This time, I was hiking with a friend and her dog and we were too busy chatting to notice the dogs disappear into a bush near the summit. The other dog let out one bark, and when we called them to come, they both came back with quills. I got out all the ones I could, but most were too deep for me to remove with my fingers. The poor dog had to hike down the rest of the mountain with quills on her chin, chest, and armpit.
Thankfully, there was an emergency vet just down the road. They actually had to admit her for the night, since she had quite a few quills (30) still in, and a number of them were in a joint line. She is such a happy dog, and was so excited to meet everyone at the vet’s office, which made me feel a little better about leaving her.
A few days of limping followed, but ever since she has been running, jumping, and swimming as usual. I’m being much more strict when she is off leash though. Previously, I’d let her wander within my line of sight. Since the encounter with the porcupine, I’m making her stick to the trail and stay much closer. It’s not as much fun for either of us (she doesn’t run as much and I have to correct her more), but then again, neither was the whole porcupine and vet visit experience. Friends of mine whose dog has been quilled told me that they now carry mini scissors and pliers in their packs when they go on hikes, just in case. I think I might start following their example. In the meantime, I’ll keep a close eye out for any more spiky “kitties”, and their friends the smelly black and white “kitties”.