Sunday, May 2, 2010
This photo of Jigsaw taken in February 2010 on Blanchard Mountain in Skagit County. Jigsaw was off trail following a scent. It took him halfway through a clear cut about 600 feet off the trail and downhill. He went wild over a large pile of brush. When I say wild I mean he forgot he had a human master. After much noisy barking from him and shouting from me, I had to go to him. When I got closer I began to understand the seriousness of the situation. This dog had shifted into a state of obsession. I had to pull him off the porcupine. This photo is after I was able to get most of the quills out of his head, chest and legs. This was Jigsaw's second porcupine experience. I would have to say Mother Nature had been good to the porcupines by giving them a good defense against predators. This Airedale only had one thing in mind and his adrenaline was really flowing. I had a hard time getting him to get his mind and physical desire off the porcupine. Once I go him up to the trail and road we could work on his condition. I removed as many quills as I could without any tools. This is how he looked after I got out around 75 quills. Later when we got home about 20 miles from where the truck was parked I got 25 more quills out. The really bad news was Jigsaw still had lots more quills that were getting increasingly difficult as the easy ones always seem to go first. After getting him heavily sedated with tranquilizers we still couldn't get this 90 lb mini horse to hold still. The end result was a afternoon trip to the emergency veterinary care. It was a Sunday so our option were very limited. I am grateful they were there for Jigsaw and the cost was huge. We bite the bullet and the result was the vet go several dozen more quills.
Jigsaw lives to go to the woods and follow any fresh scent. I just don't have the heart to put him on a leash. We pick and chose our trails carefully in Whatcom and Skagit Counties. We try to go early in the day when less people are out. Most of all I watch very closely and stay away from the Chuckanut Range which seems to have a very healthy population of porcupines. His first experience with porcupines should of taught him a lesson but I do attribute his obsession with Nature's other critters as the Oorang in him. I've had Airedales before and this guy is really great in an unusual way. He is much bigger than any Airedale I've had and much more obsessed with hunting. I've developed a love hate feeling about some of his habits.