Thursday, June 5, 2014

After a Year on Land

Fresh snow on the Sangre de Cristos for Memorial Day weekend 
(written by Christina)
We haven't posted for a year now and I thought I should give a quick update on things.  

We have now been back on dry land in New Mexico since last May. Sometimes we look at the pictures from the 18 or so months we spent on Sea Biscuit and pinch ourselves to see if it really happened.  

Since last year, Kyle has completed second grade. Yay Kyle! His last day was the Tuesday before Memorial Day. So far he is enjoying his summer break. 

As for the adults in the family, I have been back at work at the State Engineer's Office since June 2013 and Ken is now officially retired.  

Over Memorial Day weekend we had a nice visit from Ken's sister, her husband, and Ken's brother.

Ken with his brother and sister 
One of the more notable things we did on the weekend was a Rattlesnake Avoidance Class. No - Kyle and I know to avoid rattlesnakes, it was Sea Biscuit (the dog - who now goes by Biscuit for short) who we were trying to train up*. Kyle and I took Biscuit to the training offered by the Natural Solutions folks out of California (I am assuming they are based out of California). The class was just outside Stanley, NM, not too far from Moriarty. Stanley is a town I can't say I have ever visited. It was a scenic setting for Rattlesnake Avoidance Class. 

We waited our turn until Biscuit was taken out into the field to learn what he could from the two rattle snake avoidance trainers. They had diamond backs and prairie rattlers stored in a cooler or cages under a shade protector and muzzled (their mouths were taped shut with veterinarian approved tape).  

Muzzled Rattler 

Setting the snakes out

The snake handler placed the snakes strategically in the field and the other trainer led Biscuit around to explore. As he approached the snakes and they caught his attention, the trainer would give him a correction with the shock collar Biscuit was wearing. Biscuit figured out he didn't want to have much to do with the snakes pretty quickly.  

Biscuit heading out into the field 

Not happy to have met that rattler. 

Calling Biscuit in. 
The training took about 7 minutes.  Kyle asked the trainer what kind of grade Biscuit would get if he were in school. The trainer paused a moment and said thoughtfully that he thought Biscuit would receive a "B" grade. Kyle and I were pleased with this grade. 

*You might be wondering if rattlesnakes are all that common here. We seem to see about two or three a year. One of our big motivators is the fact that our last dog, Truck (now a very happy member of our neighbor's home - Thank you again, Pui!), was bitten by a rattlesnake a number of years ago. It was an experience we would like to avoid. 

Truck with her head swollen after being bitten by a rattlesnake 


No comments:

Post a Comment