Friday, November 6, 2009

Unexpected Friends

As kids growing up on a small farm just north of Spokane, we had a beautiful German Shepard named Duke. He was our protector, our friend and our playmate. We ran all over the place unsupervised, doing chores, riding horses or crawling around in the hay. He escorted us wherever we went. One time I remember him wandering home whimpering at the front door. He went and stuck his nose in a porcupine, he had hundreds of quills in his mouth. All five of us kids had to help hold him down while mom pulled out the quills one by one with pliers. It took forever, and we just hated seeing Duke in pain. Duke is long gone now, but that memory of him will never fade.

A while back I looked out in our yard and saw a porcupine and I knew our dogs would be curious, I tried to scare him away, but he wouldn't go. We have two heelers and one is extremely alert (Cooder), the other is mellow (Doobie, appropriately named by one of my son's friends). Cooder soon limped to the back door whimpering just like Duke. Fortunately he had only pawed the porcupine and wound up with just a few quills in his paw. My youngest son and hubby were able to quickly pull them out. Now Cooder is a smart dog so he had learned to not touch "Porky" ever again, but Doobie might be even smarter, he learned from Cooder to never even go near that strange animal!
The funny thing is, that porcupine hung out with our dogs for a couple of weeks after the incident. Every day he would come back to check things out.
The dogs barked at him terribly, he wouldn't go away. Finally they just excepted him as a friend from a distance.

Crazy isn't it?

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