Remember that great breakfast with that Strawberry Jam - that was the best part of the day because everything hit the fan after that.
I went out to finish up some outside chores, go hug the bottle kids and as always Chief came a running from clear across the pasture to give me one of his bear hugs. As he reached the edge of my blurred vision (allergies in high gear from sleeping on hay bales) I could see the poor fellow had a mussel full of porcupine quills. He ran so fast to reach me that I could not get away fast enough and I ended up with two quills stuck into my thigh. Oh my sweet dear big boy. I could tell he got a good bite of the nasty beasty because there was quills in his mouth as well as all over his nose and lips. Chief is a big baby about his body - heck it take two of us to hold him down to cut toenails. This was not going to be easy..
I went into the house to get the supplies necessary to handle the task - heavy gloves, pliers, first aid spray and the camera. I tried folks to get you a picture of this mess but he kept turning away, running away and trying to knock the camera out of my hands so I will have to paint the picture in words... Needless to say I managed to get two quills out before he lost his nerve and refused to let me try again. So with all the years of handling animals I tried all the tricks in the book - four hours later I called my son Nick (Chief was his dog here at the farm) and asked for help. I felt so horrible to have to call him because he had been on the road doing his business since before day light and was getting ready for another very long stretch of trade shows, business meetings and a horrific schedules. He said it would be around 8:30 pm before he could come and during that time I kept trying to get a few more out.
Nick arrived so tired and sore but I thought surely it would be a piece of cake. Nick would come in and one of us would hold down the big guy and the other would quickly pull out those painful quills. Yeah Right - anything but!!! At one point Chief even tried to bite Nick. So after an hour of doing that we went into the house and hunted down a 24 hour Vet Clinic - you see all my farm call vet's no longer are in practice... Chief has not left this farm since he was first brought here 10 years ago so this should be interesting. He does not do truck rides and really does not have contact with strangers. Place all that together with the horrible pain he was in and I was worried we might have trouble. Nick got him in this truck and we went into town.
Now by the time we got into town it was 10 pm and all of us are so tired and wishing to be in bed rather then this clinic but we needed this done. Chief was a trooper as long as the two of us was with him but when they took him back to be placed under medication he was anything but - He was not letting them shave his leg to place the IV in so they had to give him another shot to put him under before they gave the second sedation to make sure he did not wake up half way through. He was not going to go down - they commented he fought it the whole way. After getting the dozen and a half of quills out (some where in an inch and a half deep) they also clipped his very long toenails. Yeah another wrestling match avoided..
No it was almost 1 am and he had finally got standing up and we headed home with medication for infection and a list of common sense instructions. By the time we reached the farm it was 1:30 and we walked Chief back to the barn and shut him in with the bottle babies who had been worried where their protector had gone. He went down the moment I shut the door and I checked on him every hour to make sure he did not have a reaction to the med's. Sound asleep he was and well. Meanwhile I also checked on Sugar - Yep, still hanging on.
I kept saying to Nick through this whole thing "I'M SO SORRY" - I just felt horrible to extend this guys day into the next day but as he said "Mom, why wouldn't I come - his my dog too" I sure wished he could have his dog but where he lives, the lack of space and these dogs live to work it just can not be. I wished so much that Reese (the grandson) would have the HUGE love that these dogs give and the sense that a big white bear always has your back in a great feeling.
This morning the big lug hardly could stay awake or walk ten feet without going down. He finally was himself about 3 pm this afternoon and was running the fence line and gathering up this babies. Each time I would check on him he did give me his long whining talk that he is famous for and then licks his bandage on his leg as if to say "MOMMY, I am wounded, feel sorry for me"
What a day - $400 spent, no sleep again during the night but in the end a small price to pay for helping one of the furry four legged family members here at the farm. Again I want to say "Sorry Nick" but also "Many thanks for your help"....