Saturday, July 01, 2006

Porcupine 1, Milos 0

Yep, we ended the day with an encounter of the worst kind.... (from Wikipedia) Porcupines are rodents best known for their coat of sharp spines, or quills, that defend them from predators. The porcupines include the fourth largest rodent, after the capybara, mara, and beaver,

Think he looks cute? - try him from a foot away with quills a shaking and Milos barking in complete abandon with no idea of what is to come. I thought he was after a chipmunk when he took off down the lane - but chipmunks don't usually head into the swampy, overgrown, rocky part of the lot with no access -- or it didn't have access until now. It soon became obvious from the frantic yelps and growls that this was no chipmunk.

So, off I went through the brush and brine to find my "boy" in a standoff with a very large male porcupine. I screamed - and I mean screamed No everytime Milos made a lunge/ This histerical screaming seemed to deter him just a bit. I really think he thought I was cheering him on. Here I am trying to grab his collar and miss the tail myself. We are all three working around a small tree in the muck and mud with large rocks and brush (including blackberry briars). Finally, I managed to lunge and get his collar landing on my belly with the porcupine about a foot away from us both. Milos was out of control - and I held on with both hands. Thank goodness, Mr. Porci was thrilled to have this maniac long haired idiot under minimal control and ambled back deeper into the muck and goo. The slow disappearance of this unusual toy, gave Milos his second wind just as I was starting to get up and find a footing. Back on my belly with arms outstretched and uttering threats of slow death for my previously loved pup, I got him stopped and finally he realized that Mom was hanging off his collar and she seemed to be a bit upset.

He did a double take after the disappearing needle-ball, deciding I was not going to release him for anything (I think I could do pretty well in a rodeo after this). He decided to settle a bit and come with me and we thrashed our way back to the path.

No harm to the porcupine except for a thrill of the night -
I lost my work glasses - never to be found again in that mess. Milos had a handfull of quills in his nose and snout. I immediately pulled as many as I could with my fingers as I know they expand more as the warm in the body.

Then flagged down Dave who was working on the tractor for some help. We managed to extract them all with only a minimal of blood. Neither dog is going off leash for awhile -----
A day on the homestead.

1 comment:

Sharon said...

An addendum to the saga.
Be careful of quills if you ever have a similar experience - a missed quill can have devastating results to an animal.