..not an unheard of call around our place…there must be a factory nearby or something…or a strange version of ‘the Prestige’ where Hugh Jackman is player by a prickly mammal..no, not wolverine…a porcupine…but I digress.
3 years ago A* was bringing her Mom and Grandfather out to see the place and Jango got quilled by a porcupine when A* was not looking..fairly easy to do when a dog is running through the woods at a rampant pace..and is usually has no qualms about going right at an animal to see what happens..in this case it was a facefull and mouthfull of quills. Took me 4 hours to get them all out..and we still needed to bring him to the vet to remove one from his paw..and we pulled out several quills months later…porcupines are dangerous…or can be. Actually, if you leave porcupines alone they will not have any issues with you and will saunter away or up a tree..Since that incident 3 years ago Jango has had several run-ins with porcupines..and he has never run at them again and gives them a wide berth…I hope that keeps up..but proabably not more than me because as painful an exercise it was for me it was way worse for Jango.
Anyway..over the last couple of years we had seen 3-4 porcupines per year..until this spring when a gaggle of them showed up. We started seeing the porcupines almost daily and that was when we decided to do something. We occasionally dog-sit for friends when they are away on holiday and it would be a horrible event to have one of their dogs quilled..so it was time to put a plan into action..since I love names for plans I named this plan: The Trouble with Porcupines. Porcupines are alot like triffids..except they hurt you and don’t live on space stations…Like Spock I needed logic and pointy ears..ok, round ears. Here was the materials and skills we needed:
- speed – a porcupine can travel at speeds EXCEEDING 2k/h..talk about fast..initially we had discussed training a tortise but that plan is now shot
- strategy – hopefully none of these porcupines learned to play chess
- a stick – just like paper beats rock, stick beats porcupines..not literally
- storage container..big enough to hold a prickly varmint
- distance – it makes the heart grow fonder..and also makes it hard for a porcupine to be in my yard. Its much harder to be in my yard when you are 12kms away.
- paint – a porcupine must look its best before being set free
- truck – distance is easier with motor use
- identify a porcupine..it is the critter with the spikey look to him moving slowly..usually at dusk
- yell – ‘porcupine!’
- grab stick
- grab container
- run to porcupine before he gets to a tree
- harang porcupine into container in a gentle fashion
- put lid on ..and make sure there are holes to breathe
- put container in truck
- drive 12 kms away down the road to a deserted stretch of hwy
- put a dollop of paint on the back of the porcupine
- cry..cause you hardly even knew him…
..Yes, even though these little beasties quilled my dog I don’t like to kill animals if I am not going to eat them…but pocupine is considered a delicacy in some places in North America..but not here. The paint is to make sure they don’t come back..a third time. So far we have caught 7 in 4 months..this one must have been a young one because he was much smaller then the other ones we caught.