Sunday, April 02, 2006

Porcupine 102

I sure hope the last 2 Sunday's activities won't become a habit ...

Jim, Jonathan and Peter packed up and drove an hour or so to spend the day with friends, and I stayed home with our 2 younger boys who were still a bit under the weather. It was a rather uneventful day -- until later in the afternoon when we discovered the dogs missing. We called and called, and nothing happened. So, the boys and I gave up and went in to make supper.

From across the lake we could hear our "neighbor" shooting, and that didn't make me feel too great with the 2 dogs missing. This neighbor is one of the organizers of the area's gun club, and sets up targets on his own property for use by the members. It was a warm, sunny day; perfect for target practicing. I had been hoping that Samson would never journey in that direction. I knew Selah would never go over there, since she is so afraid of gunshots.

About an hour later, David hollered that Selah was back, and there were porcupine quills on her. Great -- no husband or big boys around for help this time! (My son Peter's blog entry from last week explains Samson's first encounter with a porcupine: www.mrflatpicker.blogspot.com ). I was concerned that Samson (our German Shepherd) did not return home with her, and afraid he was having a terrible time with quills and trying to get them out on his own.

Well, the younger boys and I decided we'd better get busy. Selah is a medium sized dog, so it wasn't too hard for Andrew (9) to hold her while I got the pliers and pulled them out. Thankfully, they were more on the surface, with just 2 on her lip that were really stuck. I was able to pull those quills before she started trying to get away. I went outside with her, and she walked over to the side of the house and picked up a piece of hide with hair and claws -- from a porcupine! Of course I took it away from her and checked it out. Now I knew what the dogs had been up to. You can read the entire story from my son's last blog entry (www.jonathanjbartlett.blogspot.com -- sorry, I have yet to figure out how to link). Those dogs were attempting to eat the porcupine that my son had shot! Just wait until he gets home tonight!

Anyway, about a half hour later Samson returned home. He was a bit more worse for wear. So much for learning the hard way last Sunday: he had quills around his mouth and on one paw.

Once again we hauled him in the house and set to work. I compare it to trying to hold a moose down while pulling its teeth! Samson quite vividly remembered his slow torture last Sunday with removal of quills, so he quickly became too much for Andrew to hold down while I pulled out quills. I traded places with him, trying to hold Samson down to allow Andrew to do the pulling. At one point Samson came very close to biting me, as he didn't want anything to do with the process.

We finally had to let Samson go while still having one quill on his mouth and about 5 left on his paw. I didn't feel too badly about not getting them all with just Andrew and I working on him, because last Sunday it took Jim, Jonathan (15), and Peter (12) to hold him down and do the pulling. I guess the rest will be the guy's project when they return home tonight.

3 comments:

Emily said...

Gee, Lynn, you would think they would learn! Then again, my daughter the Terrorist Baby, as we call her, never learns the hard way either. She is like the elephant in the Just So Stories with the insatiable curiosity! I guess the dogs just can't overcome their natural instincts.

Lynn said...
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Lynn said...

Well, Emily, I should think Samson would learn after 2 experiences, but I guess that remains to be seen! Hopefully a skunk won't be next. I really like the endearing name you have for your daughter!