Python found by pooch
Tenacious dog tracks down missing Dartmouth snake
HANOVER — The escaped 3-foot ball python snake that went missing from a Dartmouth College fraternity house last Thursday was discovered by a sleuthing pooch Tuesday night.
Daisy, a 4-year-old Jack Russell/dachshund mix, found the python named Lyude around 8 p.m. under the front porch of the Tabard House, the coed Dartmouth fraternity house at 3 Webster Ave. in Hanover where both pets live.
Daisy’s owner, Vicky Jean Moors, is a Dartmouth student and a house manager at the Tabard House.
Lyude and another ball python in the fraternity were originally the pets of a former fraternity house member, who left his snakes when he graduated in 2012.
Tabard president Connie Gong is now the snakes’ caretaker.
Gong noticed Lyude missing on Thursday and then called police Friday when she couldn’t find him.
The snake, said to be non-threatening, did not go far, though.
Moors was out walking Daisy Tuesday night for a study break and some fresh air, she said.
When they returned to the house, Daisy started sniffing a spot under a wood board that has a hole in it. She has fixated on the spot before and has even chased mice into the hole, so naturally it was one of the first places the fraternity members looked when Lyude went missing, but they didn’t find him there.
But Tuesday night Daisy was adamant, refused to leave the spot and just kept sniffing.
“She’d been suspicious before but this time she wouldn’t leave and was trying to get under the wood panel,” Moors said. “So I lifted it and there it was, the python.”
Gong retrieved the snake, while Moors held back Daisy.
It was really upsetting to Daisy, who was trying desperately to get at the python, Moors said.
“Connie stepped in and as soon as she picked up the snake Daisy just flipped out,” Moors said. “It sounded like she was being hurt, she was so aggravated by the snake. ... She wasn’t scared and she wasn’t very excited to play with it.”
Moors said she was glad to see Daisy could hold her own against the snake. When Lyude first went missing, Moors said she wasn’t worried until it occurred to her the python that eats small rodents might attempt to eat 13-pound Daisy.
“I live in the house and when the snake did get out I didn’t think it was a big deal until I looked at her, because she does kind of look like a rodent,” Moor said. “The whole time I was a little worried. I don’t have a fear of snakes, but there was a reality it could hurt my dog depending on how hungry it was.”
Once Lyude was returned to his container, though, Daisy was no longer aggravated by him, Moors said.