Monday Mischief 23: The Porcupine Strikes Back

It may be tempting to cry ‘mischief’ on behalf of mother nature, since the past two weekends we’ve had significant snowfalls, but the truth is, April is the second-snowiest month for Calgary, after March.

Alma enjoying the snow

Alma enjoying the snow

But in true Calgary form, it’s gone as quickly as it arrives, and we’ve also had some nice weather for spending time outside.

Moses and Joshua (my parents' dog, who were visiting)

Moses and Joshua (my parents’ dog, who were visiting for Easter)



Photo shoot crashers!

Photo shoot crashers!

Now, regular readers might remember that Moses had his first ever porcupine encounter in January at this very same off-leash park (click here for the story). No real meeting occurred thanks to my frantic interception quick and graceful thinking, but it was close.

What I did not think of since was now Moses knows the scent for porcupine.

So, as we’re heading back to the car, that wasn’t my first thought when Moses scampered down an embankment. I figured maybe he’d spotted a squirrel or chipmunk – which he’ll go after, despite having no hope in hell at catching one. We’d already walked past that exact spot once without incident, and it was the middle of the afternoon, so I wasn’t initially concerned.

When I heard him breaking through thick brush, it hit me – what else have we seen in the park? A porcupine!

This time Moses had a head start. And a lower clearance to make it through the brush quicker.

By the time I caught up, the porcupine had wedged itself in the centre of a dense bush, back to Moses, and head down, hoping we’ll just leave him alone.

Porcupine defence strategy

Porcupine defence strategy

Since I wasn’t as quick as I was last time, Moses had a few seconds to do whatever he was going to do to the porcupine without interruption.

And it was just as I had expected.

He sniffed it.

That’s it.

I got there and Moses looked at me, looked at the porcupine, wagged his tail, and looked back at me.

He was so thrilled he made a new friend. (The porcupine felt otherwise.)

So thrilled, he didn’t even notice he got these:

Still oblivious.

Still oblivious.

So I leashed him back up and we took our walk of shame back up the hill to the path.

Then I inspected the damage. Four quills. That’s it. LUCKY.

They weren’t in deep – barely hanging on – so I dealt with them then and there and pulled them out. Moses didn’t even wince.

Back in the parking lot, I did a full face and mouth inspection looking for more and found none.

Hardy a trace of mischief left

Hardy a trace of mischief left

Since weekends are when I try to walk the dogs separately, Alma wasn’t there. And I’m glad. I really have no idea how she’d react to a porcupine – or to receiving a couple of quills – but I do know she’s not as easy going as Moses. I’m not keen to find out what she’d do.

A dog-porcupine interaction is rarely fatal for dogs, but frequently results in harm to the porcupine. I'd hate for one of my dogs to be the cause of that. Look at this baby porcupine - look how adorable!

Look at this adorable baby porcupine. A dog-porcupine interaction is rarely fatal for dogs, but frequently results in harm to the porcupine. I’d hate for one of my dogs to be the cause of that. Make sure if you have a dog/porcupine incident you make sure the porcupine is okay, too! There’s more than likely a local wildlife rehabilitation centre to call if not.

This post is part of the Mischief Monday blog hop – to see what everyone else has been up to, visit Snoopy’s Dog Blog here, My Brown Newfies here, or Alfie’s Blog here.


About ThatJenK
Writing from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. 90% pictures of my dogs; 10% miscellaneous opinions nobody asked for.

29 Responses to Monday Mischief 23: The Porcupine Strikes Back

  1. barb19 says:

    Poor Moses – do you think he learned a lesson this time about porcupines? I guess not, because he wasn’t even aware he’d been quilled!

  2. Jana Rade says:

    Oh no! Yes, so lucky the poor guy got just four quills. Glad it worked out ok for him.

  3. Holy cripes Moses! You could have really been injured by those quills. You’d better leave those prickly friends alone. I’m glad that you are okay.

  4. Moses just wanted a good sniff and wound up with a snoutfull of quills. Hopefully his curiosity is now satisfied and that’s it for porcupine adventures.

    –Wags (and purrs) from Life with Dogs and Cats

  5. Wow that could of been so worse. Those quills are nasty when we went to Saskatchewan once we hit one with the truck there were quills sticking out brand new 10 ply tires.

  6. OUCH! My horse once sniffed at a porcupine, although he didn’t come out of it so lucky! He got a whole face full of quills! Poor thing! Glad your pup is ok! And hey, any time it snows, feel free to send it over to Ontario! We have had a good snowfall in a couple weeks, and my huskies are missing their glorious snow!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

  7. harrispen says:

    All we can say is Ouch! Glad it didn’t turn out too bad for Moses or the porky pine.

    Millie & Walter

  8. Will and Eko says:

    Whew, Moses got quite lucky on that one. Glad all parties came out relatively unscathed.

  9. Wow! I’ve never encountered a porcupine. We have to watch for skunks in the spring when all of the animals are starting to wake up. Rodrigo woke up a skunk a bit too early and it took a while to clean him up, but we did.

    Wow! Porcupines.

  10. Retro rover says:

    Oh your poor sweet nose
    Retro rover

  11. Lucky! That could have been so much worse.

  12. Never run into one of them, thank goodness – you’re really lucky he got only four quills. It could have been a disaster!

  13. jan says:

    Nature has certainly given the porcupine a good defense system. The point about making sure the porcupine doesn’t need help is a good one. Often dogs can do more damage to them than the human realizes.

  14. FleaByte says:

    WOW. Y’all really did get off easy. Which actually might not be a good thing, since he’ll probably do it again and again until it’s a painful experience. Paws crossed that that doesn’t happen!

  15. I’m glad the damage was minimal, but mostly, I’m loving the group shot at the dog park. It looks like a fun place with friendly faces (Well, the canine ones, anyway)!

  16. Only a Newfie would be so happy that he made a new friend and totally not realize he had quills stuck in his nose! Poor Moses! I’m glad he was ok and you only had to pull a few out!

  17. Jessica says:

    Glad it wasn’t worse!

    Moses looks like he’s playing King of the Hill at the dog park.

  18. snoopys@snoopysdogblog says:

    Hey Moses

    Is that like a giant hedgehog (like I thought I found)? I’m glad you escaped so easily buddy, were you really hoping for an afternoon acupuncture session? 🙂

    I hope you’re having a fun day,

    Your pal Snoopy 🙂

  19. Novroz says:

    Oh! lucky…but Moses should stay away from that cute porcupine

  20. SamDoum says:

    Great post! Say, I’m a fine artist who paints a lot of animals and wild life and am in need of some animal photos to paint from. If any of your readers could send me some photos of their pets, I’d greatly appreciate it. (No obligation to buy, I promise) If you and your readers are interested, just shoot me an email at

  21. Donna O. says:

    Ouch! Poor Moses. I hope he steers clear of his “new friend” for now on!

  22. 2browndawgs says:

    I would say he was lucky to get away with four. I have seen the results of encounters where it was a couple of hours of pulling quills out. I know they are up by our cabin, but luckily we haven’t run into any. Like you I always thought broad daylight was fairly safe. Guess I will rethink that.

  23. Jodi says:

    Oh my. I don’t know what I’d do. I could see my dogs barreling full speed ahead to greet a new friend. My sister had two dogs that got pined in NH and they got it pretty good, since she had to take them to the vet.

    Glad Moses didn’t get a face full and that he barely noticed those he had.

  24. Hawk aka BrownDog says:

    Hi Y’all!

    Oh dear! How did he remain so cool when those quills bit into his face? I hope I never meet up with one of those spiny critters!

    Y’all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  25. omg moses… glad we don’t have porcupines around here… then again Donna doesn’t have much of a prey drive.

  26. Mel says:

    Yikes! That would freak me out because I have no doubt that my dog would not want to be the porcupine’s friend, nor would he walk away with just a few quills. So glad that Moses only had a few and they were easy to get out.

  27. Oh My Goodness!!! Glad he only got 4 quills! Maybe the little critter sensed curiosity rather than real danger and was just trying to warn Moses to back off?

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