Ghosts and Ghouls and Porcupine QuillsNov 01, 2022
Halloween was two days ago (if you're reading this on November 2). It's such a fun time of year.
Wilma, Yours Truly, Zimi and LiLi one Halloween
This year, nobody dressed up at our house, but then, we live in the middle of a field and not too many goblins knock at our door. We did, however, have a porcupine visit about two weeks ago. That was pretty ghoulish.
it was especially ghoulish for our dog, Niko, who ended up with a snout, tongue and throat full of quills. Apparently the last two times he had this experience weren't enough for him to stay far, far, away. Oh, no, he had to bust out of the safe space around the house, which means he burrowed UNDER the fence. Then he raced around the barn to get to Mr or Ms Porcupine and tried to chomp it.
Mr or Ms doppelgänger
Granted, the last two times this happened was about six years ago, but really? He's six years older (at least in body) - I guess his brain just hasn't caught up with his physical maturity.
Niko spent a number of hours at the emergency vet, because of course this happened on a Saturday, as do most things, it seems, where our animal friends are concerned. No Monday through Friday 9am to 5pm emergency for them. No, it's Saturday morning, 7 am. Glenn noticed Niko on the other side of the safety barrier.
- How did THAT happen? (The exit point has been fixed - I had the puppies, Amy and Bernadette, help me find the spot. Little sneaks.)
- What is sticking out of his snout? (quills, but not for writing)
- Quickly dressing and telling me he's heading to the emergency vet with our wayward dog, I was left to handle the other dogs, the cats, and the horses.
- This turned out to be a good thing, because not only did Niko have a close encounter with Mr or Ms, so did our mare, LiLi. (No pictures, I'm afraid. I just shook my head and called the horsey emergency vet)
Many dollars later, our furry children were back to near normal. LiLi didn't seem particularly distressed to have 20 quills sticking into her lower lip, some of them all the way through. I think she was probably intelligent enough to back smartly away at the first sign of quillage in the vicinity of her face. Eating and drinking was pretty much off the table until the horsey emergency vet came out, sedated her lightly (I always love seeing LiLi looking like she's had a bit too much from the treat jar; she's hilarious when she's got a buzz), and pulled out the quills, after cutting the ends off to remove the vacuum effect. Clever. Once she was herself again, LiLi was - herself. No muss, no fuss.
Niko, on the other hand, had a slightly tougher time of it. The doggie and kitty emergency place was busy and short-handed, so Niko spent some time snoozing the day away until they could get him into surgery to remove the quills. He had them not only on his snout but on his tongue and down his throat a bit. Did he really think porcupine was a good meal? Oh, wait. He didn't think.
I'm Niko, yup yup yup
Once he surfaced from his sedation and was brought home, he hung out in the back of the truck, one of his favorite spots anywhere, with a giant-sized hangover and, I'm pretty sure, no remorse. He got soft canned food for a couple of days (a big plus, in his mind), and eventually came back to himself.
As for Mr or Ms, s/he left our property and has not been seen since, thankfully. We alerted the neighbors, but methinks with two snouts to deal with our porcupine friend is going to find someplace just a little bit wilder to settle in for the winter. Our barn was a pretty bad choice, all the way around.
We found it interesting that the last time we had a porcupine encounter out here was shortly after we moved in, six years ago. Perhaps this one was telling us "bye-bye." Porcupine energy, by the way, is all about innocence and reclaiming what we had as children. We have been really stressed out getting our house sold, so it was a nice reminder that all is well, and if we look at things from a child's perspective, life is beautiful and ticking along just the way it should.
Sometimes you need a snout full of quills to get the message. Thanks to LiLi and Niko for taking on that part of the lesson for us.
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