Porcupine play day!

Yea, well as the title states….. my pup Zoey thought she could play with a small porcupine…

Ok, in all seriousness…. We were up at 8500 ft. around the 4th of July and the weather was great. It was sunny and hot in the valley around 95 degrees. Up on the mountain it was sunny and clear, but 40 degrees was the high. Great weather for collecting! It also means, the wildlife is out and gathering food. Well… as I was near the end of a successful day of collecting, packing a tree out on my shoulder and in the other arm carrying out my gear, my dog starts barking and pointing (natural instinct).

She is a Viszla, so this is the norm… she points, she alerts, she is my early warning system. She’s my wing-man, and a lot of time its just her and I up in the sticks. It gives me a little piece of mind because the breed is known for staying close, she doesn’t wonder far and always checks in on me. She has detected bear, cougar, skunk, elk, deer, antelope and today… well… porcupine.

OK, back to the story…. so as I am making my way back to the UTV, carrying a ton of stuff in both arms; she spots the porcupine rustling through the trees… I didn’t think much of it, actually kinda chuckled… I told her to chill out, that thing doesn’t want any beef…. but no…. she starts barking and getting a bit aggravated… most things she barks at or shows any type of protective stance against usually runs away… well this guy was like pffftttt… whatever dog…. (straight up Randy Jackson style).. So—- Zoey takes off after the prickly critter and before I could drop my tree and digging gear to get the radio collar from around my neck to stop her…. BOOM, she straight up NINJA dog swats and bites at this needle ball….. well you know what happens next…. OH Snap…. She jumps back with a mouth full of awesomeness and an equally impressive paw double lined on top and bottom of quills… (still not sure how she managed to get quills in the top and bottom making a needle paw sandwich). Amazingly…. She doesn’t yelp or cry… but she does jump back with this huge “WTF dad” look on her face!…. YUP I said… that sucked huh…!? she didn’t have to say anything, but like scooby-do… she said Rrrup…. Fo-Sho dad…..

Well like any good pet owner, I picker her gimpy butt up and set her between my legs. I began to pick out quills from her face, roof of her mouth, tongue, cheeks, jowls so she could close her mouth and keep from spreading them into her nose or eyes. once that was clear, I started on the paws… what a mess… but through it all…. not a peep, no crying, no anger… nothing. Such a trooper. I pulled out about 200 quills. then carried her to the rig and up to the truck for load out. We got to town and had to make a trip to the vet for the rest and an overall checkup. She was put out to take out the remaining quills. She was out the rest of the night 2 am all clear…. by the next morning, she was almost 100% - short of the nice IV haircut on her leg and a minimal limp. Very impressive! Here are some picks.

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Jon White