porcupines don’t make good valentines

I live where the porcupine roam. These prickly pears of mammals amble from here to there and back again. Foraging on blades of grass and twigs, they would seem to be a docile creature. That is until those pernicious quills become erect. Then Johnny-B-Good and a dear and stay away from those spiky rodents!


In the West Elks, where the air is thin, the population of these pot-bellied-beasts is thick. This is particularly true on any trail you want to take a dog on a hike. Folks up here all have stories about encounters between the slow moving porcupines and their unassuming dogs. And the thing is, the porcupine always wins. The dog limps away with a face full of quills. And it happens a loooot.

And then it happens. To my poor baby Judge Doom. The baby bulldog is a mischievous rabble rouser. So when I got the phone call that his face was jacked, I couldn’t say I was surprised. At first glance, I cried. He had a beard of 40 black and white quills spiking out from his cute little mug. At this point, he still wagged his cotton tail and smiled.  But then the removal process begins. It takes a village to de-quill a pup. Good neighbor John, Brad, and Lindsey all came together to hold Judgy down. The first step is to cut off the tip of each quill to depressurize and allow for easier yanking. One by one, the barbed quills were removed by a needle nose plier. This was not pleasant for the Doom Buggy. There are still a few quills that brittled off that we are going to leave to the vet to dislodge.

Mason thinks that for this reason we should seek to run over porcupines barreling down the road. But that won’t work. Then the walking blowfish will wage warfare on your tires. If only we could just all get a long – the misunderstood porcupine, the concerned human, and the doggies with waggy tails.

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