25 June, 2009

Another One Bites the.............Porcupine!

Porcupines - Who would'a thought?

Getting ready to go for the morning walkies with the girls entails ritual. First, at this time of year, I dose up with bug juice. Secret usually either smells it or hears the spray applicator and starts "talking" to me to hurry up and hit the road. Then I gather their packs and my fanny pack (ok - "bum bag" for those of the British persuasion), put my camera in it and my cellphone. Grabbing my shades, keys and hat and I'm ready to go. Then I head out the door and... No Secret. Something's wrong.

Cindy's always slow - she isn't much of a morning person. But she's not coming out either. Finally, Cindy comes out from under a chair, with some new decorations in her nose. Three or four ivory-colored quills. Uh-oh. I know what happened.

Still no Secret. A quick call to Twyla to tell her we won't be going for walkies this morning and why. Then looking for Secret. Where is she? I start at the front gate, looking in and under everything, in their usual hidey-holes - nothing. Finally, I get back by the pool. Ah, there she is, in the guest house, and with a whole mouthful of quills! Oh Lordy, that must hurt a bunch.

So, she gets up and follows me to the house, stopping to try and dislodge quills every few feet. All to no avail, of course. It's painful just to look at her.

If I'd been thinking more clearly, I would have taken a photo of each of them, but I was more concerned with their safety than the blog... Imagine that!

Next, I make a call to Dr. Sheila, the vet, an hour before her normal office hours. Yes, it's ok to bring the girls in right now.

For once, there's no argument from the girls about getting in the Isuzu. They both bundle in and off we go. As soon as she can, Cindy comes up front, claiming shotgun as her seat. She's not in that much pain. In fact, she barks at a couple of neighborhood dogs over by Sheila's.

At Sheila's, she immediately gives the girls a combo pain killer/tranquillizer, and proceeds to pull quills from Secret. Turns out, she only has 30-40 quills, although it looked much worse. Cindy only had the three or four.

The trick is to use needle-nose pliers, jerk sharply, have a container to put them in, and when you're done, feel around with your fingers under their lips and tongue to make sure you got them all. Then wrap up the removed quills securely and toss into the trash. You don't want to leave any laying around as they can re-attach themselves to the dogs or you.

After that, Sheila gave them each an antidote to the tranquillizer. But it had hit both of them like a ton of bricks. Here's Secret and Cindy, after getting home from Dr. Sheila's. They are both totally zonked out. I left them in the rig, so they can sleep it off.

Secret In the Back Seat - Out of It
Cindy In the Front Seat - Also Out of It
And, here they are so you can see their faces - none the worse for wear.
Secret In La-La Land
Cindy's There Too
Hopefully, they will have learned from this experience to leave those critters alone. Sometimes, however, dogs do become repeat offenders with porcupines. Sheila says the thinking is that they get so much pain from the quills that the next time they see a porcupine they want to exact revenge. Sometimes, there's so much revenge that they end up with a few thousand quills in them, necessitating being completely knocked out and at least a half-hour to remove the quills.

Usually, their very quick learners... We'll see.


Belizean Beach Bums said...

Just glad the dogs are okay and hope they learned their lesson.

Anonymous said...

Since the dogs don't leave home without you, did you know you had a porcupine in the vecinity? Have you seen it? In Spanish, they're called puercoespin; do Belizeans have other names for the animal?


Anonymous said...

I hope they learned their lesson. I had two large dogs that did this almost weekly and never learned.We we convinced that our one dog was addicited to tranquilizer the vet gave him when pulling the quills. Sometimes if there were only a few quills Denis used the pliers and pulled them out. Our dogs were very well known at the local vet office. Good luck with this!

Dave Rider said...

As of this morning (day after the incident) - no more porcupine episodes. Hopefully, won't see one for a long time.

Texican - I haven't seen a "porkypine" since we've been down here. I'd just as soon not see another either. I'll ask Cody, our caretaker about other names (other than Sumbitch or similar).

Viv - Something for you guys to look forward to when you move down. Dr. Sheila was great. Her office opens at 7:00 AM, I got there about 5:55 AM and she was waiting at the gate.

BBB - I like your blog. I have to ask... what is so interesting about scheduling - especially down here?
Here's my daily schedule:
Get up
Check Internet/Email and weather
Have Coffee
Walk Dogs (or go to the Vet)
Check Internet/Email
Work on Daily Project (includes trips to town by bike or Isuzu)
Check Internet/Email
Check Internet/Email

Julian in SC said...

Hi guys,

I am just curious... any plans in the "works" to pave the Ferry Road?? That road and on out to Sarteneja has to be the winner for "most potholes per 100 sq. yards" in the Americas. Wow... what a ride.

By the way I envy you your schedule...


Dave Rider said...

Hi Julian,

It would really be nice if there were plans for that. However, government has spent a small fortune this past dry season just patching the holes, and smoothing out the marl base.
It'll all turn to crap once the rains really get going and especially if we have any tropical storms or hurricanes - pretty much wash all the repairs out in a flash.
I heard the only reason the road was patched was due to having a Minister responsible for this area who lives in Sarteneja. He has to travel to Corozal a couple of times a week, otherwise, it'd still be a rough go.