Saturday, August 22, 2009
Cooper and Atticus and the Porcupine
The two dogs on the left belong to my neighbor, 1/8 mile down the hill. She is taking care of her father on the other side of town these days, so only comes back once a week or so. I know she's home when her dogs come to visit. (That makes my nearest neighbor 1/2 mile away - cool.)
We met earlier this summer when she heard my dogs barking and drove up the hill to make sure everything was alright. We must have chatted for 1/2 an hour. She's lived here for years, and told me some amazing stories about the wildlife. One story involved a bear that started down at her house and ended up back in the woods, but not before going through the breezeway of MY HOUSE, and trying to get in through the french doors on the south side. She worries about porcupines, since her dogs have had unfortunate encounters with them while on my property. I found that a bit hard to believe.
UNTIL - last weekend. Cooper had been hanging around for days, which is not unusual when he's on the mountain. This time he'd been slinking around a bit more than usual, wouldn't play with Maggie, and had a strange white thing hanging from his nose. I didn't look closely at it until many hours had passed. Yes, it was a porcupine quill. I held him and pulled it out. I guess it hurt more than I expected, because he ran back to his house. But what I saw is that he had a few more sticking out of his nose that either were shorter or buried deeper than the one I had pulled out.
I called my neighbor, who was out of phone range, so we texted back and forth for a bit. It turns out that Atticus encountered the same porcupine and was at the hospital, where they were taking out several hundred quills. Poor guy.