Needle Nose

Late last night my poor doggie went out to pee before we went to bed. Normally I stand outside and keep and eye on her becuase we are surrounded by woods and a black dog can disappear in the black night pretty easily if they see something interesting to chase. But instead, I had a similar urge (to pee, not to chase deer) and went back inside for a few minutes. When I went back out she was not back up on the porch as I would have expected, waiting to come in. I called her (not too loudly, since it was past midnight) and still didn’t hear her panting and trotting back towards me. I went and turned on some more flood lights. Still no Tasha. Finally I put on my coat and shoes and went out. Then I heard her tromping through some dry leaves and a funny snorty noise. Tasha appeared in the light and was bobbing her head up and down in a strange way. When I got up closer to her I saw that her nose had a great display of porcupine quills sticking out of it. Nose, lips and the roof of her mouth. Not a ton – maybe 20 or so total. She wasn’t even whining.

After calling our vet who was on call that night twice and my mother (a breeder who has been through this with her dogs), the vet assured me that if Tasha had no complaints at all about this she would be okay through the night. Since she is old and the ones in her mouth might require sedation to remove, he did not want to do that in the middle of the night.

Tasha slept without complaint thanks to some Rescue Remedy – which I probably should have taken myself. I didn’t sleep much because I’m a big worry wart and I was concerned because she is an old dog and who knows what could happen? Were there any in her chest, in her throat? I kept waking up and checking on her – sleeping soundly and breathing!

This morning we brought her to the vet first thing and he was again amazed that she still had no complaints at all – except that we hadn’t fed her breakfast yet. He was able to remove all of the quills without sedation. The larger quills from the older porcupines are easier to remove for some reason so we were lucky. There is not even a bump or anything on her nose as proof that she went through this.

The stoicism of Newfoundland dogs never ceases to amaze me.

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