Monday, 19 October 2009


Mark is running the team this morning as I have a doctor's appointment this afternoon and have to leave soon.
Mike and I helped Mark hook up and then I headed to the house to finish up some emails and workout before heading over the neighbors to pick up some straw bales.
I had just finished my workout when the dogs fired up, I glanced out and saw the dogteam heading back into the yard. NOT GOOD, they shouldn't be home for another 2 hours or so.
I stood at the window and watched for a second - 16 dogs moving good and strong. Hmmm, I wonder what was up.

I grabbed my shoes and ran outside. "What's going on?" I asked Mark, but really I didn't need him to answer, as the dogs started to paw at their faces. PORCUPINE!!! DAMN IT!!!
Apparently, this one was dead in the middle of the trail but the dogs, in their frenzy to 'eat the dead thing before someone else gets it' all jumped on it. Fourteen of Mark's 16 dogs got nailed.

Trigger (sorry it is out of focus - I was in a hurry)

There were quills in their tongues, the roofs of their mouths, in their gums, their chest, their feet....
Luckily, no dog had more then about 20 or 30 quills and some only had 3 or 4 quills.
The veterans like Q and Jr were fabulous and easily let us really look in their mouths and yank out quills. The young dogs like Trigger and Billie fought like the dickens, but after about 45 minutes we had them all cleaned up.
Mark washed up and Mike and I went over everyone's paws to make sure we hadn't missed anything and then they took off to finish off their run.

I've pondered the 'porcupine situation' here since Mark left and here is my solution - sharing recipes and encouraging everyone to eat the darn things!

So, with no further ado, straight from "Cooking Alaskan" -

Sweet and Sour Porcupine

Legs of porcupine
1 or 2 sliced onions
1 cup cider vinegar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp nutmeg

In saucepan, cook onions in vinegar until transparent. Add sugar and nutmeg. Brown porcupine in fat in Dutch Oven. Add vinegar mixture to meat. Cover and simmer three hours. Gravy may be thickened with cornstarch. Remove meat from bone and serve with gravy over rice!!

Invite your friends over...double or triple the recipe...make a party out of it!!!
We'd be grateful!



BADASmusher said...

Compared to Moose I would say Porcupines have definitely moved to the top of your list!

JHen said...

Wow, glad yall got all the quills out. Sure don't look comfortable. It seems that Porcupines have a personal vendetta against Northwapiti dogs.

Deb R. said...

Suddenly my skunk problem doesn't seem so bad, Karen...

Karen_SanDiego said...

What a great fund raiser !! Indefinite supply...Gift idea for the holidays...If I send you my fedex & paypal number number with you overnight me some sweet & sour porcupine ??? They are pretty rare in San Diego. ;)

The Thundering Herd said...

Long, long ago I helped to pluck a porcupine (emphasis - a dead porcupine). Native Americans use the quills to make many things and I actually helped to remove the quills. I can assure you that my hands felt "not so great" after the experience. My sympathies to the team.

husky mom said...

OW! OW! OW! Note to team: stick to squirrels.

Chris said...

I'm glad every one ended up ok.
And hope they learn so they dont do the same thing the next time they come accross one .

Donna said...

And to think I buy those things to make Jewelry out of! Guess I need to start coming north and pluck my own!!

Bakavi said...

oh my god!!!!!

granimar said...

I don't know about First Nations People or Athabascans, but more than several of the tribes here in Montana use quills in their decorative work instead of beads. Would there be any incentive in having someone trap the beasts---reward would be skinning and keeping or selling the q2uills? I'm serious, there are some in Montana who travel the roads looking for roadkill, skin and sell the quills to various Native artists.

Anonymous said...

Poor babies! Give Billie a big hug from her sponsor-mom and tell her to be careful!!

Pat in MN said...

Do you have to give all of the dogs antibiotics after the quill removal?
How is Cricket now?