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By Pat Gracey
contributing writer 

Our dog, Brownie: the snake killer

The Spirit of Tehachapi


August 6, 2022

Pat Gracey.

If I had not read Jon Hammond's article about King snakes, I probably would not have thought about our long ago family dog, Brownie. Brownie was older than I was, having come along about two years before I showed up. He was brown and black and someone told us he was probably part Airedale. I would not know an Airedale if I met one on the street so I'll just assume they were right.

Brownie loved us and was a good companion. Brownie did not like snakes. Maybe he did like to find them for he always killed them. It didn't seem to matter the type. He would grab them center-wise and shake them until they were dead. Maybe it took a final crunch or two at the end. I never watched. I just saw the results after the snake killer was finished. He did not have a snake business but once in a while, when an unlucky reptile would pass through our yard, and Brownie was not napping, watch out!

This was probably 1933 when Brownie was 7. We lived on the last street in Mojave. No Edwards Air Force Base, nor even the earlier Muroc Army Air Corps Base, yet. No Marine base in Mojave yet, either. History waiting to happen.

In the meantime, one sunny day, a snake crawled into our front yard, little knowing it might be his "last crawl." Brownie just happened to be nearby and was soon shaking the unknowing snake. In one of the vigorous back and forth movements the snake flew from Brownie's mouth and was tossed skyward and wrapped around an electric wire leading into our house. My brothers came in laughing for Brownie was thoroughly confused as to where his snake had gone. He lay in the yard watching for his prey. For a few days he would walk to the spot where he'd lost his quarry.

Brownie never knew, as it's hard to explain to a dog to look skyward for his snake that flew away.

Poor Brownie. Poor snake.


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