The loss of one pet is heartbreaking, but the loss of two dogs at the same time in a snake attack has been traumatic for a Bulli couple.
Four-legged best mates Kevin, Barry and Stephen were the "funniest dogs in the world" and they loved hanging out in their Bulli backyard.
When Teresa Stephens got home at 4pm on Saturday, November 11, the dogs came rushing to greet her. By 5.55pm Kevin and Barry had died.
It happened quietly, Ms Stephens was inside her home and didn't realise a red-bellied black snake - Australia's 10th most venomous - was slithering around her backyard.
She'd prepared their dinner called out "din din", as she did every night, and they usually come barrelling inside through the doggie door, but only Stephen came rushing in.
"I stared to panic because they don't go anywhere," she said.
After 20 minutes of calling and searching she spotted Barry.
"I was walking down the stairs and I yelled out because I saw Barry, he wasn't moving. Then I saw Kevin," she said.
"They were motionless, there was froth in their mouths."
Stephen, a Maltese-shih tzu cross, wasn't harmed by the snake.
Ms Stephens' partner, Janet Williams, was away when it happened and is heartbroken.
"I feel like I have an anvil sitting on my chest and I'd really like that to go away and for my boys to come back," she said through tears.
A vet spotted the puncture marks on Kevin and Barry's faces, but the couple didn't see a snake until five days later. It was slinking around the wood pile in their backyard, just three metres from where Kevin and Barry had been found.
"They're highly venomous, they will make you very sick, but they're much worse for an animal," he said.
Kevin, 7, and Barry, 4, were Maltese-pug cross, and Ms Williams laughed when reminiscing how she'd given all her boys the "names of middle aged men".
"Kevin would come inside covered in twigs or cobwebs, he'd come in and sit with you on the lounge like that. He was an explorer," she said.
"Barry was my clean-up crew, if something hit the ground he'd clean it up.
"They were funny, absolutely funny. While I think that I'm never going to smile again, you know it's not possible because I only have to think about them and I smile. Maybe that's the legacy that they'll have?"
There are steps you can take to reduce the chance of snakes in your backyard, but Mr Peacock said nothing if snake-proof.
Keeping weeds down, lawns shorts and bushes trimmed helps, so does putting mesh along the bottom of boundary fences to keep snakes out.
Keep clutter to a minimum in your backyard as snakes will use this area to take cover after sunbaking. Chickens and bird aviaries attract rodents which will in turn attract snakes.
Snakes are more likely if you live near the bush or a waterway.
"Any water source that attracts lizards or frogs or rats and mice is a bad thing because that's what snakes feed on," Mr Peacock said. "Try not to give the snake a reason to stay.
"It's one of those things, you've got to compromise. You can have the most sterile yard with nothing in it, but it depends on what your neighbours do as well."
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.