While I was out back hanging a load of laundry in the warm Sonoran Desert sun our dogs were out and about inspecting the yard as they often do. Suddenly I heard "The Noise", the one we desert dwellers become accustomed to listening for as it signals danger. I dropped the laundry and ran screaming toward the dogs. One of them had her nose almost touching the 2.5 foot rattler. The other one was moving ever closer. I was screaming at them to get away and finally managed to get both overly curious dogs into the house with no bites. We have spent hundreds of dollars on our dogs sending them to rattlesnake school to teach them to stay away from this danger. We take them to our vet. every spring for a "rattlesnake" shot to help ward off the most serious effects of a bite should the worst happen. Unfortunately the vaccine does no good against the bite of a Mohave. Also unfortunately, the schooling did no good either since both dogs had more curiosity than either fear or sense.
What to do? I couldn't just leave it in the yard. It might leave the fenced in portion of our 5 acres and crawl back into the open desert. However, on the other hand, it might find a cool and shady niche somewhere inside the fence and none of us would have any idea where it was hiding. I had no choice, I had to kill it. Wielding a large square shovel, a heavy brick and more guts than I thought I had I managed to kill the snake. It took a long time to die; just like a chicken with its head cut off the thing wriggled and squirmed for what seemed like forever but probably didn't take more than 5 minutes. I shook far longer than that after it was over.
Judging from the tail I think this fellow might be a Mohave, considered to be the most toxic rattlesnake in the US there is no known anti-toxin for a bite from a Mohave. Unfortunately we happen to have quite a few here in the western part of the Sonoran Desert.
Needless to say, I can hardly wait to get back to northern Michigan. There are timber rattlers (eastern diamondbacks) in far southern Michigan but no poisonous snakes of any kind Up North, at least not yet. Global warming might change all that but for now . . .