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This is a picture of our MR QUILLS


This story is about our porcupine we named Mr. Quills. He (since we don't know the gender) has been visiting here for the past several months on a fairly regular basis. The time he comes is usually around four to five P.M.
Then when we had snow a few days ago, he didn't come to visit. This particular Sunday evening we spied him, manuervering up through the five inches of snow we received.

When we had first seen him weeks ago, we decided he was an old porcupine, for he walked extremely slow, and had scar on his one side. He looked aged.
We watched him with more interest because of how he was manuvering. He was walking along side our shed in the back of the house, but the thing we noticed was he was walking INTO the shed. He did this several times, and then moseyed in towards the back porch area.

He looked lost and confused, and walked into the garbage cans, and finally found his way around the side of the house. As we watched him, we noticed he continued to walk into the walls. We decided this animal was blind.

Porcupines do have poor vision and walk clumsily. But we have watched Quills for several years and never saw him walk into anything before. This would explain a lot of his actions this past few weeks.
  I had gone out several weeks ago and took the picture(above) of him. I was only four feet from him, and me being that close to him did not bother him.
Being blind would be another reason why our boxer dog Lilah, was able to get so close to him the night of February 8th., when we noticed her favoring her right paw.
When we took a closer look, she had three quills in her paw. This was her second trip to the veterinarian emergency hospital to have quills removed.
Now we figure Quills could not see her, and how she was able to get so close to it, and lucky to have only gotten the three quills.

I have lived in this mountain better then twenty two years, and there was a porcupine who visited here over those years. Now I am certain
this is the same porcupine. Old and blind.
He worked his way up to the carport and bumping against the wall till he got around to the front of the house.
Then we couldn't see him anymore. My hubby Joe went out to see if he could trail him, but it was 20° degrees out there at 5:45 P.M. Wind chill factor around 10°, and he only had on a sweatshirt. Mighty cold to be tracking critters.
When Lilah wanted out, Joe put her collar and leash on, and he put on his heavy jacket. She tracked Quills scent leading
up into the mountain. This is where Quills has gone every time we have watched him.
The amazing instinct this animal has, to find his way around even though blind.

8 A.M. Monday February 11th. This morning I was up before Joe, so I made a pot of coffee and fed Lilah. Then Lilah wanted out in worst way.
Those kind of actions of hers always put us on guard as to why she wants out in a hurry. Usually it is because she wants to chase squirrels that hang around the bird feeders.
I went to the door, and WHOA --- there was Quills pushing his way through the snow in our side yard. So needless
to say Lilah had to be leashed and taken for her walk. AFTER Quills left the area.

Now another thing about porupines we learned is that they are NOCTURNAL ..... but this guy would prove "them" wrong all the way around.   He comes day or night, which is another reason we think he may be totally blind. He doesn't know day from night.

7:30 P.M. 2/11/08
Same day, but dark now. And in the mountain we mean dark, till motion lights come on.
I was going to get a little snack, and thought I would just check outside.
I opened up the door, so the outside motion lights would come on.
Well folks, if there ever was a heart stopper, other then when the black bears were at our door,
is when I opened the door, and right there directly in front of me was Quills. My heart leaped out of my chest and
I yelled for Joe to come quick, AFTER I shut the door that is.

We watched Quills walk around the deck and into the walls, and finally he figured out
how to get out of there. He proceeded down towards the back porch and we lost him.
Joe got his big spotlite out and slowly walked around towards the back of the house. He saw Quills under our covered gas grille.
Joe then came in the house, went to the back door, reached out and rattled the grille.
But to no avail. No Quills. But we knew he was there somewhere. And Quills is too low
to the ground, to set off the back yard motion lights.

Joe then went out another door and down around the side of the house. After
looking cautiously, he found Quills hiding under the steps. And that is where we left him be.
I am almost certain there will be a continuation to this story. In the mean time Lilah will be put on leash to go out at night. And Joe and I will say good night for now.

10:30 P.M.
Joe wanted to get ready for bed. So he put leash on LIlah and took her out for final walk. After he brought her back in, he went around the house and looked under the back porch steps, and there was Quills. Guess he is spending the night there.

UPDATE 2/13/2008
Quills has taken to sleeping under our back porch steps the past two nights.
Last night Joe and Lilah went out for final walk and then Joe hurriedly brought Lilah back in the house,
as he saw Quills under the steps again. Joe described Quills
as being tightly curled up in a ball, his head tucked in,
and his tail wrapped around the body.
Quills being all curled up looked about the size of the soccer ball we have laying on the walk.
That evening we watched him slowly walking in the snow, heading up into the mountain.
This was the last time we saw him.
Farewell Mr Quills

Written by İBarbara L Chambers Carter
Website maintained by Diamondavid
Song Title: Winters' Sonata from Lacey's "Pretty Place"

To learn about porcupines click here

Veterinary Medicine
Quick Facts about Dogs and Porcupines
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Written May 2007
Page design by Bluejay
Website maintained by Diamondavid
Song Title: Winter Sonata

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