It seems that a young porcupine has decided our front dooryard is just the right location in which to take up residence. Some nice bushes to crash under and a lifetime supply of yard to munch on. Needless to say it's uninvited presence has caused a rift in the fur bearing dynamic of our household. Bob, our always cranky Tom cat is not happy. Growling and fussing more than usual, he is letting everyone know, including the moving pin cushion, that his routine has been upset. From a safe distance of course. Bob may be mean, but he is not stupid. Stubb on the other hand is numb-er than a bucket of pounded thumbs. She is all about finding out as much as she can about Mr Porcupine. Of course this curiosity is not acceptable to me as I have paid dearly in the past for the curiosity of a dog when confronted with such a slow moving object as a porcupine. Annie, our long dead St Bernard mix almost ate my hand once when I tried to extricate some quills from the back of her throat. I just know Stubb won't be happy until she comes home with a mouthful of porcupine quills.
This rush to judgement may not be fair to Stubb. To this point in her short life, she has not come home whimpering looking pitiful with quills sticking out of her muzzle and buried hard in her throat. But she is a dog after all. And the track record for mutts here on Sam Page Road has not been good. It seems no dog of mine can resist the temptation of this true oddity of Nature. I am guessing to a dog without a clue, porcupines are the perfect playmate. They move faster than turtles, but not by much. That they are some of the stinkin-ess animals out there must be olfactory heaven to a dog. And when I hear my daughter say they are cute, I know to a dog, their intimidation index cannot possibly be tracking in the high numbers.
I am in a quandary here. On the one hand, I do the best I can to accommodate the various wild things that happen to live nearby and often use my yard for whatever it is they want to use my yard for. But this critter is messing with the flow around here. The routines of a house with 7 cats and one dog get out of whack and brother, the ripples can be a bitch to deal with. Nothing more rigid and inflexible than pets. So I sit here and wonder what to do.
Moving a porcupine out is not a task taken lightly. I would be well within my rights to pull out the shotgun and blow it's prickly ass away. They are one of the traditional "kill on sight" animals in our parts. Their history is fraught with run ins with the logging industry. They can do serious damage to money trees. One porcupine can kill a tree in a very short time as they dig out it's heart searching for bugs, grubs and other delectable wigglies of the forest.
I won't shoot it though. No money trees here and at this point, Mr Porcupine seems content to be the helpful yard guest by eating my lawn. So shooting it seems damn inhospitable. But it cannot stay long. I do not want a big vet bill to deal with. Stub is no intellectual giant. She will decide to get up close and personal. A dog cannot resist. As proof I offer this picture of a dog who could not resist. And continued to not be able to resist.