Keeping yourself safe outdoors is focus of March 16 Thursday Talk

Jay Smith helps Dale Barringer re-test his dog Shasta. Clearly Shasta remembers her avoidance training!

Jay Smith helps Dale Barringer re-test his dog Shasta. Clearly Shasta remembers her avoidance training!

Rebecca Williams

So you have now moved in and are settling into a new environment. Many of us are new to Arizona and really enjoy the fine weather and the beauty of the mountains. But when it comes to understanding and dealing with the other inhabitants of our environment, particularly rattlesnakes, it can bring up a lot of questions. Are the rattlesnakes here in SaddleBrooke Ranch or has all the construction chased them away? If they are here, where might you find them? If you meet up with one of these more fearsome residents of the area, what should you do? And how do you protect your pets?

Jay Smith, dog trainer and owner of “Dogs at the River” dog training will be at the La Mesa Room at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 16, to discuss both the myths and realities of living with rattlesnakes for both you and your pets. Jay is an expert in working with rattlesnakes and other poisonous animals that live with us here in the desert. He keeps a number of defanged rattlers to assist in training both humans and pets about the look, smell and sound of a rattlesnake.

Jay will provide a wealth of information on what to do if you encounter a rattlesnake or other pests in your home, yard or while hiking. Included in the discussion will be information on rattlesnake habits, their needs and why they are important to our environment. He will also discuss what you need to do to protect yourself and your pets from encounters with rattlesnakes.

After his remarks Jay will also take us directly outside of the La Mesa Room for an “up close and personal” encounter with some of his defanged rattlers so you can familiarize yourself with both the look and the sound of a live rattlesnake. Don’t worry, if you don’t like snakes you can watch through the windows of the La Mesa Room. Jay also welcomes pet owners to take the opportunity to re-check their dogs that have received rattlesnake avoidance training for the correct response to a rattlesnake.

This talk has become an annual event here at SaddleBrooke Ranch and yet people comment that they always learn something new about living in our desert environment. This is an opportunity you won’t want to miss.