10.15.2010

The Great Porcupine Debacle

I wanted to share this story with you all because well, now that I look back on it (from 10 –15 minutes ago) it’s really funny.
Background story: My dogs have been getting out… anywhere from 2-3 times a day. My biggest dog weighs 80lbs and knows exactly how big he’s gotten. He enjoys throwing his weight around and often if you’re bending over to pet him, he enjoys going right through your legs hitting your bum with his head while sitting down at the same time and literally throwing you forward. I’m telling you, he knows what he’s doing!
dog-thoughts

Anyway, he loves to bat things with his front paws and will angle himself to the bottom of our OLD wooden fence and push and push until he breaks the boards… Two boards and he fits through.  Anyway, to make a long story short, all 3 wandered out one night and 2.5 hours of searching  (9-11:30pm) in the dark I found them 20 feet from my house coming out of the cotton field. Upon a morning light investigation, while headed to the vets to get the big dog er, “tutored,”  I found my male basset (actually the fastest of the 3, if you can believe that) had 3 or 4 very small (about 2 inches) porcupine quills in his chest. I pulled them out VERY easily and set them on the console of the truck for further investigation when not operating a motor vehicle. Once they were examined I threw them out. Or so I thought. Tonight the boogers were attempting to break out again after dark. I ran to my truck to grab my flashlight so I could see the hole and determine if I would fix it tonight. As I was scrambling around in my truck I managed to find one of those “thrown out” porcupine quills with the tip of my finger.
porcupine
Don’t laugh! It looks tiny but it was ferocious! For 2 hours I wrestled with it, I cried, I begged the hubby to come home and pull it out for me, I cried some more. I yanked, and soaked it and pulled and dug at it but the sucker would NOT budge. The hubby read online to cut it because quills actually have a vacuum on them. I used wire cutters to cut it down to about a 1/4 of an inch. Then he told me I should soak it in vinegar to soften and “shrivel” the quill.  This is a laughable statement. There was NO shriveling to speak of! After realizing I had not other choice… I grabbed a rubber band and (in what is probably not the recommended removal method) wrapped the tip of my finger tight enough to lose circulation and feeling. Then I soaked it for 10 seconds in vinegar and pulled. I’m happy to report that I’m now quill free. Though the vinegar was then able to get in my wound and that stung like the dickens!
That friends, is the closest I’ve ever been to a porcupine. :)

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