Friday, September 14, 2012

Starting My Day with Porcupines & Wolf

 I have the most placid dog on earth.  Wolf is his name.  Ha!  He doesn't bark, he doesn't jump, he just looks at you with his soft, puppy dog eyes and asks you to love him.  He doesn't seek out adventure by chasing cats or birds or any other creature.  As a matter of fact we have turkeys, deer, and even coyotes visit our yard and he just observes their presence.  Wolf is mellow.

Wolf is also predictable.  Every morning, 'hours before you are even dreaming about rising' Wolf comes into our room and sticks his wet snout in my face and wags his tail so hard it bangs against the wall like a drum.  There is NO ignoring this greeting.  This means one of two things.  I need water or I need to go out.  Today was 'I need to go out.'  On those mornings, Wolf goes out and 'refreshes' and then finds a spot to lay down either at the front porch or on a blanket in the garage (first pick).

About 5:45am,  I went out to the car to look for something and he was just laying placidly on his blanket in the garage (a favorite spot).   I smiled because he is just so freaking cute.  So I went over to pet him and tell him hello and was overcome with sharp pain as my hand encountered a snout-full of porcupine quills.  Of course, I'm flipping out, but there's Wolf, same calm Wolf just looking at me with those same 'love me' puppy dog eyes.  Poor Wolfy would have stayed out there lying in a bed of quills had I not gone over to greet him.  He wasn't making a fuss, just dealing with it.

My first reaction was to call the vet, but it was too early.  I couldn't stand watching him lick his nose and hurt his tongue.  He tried to eat and drink and well, obviously that didn't go over very well.  So, I found my tweezers and decided I would try and help this poor dog out of his misery.

Wolf is a 115 lb German Shepard so he is difficult to 'manage' when he is not in the mood to cooperate (you should see me drag him down the hall for a 'bath' - a real comedy show).  Amazingly enough, however, the first quill I could attach to,  I was able to pull out fast.  There was blood and I knew it hurt like heck.   He certainly wasn't open to a second stab at it.  

So I've got him on the floor and I'm sitting on him trying to get at the next quill and he is shaking his head back and forth. 

 I stop.  

He stops.  

He looks at me. 

 I look at him. 

 'Wolf,' I say, 'I can do this.  I can help you, just let me.'  He shakes his head 'No.'  So, I make another stab and he is just not letting that happen.  I get up and regroup.  I saddle him like a horse and go in for the kill.  I am hugging him tight with my legs and he's backing up and now he's is starting to articulate his distress.  I back off but not without getting another quill.  

It is not like he had a hundred quills.  If that were the case I would still be down on the floor wrestling with Wolf.  I followed him to another corner of the house, and again, looked him in the eye and said, 'Just one more, ok?' and he just calmed right down.   I was able to quickly pull out a few more.    Then when he went to lick his snout he realized it was getting better.  I could tell that he knew then that even though it hurt I was helping him.

At that point, Wolf held his nose out and let me finish pulling out all the quills and some of them, like the ones in the actual nose rather than the skin/fur area, were really difficult to pull out and I had to make several attempts.  Last one.  Relief.

Wolfie had breakfast and is now resting peacefully.  :)  Funny way to start the day.