Once bitten, twice shy? Uhm… No.

This is a Hyalophora cecropia (Robin moth) caterpillar from our caterpillar farm. I’ll blog about them some other day…

It was not a great day for me yesterday. It probably will not be the last not great day that I have. At first, it was just a regular ol’ 90-degree dog-day of summer: My master and I ate breakfast, took a nap, fed the caterpillars that we are farming, ate second breakfast, and took another nap… and then we went for a jog that I will never forget, but that I am bound and determined to repeat.

We were about a half-mile from home, at the edge of the woods on an overgrown grassy pathway that circles around what we call “the flat.” I was running alongside my master when a whiff of something peculiar caught my nose… so I followed it into the underbrush. My nose led me straight into a porcupine!

Porcupines are usually in trees, like this huge one that we saw last summer. The one I found yesterday was on the ground in the underbrush, so how could I resist taking a bite out of this rare opportunity?

I grabbed it, of course, and quickly let go, of course. The critter ran out from the underbrush, and I tried chasing it even though I was squealing like a little puppy. My master intercepted me and would not let me take a second bite. Evidently, he thinks porcupines should be allowed to run away (or aren’t worth eating, I’m still not sure).

I tried swatting my muzzle with my paw because my face was full of these terribly sharp quills. My master pinned me down and started pulling out the spines. He got a dozen or so out from around my eyes, and then he took a half-dozen out of my tongue, and then he realized that the inside of my mouth was chocked full of them. So, he picked me up.

Bad idea. I snarled at him. Big time.

But he wouldn’t put me down. He held my front leg against my body so that I couldn’t swat my face, and then he started charging toward the house. Blood was flying everywhere, and my master was getting pricked with the quills because I kept wailing around. I was overheating, and so was he.

When we got to the creek, he laid me down in the little bit of water that’s still running in it, and he soaked me down. The cold water felt so good that I couldn’t bring myself to get up and run away. He said to me, “Ada, we’re going to have to go to the vet. Thank God my uncle is here because there’s no way that I’d be able to drive and hold you at the same time.”

He dashed to the house, panting like a dog.

His uncle drove my master’s car while I flailed and snarled. He kept telling me to “calm down” because “it’s okay”– but I wasn’t hearing a word of it. It was a long drive to the vet’s because the train tracks are out and because my master’s uncle hadn’t driven a stick shift in ages. My master managed to dial the phone and call his mom to tell her to call the vet and alert them that we were on our way.

Less than thirty seconds after we burst through the door, they drugged me up– and I was out cold. This is what I looked like:

The bad part was *inside* my mouth… and, yes, I know I look like a walrus. Big thanks to my master for taking this humiliating picture. I totally wouldn’t have believed him!

I have no clue how long I was out for, and I don’t remember any of it. I barely remember coming-to. I laid on the cold floor in the vet’s office until it was time to go, and then we went to my grandma’s house where I laid in the cold basement for several hours. I just couldn’t bring myself to move very much at all.

My master says that I’m incredible cute when I’m dopey. I suppose I’ll take that as a compliment, but I’m not quite sure… Either way, if I see that doggone porcupine again, I’m going to settle the score and take a much bigger bite. Once bitten, twice shy? I hardly think so! I know I can take him down.

About adamaecompton

just a three-legged rescue dog, bloggin about critical citizenship, the environment, and all sorts of literacy.
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8 Responses to Once bitten, twice shy? Uhm… No.

  1. Oh man! That looks painful. A lesson learned, I suppose.

  2. You poor sweetheart. Have to say I would have freaked out at trying to sort that one. Yours – and many other posts – have not come up on my reader so sorry I’ve not been up to speed. Will read back later to see what I have missed. Sorry about that.

  3. judy muskauski says:

    This is sooo sad and painful to see, but very happy a lesson was learned and all is ok…… 🙂

  4. Bassas Blog says:

    What a terrible experience! Sounds very painful!

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