Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Beware the Prickles!

Alexandra let Percy wander around on the family room carpet last week. I wasn't thrilled, but it was definitely an improvement over the last time she had Percy downstairs and let him walk around on the kitchen counter.




It was hilarious to watch Jenny and Fergus react to Percy. Here is Fergus. He is terrified of the hedgehog and won't get near it. He stayed safely at the top of the stairs out of harm's way. I might be imagining it, but he looks a bit embarrassed to me about his cowardliness. And this is the dog I got to protect me from bears!




Jenny, on the other hand, is fearless. She just couldn't resist. She would watch Percy and slowly approach him.




She would reach out and nudge him with her nose, jumping back and shaking her head the second she made contact with those needle sharp quills. Then she would watch Percy for a few more minutes, creep up, and nudge him again. And again. There was something she found irresistible about that prickly lump on the carpet.


Jenny would shake her head so hard after coming into contact with Percy she was a blur!

 
This reminded me of when I was growing up on the farm. My first dog was a rough collie - the kind that looks like Lassie - and her name was Abigail. There was a creek about a quarter mile away from our house that had a resident population of porcupines. Abigail could not resist them. It didn't matter how many times she ended up with quills stuck in her snout, back she would go for another round. Needless to say, the porcupines came out the winners every time.

When she came home with her nose full of quills my dad would drive into town to the local drug store and get some tranquilizers to give her. Keep in mind the time setting for this story. It was the 1960s. Not only was it the 60s, it was rural/small town America. There was no vet to do the job for you. This meant there was also no vet to write the prescription for the tranquilizers. This turned out to not be a problem because the pharmacist didn't ask for one. He just counted out what he figured would be enough to knock the dog out without killing it.

This was back in the days of common sense. He knew our family and he knew our dog, so had no problem giving my dad a few pills. I doubt he even charged anything for them. My dad would drive back home, wait for the medication to kick in, then get out his pliers and gently pull out the quills. In the years after Abigail we had other dogs, but never again did we have a dog that loved to fight with the porcupines.

The weather got warmer a few days ago, so Percy got to go out on the lawn for a bit. I think he looks much happier here than on the carpet. A strange pet for a strange family.




18 comments:

  1. Poor little Fergus.. does look a bit sheepish, doesn't he? Prickles is quite interesting looking, really.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fergus is is only heroic from a distance. :-) But then again, I am kind of afraid of the hedgehog, too, so I can't really blame him.

      Delete
  2. Haha, a unique pet for an interesting family! I think Fergus will come through if he should ever be needed.

    I miss the days of common sense. Today I have to show a driver's license to buy 20 decongestant tablets--since I might be planning to use them to make some illegal drug I wouldn't know if I saw it. Bah! I've always liked collies. My dad's neighbors--Mr. and Mrs. B had collies. I'm surprised Abigail went back to the porcupines more than once after having such an unpleasant experience. My son would say at least she wasn't interested in skunks. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have to show a driver's license to buy decongestant? I hope I never have issues with my sinuses when I am south of 49. Who knows what they would think fi they saw a Canadian trying to buy drugs. :-)

      Collies are wonderful dogs. It was weird how she would keep going back. But I have to agree with your son. At least she wasn't fixated on skunks.

      Delete
  3. He sounds like a cool pet! lol at Abigail and the porcupines, why don't they learn!?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Percy is a good pet for Alexandra, but he wouldn't be a good pet for me. I like my animals to be a bit more cuddly than her hedgehog!

      Delete
  4. Can't say I blame Fergus for not wanting to tangle with a prickly critter, especially when he can rely on Jenny to keep the interloper Percy in check!

    I could be wrong but if I met a bear in the company of a small dog I'd be glad to have a dachshund at my side. My two have no idea how tiny they are, and their barks are huge. I reckon a bear confronted with a snarling dachsie would look rather like Fergus does here!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hate to admit it, but I would probably be much better off with Jenny than Fergus if I encounter a bear. For one thing, if she wimped out on me I could just scoop her up and run with her. Not so with Fergus - he weighs too much! Fergus does have a ferocious bark like your two, but he only uses it from a safe distance. It's quite funny to observe. :-)

      Delete
  5. Wait...you have a pet hedgehog?? That is just awesome!! It cracked me up seeing how your pups react to it...especially Fergus. If he doesn't look embarrassed, he should!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Correction! I don't have a pet hedgehog, my daughter has a pet hedgehog. :-) Which means when she moves out it is supposed to move out with her!

      Delete
  6. Percy is not a strange pet for a strange family! lol If that is the case then our TWO hedgehogs are TWO strange pets for a REALLY strange family! I love Percy. I believe I have seen him on the Hedgehog Central message board and possibly on the Carolina Storm Wheel photo contests?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it is a different Percy you have seen, but I will ask Alexandra. Maybe we should start a weird family support group? :-)

      Delete
  7. Love these pictures!! Always happy when Percy makes an appearance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You would see him more often, but he is nocturnal. :-)

      Delete
  8. I have just found your blog and love the picture and reaction of your dogs! Have had daschunds in the past and with us currently having a westie, I can see that your dogs are very similar to ours! Our westie is very wary of new things.
    Sarah

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome to my blog! It's nice to have another Westie reader stop by. They are such funny dogs, and the dachshund/Westie duo is hilarious. You should see the looks I get when I am walking both of them together. Now I'm heading over to see your blog! :-)

      Delete
  9. How sweet, both of them! Is that part of a spinning wheel I see in the fourth picture?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I laughed when I read your question! Fibre people have a way of noticing things like a tiny corner of a spinning wheel that most people wouldn't recognize if they saw the whole thing. :-) Yes, it is a Louet S10.

      Delete