Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Oh Lucky Day

Many of you may remember reading about Milos and the porcupine?? Posting

Yesterday afternoon, I started out with the dogs on a woods walk - Milos on leash and Sophie lallygagging around behind as usual. My husband, David, decided to come with us at the last minute - this will prove to be a lucky choice. Off we went, eating grass, sniffing the air for hare, piddling here and there and overall generally enjoying the nice Maine summer (the dogs anyway). David and I were having a discussion about what a choke cherry really looks like - I am on this quest to identify as many wildplants as possible this year. See posts. And I strode off toward a shady area where I am certain the real chokecherries grow. All of a sudden the leash springs tight and Milos goes on full alert. I glance down to my right. About 3 feet away is a slumbering pile of needles. Poor guy, he was just trying to take a nap in the shade. As I worked to get Milos under control - he recognized his old nemesis, the previously pokey Sophie dashed by at full speed right past David's grab. Now, I like to think I am calm -- but there is something about those beady eyes and waving spines that just sets me off. Or it was remembering the pliers extracting them out of Milos's nose last year. Anyway, they set me off! I'm screaming at her (or it) or Dave or everything; which is not a whole lot of help. Milos is trying his best to convince me that he should be part of the excitement and Sophie is off to investigate. Images of another needle-nose fly through my mind as Dave crashes through the brush in hot pursuit. The porcupine ambles toward a tree (can they even run?) while Sophie darts in and out debating the merits of a close sniff. Thank goodness she is more cautious than "the boy". Dave finally managed to grab her collar and haul her out of the woods. Unbelievably she was completely free of any injury. Whew!

---There are times when a little hesitation can prove to be an advantage. Last week, she came up on a turtle - which she circled for a good 3 minutes before Milos and I got to them. It was a woods turtle on his way to the brook. Milos wanted to immediately make friends and lick the funny colored shell. I swear, if it had been a snapper (like the ones where I grew up), he would no longer have a tongue. Oh the impulsiveness of youth. --

Anyway, its back on leash for both of them for awhile. We seem to only see porcupines during the hotter days in summer, and I know that both will have noses in the air searching for the scent for the next several walks. Boo.

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