed. This has been a life long fear and I am to set in my ways to make any changes.
Casper and Dan I am sure were chuckling away and so were the others because I am sure our reactions are pretty funny when you are looking at us but our panic fear mode is totally real and no joking about it. I can laugh later on but at that time NO WAY.
I loved reading both sides of the story. And obviously you have a great sense of humor. God Bless