One of these days we’ll talk about how to avoid being attacked by a dog, but that isn’t something most dog owners think about very much. I have mutts of some size and I’ve learned, the hard way, to start training puppies when they are still puppies. You can, in point of fact, teach an old dog new tricks, but it is a hell of lot easier to start them out right. And it’s less painful. My youngest dog, Lucas, at three years old and at over one hundred pounds, still has a lot of puppy in him. He’s rough and rambunctious because we play hard at my house. But when I tell him to stop he stops cold. When I tell him to sit he sits and if I tell Lucas to stay he will be right there
when I get back.
In my life I have owned dozens of snakes. I’ve never owned an exotic snake before, and never saw much of a need to go out and get something I couldn’t release back into the wild where I found it. Snakes are cool animals and they are interesting, but they are not pets. Snakes recognize three things in other animals, and three things only; those things that are edible, those things that consider snakes edible, and those things that are breeding material. The very best you can hope for in a snake is that it excludes you from all three categories and you become part of the background noise of the universe.
The problem is snakes are not trainable. No, wait, that is a problem, but the biggest problem is they flat do not give a damn about your life. You live, you die, to the snake it isn’t like he’s losing a pal here. A one hundred pound snake is a creature that is exceedingly dangerous. Not because it is likely to kill you but because it is not likely to care if you’re dead. A one hundred pound Burmese python can kill an adult human being and unless you know what you’re doing and you do it fast, you’re going to be dead.
In snake, no one can hear you scream.
A large constrictor may not view you as food but it may just be trying to get you away from it. It may have a bad day. It may be asleep and you startled it. The point here is there is no reason to keep a python. Sure, there are smaller species that cannot kill you but why? Why devote time to an animal who won’t ever love you when you can rescue a stray and you will be loved for it? Pythons belong in the wild as do all snakes. Dogs belong with someone, and maybe someone like you. The current infestation of Burmese pythons in Florida is a very wicked reminder these animals owe us nothing. I love snakes, really I do. But snakes are not pets, and pythons can be
Mike writes regularly at his site: The Hickory Head Hermit
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