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logic. life. learner.

Porcupine Quills

Posted by jbharp on April 7, 2008

During the winter months, I frequently take my dogs out for a late night run at one of my favorite neighborhood parks. It’s close to my house and the loop is only 1.5 miles, which I usually run at least twice. That’s about all Charlie (the husky) can handle these days. Her slowing pace is partly due to her aging and gaining a little weight. But I’m partially to blame for that since I don’t take her with me all on my runs. On the other hand, CJ (the border collie mutt) ping-pong bounces all over the trail but stays close by my side no matter how far I’m running.

Nearly two weeks ago we started a run about 9:30 pm. Even though I’m familiar with nearly every rock, washout, and turn on this trail, a full moon lit up the path. It was a beautiful night; cool enough to need only a long sleeve shirt and shorts.

We weren’t the only ones enjoying a stroll in the lighted wilderness. Nearing the end of the first loop, CJ makes a quick bounce off the trail and an even faster return. Then the “bush” he bounced past waddled off a few dozen feet. Even though I knew Charlie as lagging behind I ran forward and called for her to catch up. A few strides later I notice something in CJ’s nose – three porcupine quills. By the time I was realizing the potential disaster, I turn around to see Charlie coming around the corner and pawing madly at her nose.

Charlie had gone in for the kill. It wasn’t until I got her back to the truck (not finishing the second loop) that I realized there was no possible way for me to remove them all myself. So I got to spend a few hours of the evening in the animal hospital ER. They partially sedated her to remove all the quills. One had gone all the way through her tongue. It was clear she was in pain. CJ wined a bit as I pulled each of the three quills from his nose, the last one with a pair of pliers.

My mom had a similar story with the dogs on the farm this weekend. There was one difference though. The small town vet, who primarily cares for livestock, charged a fee of $40. My bill was nearly six times that!!!

Here are a few pictures I managed to get on my cell phone. It was tough to get Charlie to hold still…understandably.



3 Responses to “Porcupine Quills”

  1. Becky said

    Oh great! Another obstacle to avoid. I’m already afraid of Havana getting in the cactus …

    But I’m glad your pups are ok!

  2. Becky said

    P.S. there’s a picture of you on my blog

  3. Kelsey said

    Ah, poor pups! That happened to my dog Kita when we were growing up…he got it really bad though…he had to have surgery. One of the quills went up from underneath his jaw up through his top jaw literally clamping his mouth shut and making it impossible for him to open his mouth. Poor thing lost a lot of weight!

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