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