It's rattlesnake time in the backcountry, when rattlers start stirring from winter dormancy and looking for food.
The chance that your pet dog or hunting dog stumbles onto one of these critters is real. Veterinarian bills can run into the thousands of dollars when a dog is bitten by a rattlesnake. There's a chance a dog won't die from a bite, but the pain and suffering will be hard on the dog, and vet bills could be a financial hardship for any dog owner.
But there's a way to keep dog's out of harm's way.
Tracy Jenson-Presson at High On Kennels in Mesa Grande, about 12 miles from Santa Ysabel, offers snake-avoidance classes for all dogs.
If you live in an area with a high snake population, please read this article. Snake bites kill people!