capturing remote DB connect errors

I have an app that contains active records that is on a remoteDB. If the remote DB is down - my local app cannot continue, with the following error.

Mysql::Error (Can't connect to MySQL server on 'xxxxxxxx' (110)): / usr/lib64/ruby/gems/1.8/gems/activerecord-1.15.3/lib/active_record/ connecti on_adapters/mysql_adapter.rb:389:in `real_connect' /usr/lib64/ruby/ gems/1.8/gems/activerecord-1.15.3/lib/active_record/ connection_adapters/mysql_adapter.rb:389:in `connect' /usr/lib64/ ruby/gems/1.8/gems/activerecord-1.15.3/lib/active_record/ connection_adapters/mysql_adapter.rb:232:in `reconnect!'    /usr/lib64/ruby/gems/1.8/gems/activerecord-1.15.3/lib/active_record/ connecti on_adapters/abstract_adapter.rb:93:in `verify!' /usr/lib64/ruby/ gems/1.8/gems/activerecord-1.15.3/lib/active_record/connecti on_adapters/abstract/connection_specification.rb:109:in `verify_active_connectio ns!'

Is there anyway I can handle this error in my app - so that I know the remote DB is down? (I use begin...rescue around the remote active record and it does not work)