innocence & wonder

Monday, December 29, 2008

porcupine by sharon montrose

Amazing photographs of animals, especially dogs (and other things too)
Sharon Montrose - her blog and her etsy shop

Well yesterday was a porcupine kind of day.

We've had a few days of very mild weather and the green grass has once again been exposed from under the melting snow drifts at the golf course. It seems green grass and mild temperatures are favourites of porcupines. I've been walking on this golf course for many years and prior to this weekend we (the pack of three and I) only ever came upon one live porcupine and thankfully he or she had just enough time to scurry up a tree before les pack excitedly arrived on the scene. On our wintry travels over the years we've also found two dead porcupines, lying at the base of trees which perplexed me to no end and prompted a little research on my part ... did you know that falling out of trees is the most common fate of the porcupine.

Miss D (my terrier mix girl) decided yesterday afternoon to have a close encounter with the 4th porcupine we'd seen out and about in those wide open spaces in two days, just ambling along, as porcupines do, out enjoying a snack of green, green grass. Fortunately for us all Miss D picked up the scent before she actually saw the porcupine but by the time I saw it Miss D was far away from me and not on her leash. Yikes ! I'm sure if only someone had a video camera what a chuckle we'd have this early morning as Mama took to runnin' as fast as her Muckboots would take her, trying her damnedest to intercept an inevitable Dixon - Porcupine encounter (it still makes my heart race to think about it). I ran and ran on slippery icy wet grass, I leapt a frozen creek in one fell dramatic swoop and I ran some more all the while calculating my plan of action. At this point there was a good 25 meters between les porcupine and herself with me racing toward that line and thinking my best bet would be to get as close to the porcupine as possible and thus cutting down Miss Winn's potential angle of approach. Good plan except that I fell twice on hard frozen icy grass, dropping the leash the second time but thankfully all of this commotion rousted Mr. Porcupine from his dreamy day and he decided to scurry slowly to a nearby fir tree growing along side a creek. Yeah!! Miss D became a little confused by all of this ruckus and I had the chance to grab her collar and her lovely red chiffon scarf. Phew!! Gasping for breath and with my body, especially my knees, aching Debbie and Maggy Sue came rushing to make sure we were all OK. What a scene they must have witnessed. I leashed the Dixon up, turned my eyes and face sky ward and whispered a big huge thank you to God and the Universe.

Of course I then ruminated all evening about what could have happened, what might have happened, what didn't happen. Why do we do this to ourselves ? and as if that kind of thoughtful torture wasn't enough I then began to remember all the days that I walked by myself (no other human company) at that golf course with three dogs all racing around off leash and all big dogs to boot. All of the things that could have happened back then to us, to them ... to my loves. But we were lucky and nothing bad ever did happen. I still torture myself, fretting and worrying about Emma & Jake ... how crazy is that? much loved dogs who I know are now safe and sound tucked tightly away forever in my heart ... yet I worry about them still.

This early morning I'm sore and thankful ... and achy and relieved ... and bruised and thankful ... and it seems that all that aerobic exercise, excitement and drama blew that dark cloud away.

Animal Totem
- Porcupine

Innocence & Wonder

The Porcupine has very powerful medicine: that of faith and trust. You can move mountains with these powers. A Porcupine totem reminds you not to get caught in the chaos of the world, where fear, greed and suffering are commonplace.

Its medicine is relief from the seriousness of life. Open your heart to those things that gave you joy as a child; remember fantasy and imagination and bring into your life again. If a Porcupine is your totem you might be overly sensitive to criticism from others or overly critical of others. Perhaps you are allowing barbs from long ago to still effect your life now.

Hot bubbles, steaming face cloths and a fresh mug of coffee.


  1. Whew! What a day you had! Thank goodness Miss D is safe and sound.

    The porcupine totem... sounds like what I need, to give me relief from constantly fretting about the state of the world.

  2. Gosh. That made my doggy mamma heart beat faster just to read it! I can't imagine how fast yours was going yesterday. I do know what you mean about re-visiting old scares.Edward took off after a squirrel once on one of our walks, not an unusual occurence, but his lead suddenly came undone and I was left holding it whilst he ran full bore down the middle of the street. I did catch him, obviously, because he is lying at my feet this very moment. But just thinking about it now makes me shiver. Pat your girl for us!!

  3. When I was young, I had a couple of experiences using pliers to remove quills from dog cheeks and necks. Not fun! But I only had to do it once for each dog, and luckily no eyes or mouths were involved.

  4. Scary! I do love the Montrose photo, though! :)

  5. Holy Cow Susan!!! You and Miss Winnie D dodged a HUGE BULLET this fine early morn! GEEZ! So glad you are both OK although you have learned a hard lesson that we don't bounce so well when we reach a certain age. Merciful heavens! You could have broken your neck...oops! there I go with the scary 'what could have happened' stuff! Thank God all is well...a few long tub soaks and you will be good as new! Hugs to both of you!


  6. Whoa. Glad all turned out well. thank god.

    Btw, I had no idea porcupines ever fell out of trees let alone it being a leading cause of death. Sorry, but for some reason that makes me rather laugh. It seems just so silly!!

  7. Glad you are O.K. Susan - you are right, we could have been talking fractures here, after a fall, so I guess we are all counting our lucky stars that you are O.K. What a delightful porpcupine picture however, and how forgiving of you to feature it!! It is lovely.

  8. I'm afraid my pack has had several encounters with porcupines and almost all of them ended up with expensive vet visits. Glad Miss D. didn't get quilled.


Hey ! We LOVE comments here at 29 Black Street.
Thanks for stopping by.