Snakes Need Love, Too
Animal Stories from

by Deana Wagner
August 2011

Just another case of "Don't kill the messenger". Snakes need love too. They serve a purpose, just like every other living creature.

My mother, like many others, is deathly afraid of snakes. If it was in the water, it was a water moccasin. If it was on land, it was a copperhead or rattlesnake. Once I pointed out a tiny little snake (no more than 6") peeking out of the fireplace, & she proceeded in chopping it into more pieces than I could count. I said "But Momma, it's just a baby"! I never gave up on the notion that since everybody else in the world hated them, I was going to love them.


Many years later, I finally get my mother to hold, Habib, a hognose snake.

Almost as soon as I got married & moved out, I talked my husband into letting me get a pet snake (two actually). They were so tiny, it was impossible to keep them contained. They kept disappearing. So I went back to the pet shop in search of another pet. This time, while I was looking at the boa constrictors, one of them seemed to chose me. That was all the sign I needed. I was thrilled to have been picked.

See, when I was growing up, I was never anybody's favorite anything. Being the middle child, I was kind of lost in the shuffle. I craved love & attention. I wanted to be special. B.C. made me feel special. I used to take her to school every year for educational purposes. The kids loved her.

Below is a photo of B.C. with my son.


Through the years, she met a lot of people, but only once did she ever try to go to someone besides me. She did take a liking to one little girl once & wanted to go to her. I told her she should feel very lucky as this never happened before.

I used to take B.C. with me everywhere. She loved to ride in my purse. I believe that through exposure, & education, I could get some people to appreciate these animals. They are obviously intelligent enough to have preferences among people. I believe they also have the capacity to feel jealousy.

One day I was getting ready to go to work, when I discovered I had left the cage open when I took B.C. with me the day before. She was in the cage, but her roommate (another boa) was not. I called work to tell them I would be late. Then I called a friend who agreed to keep my pet rabbit till I could find the missing snake. Possible hiding places are endless, when it comes to snakes. We actually had to dismember an entire couch to get one out once. I was about to walk out the door, when I picked up my purse & it felt too heavy. that silly snake had to crawl out of the cage, get down to the floor, go through the hall, into the living room, crawl up a piece of furniture & into my purse, as if to say today is my turn to go.

I still have B.C. today. She is over 22 years old. We have had a lot of fun together, but she is my last snake. My new passion is rescuing prairie dogs, another misunderstood animal, persecuted by man, simply because they have to dig holes to live in, & eat grass. All these poor creatures want is shelter & a place to raise their young in peace, just like people. Doesn't every living being deserve that much? Who are we to decide what creatures are worthy of living & which are not? Just because we don't like something doesn't mean we have to kill it. WWJD [what would Jesus do]?

Prairie dogs are also intelligent animals. We have several for "pets", each one knows it's name & when we are talking to him/her specifically.

These animals are tortured & killed mercilessly every day, for no good reason. More on this coming up on Animal Abuse & Neglect section at

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