R.I.P., Willie

And now for another indulgent note about a deceased pet. Willie the snake passed away last week. It’s all right: he had a good, long life and was very old. Willie was a male checkered garter snake and I bought him as an adult in early 1996, so that would make him at least 17. Not bad for a garter snake! Oh, the memories: shortly after I got him, he started slithering around his tank upside down. I thought he was toast but it turned out he was just vitamin B deficient, and a quick trip to the vet for a shot (yes, they give injections to sick snakes) fixed him right up.

In the last couple of years Willie lost some weight and developed what I assume were cataracts, but he was active and alert and eating right up to the end. It was just his time. He is survived by Klaus, Priscilla, Rusty, Mittens and Scoodles.

I don’t have any photos handy but here’s an episode of the Web TV series SnakeBytes that’s about checkered garters like Willie. They make good, low-maintenance pets for the right person.

Bon voyage, Willie! You were a good snakey-poo. You were handsomely patterned, good to handle, you never pooped in your water dish and you never bit anyone. What more could anyone ask? Good job! Good life.


A MESSAGE TO OUR READERS The coronavirus pandemic is a moment of reckoning for our community. We’re all hurting. It’s no different at Prairie Dog, where COVID-19 has wiped out advertisements for events, businesses and restaurants as Regina and Saskatchewan hunker down in quarantine. As an ad-supported newspaper already struggling in a destabilized media landscape, this is devastating. We’re hoping you, our loyal readers, can help fill in the gap so Prairie Dog can not only continue to exist but even expand our coverage — both in print and online. Please consider donating, either one-time or, even better, on a monthly basis.

We believe Prairie Dog‘s unique voice is needed, now more than ever. For 27 years, this newspaper has been a critical part of Regina’s social, cultural and democratic infrastructure. Don’t let us fade away. There’s only one Prairie Dog. If it’s destroyed, it’s never coming back.

Author: Stephen Whitworth

Prairie Dog editor Stephen Whitworth was carried to Regina in a swarm of bees. He's been with Prairie Dog since May 1999 and will die at his keyboard before admitting his career a terrible, terrible mistake.

5 thoughts on “R.I.P., Willie”

  1. oops, I should pay better attention. Sorry about Willie! Sorry about the fact I’m a jerk!

  2. You’re not a jerk Collette. Thank you for the kind words. By the way, look for an exciting snake announcement on the blog in the next couple of weeks!

Comments are closed.