Our dogs get an outdoors “last call” every evening just before we retire for the night. Last night, shortly after they went out, cries of pain erupted from out of doors. Karen hurried to retrieve the dogs who were found both engaged in close combat with a particularly large, fat porcupine.
The dogs arrived back indoors with mouths and noses loaded with quills. The tazy had a load in his upper mouth and was particularly in pain. The basset hound, despite all the quills, was reluctant to give up the chase and came in grudgingly. Even his chest was loaded with quills.
We are, by no means, unpacked and well organized here at the Pennsylvania farm we have not visited for over a decade. Fortunately, Karen managed to come up with a pair of needle-nosed pliers. We were then handicapped by Presbyopia and limited lighting on the stairs, where we tried pinning down our first victim. It was a struggle de-quilling the basset hound. The most painful quills to remove were those in the mouth and nose, and Cadet put up a surprisingly effective resistance (for a French dog). Finally, we got down to one deeply buried small quill in the lower jaw (which it was impossible to grip) and gave up and turned to work on the tazy.
Poor Uhlan had been up dancing on our bed, bleeding and drooling, and driving in his quills deeper. The struggle was fiercer with Uhlan. There were only two of us, and there was one of him. Moreover, Cadet started returning to his rescue, barking at us for hurting his brother, and intruding into the growing pile of pulled quills littering the stairs. There I was, on the middle landing, trying to pin the tazy’s body against the stone wall with mine, using my hands to try hold his head still, as Karen worked on capturing the quills. There were blood and quills everywhere. He was relatively cooperative about letting us take the quills out of his upper mouth. But when we got down to the last half dozen or so quills, largely concentrated in his nose and lips, he just went wild, shaking his head furiously, squirming out of my wrestling holds, and not in the least cooperating. Cadet also continued to interfere. Uhlan proved to be just too strong for us and, eventually, dogs and humans were all exhausted.
Miraculously though, when Karen began to try calling 24-hour veterinary services, one, just a few miles away in Warriors Mark, quickly returned her call. What do you know? You can get hold of a vet at 11:30 at night in Central Pennsylvania. Uhlan is still unused to cars, so Karen sat holding him in the back seat of the BMW, but Cadet is a veteran automobile traveler and actually has been hankering recently for more rides in the car. Warriors Mark is less than 10 miles away, just over the Bald Eagle Ridge in Sinking Valley.
The vet gave Uhlan good drugs, a sleeping potion followed by a pain-killing opiate. He sank slowly in the West, as the vet tried unsuccessfully to get that last under-the-chin quill out of poor Cadet. It is going to have to work its way out over time. Meanwhile, Cadet will be taking antiseptic medication. Uhlan resisted the drugs, but the second dose did for him. His eyes rolled white, his tongue hung limp, and he lolled there unresisting as the vet (a Polish lady from the same Eastern Pennsylvania Coal Region as myself with a degree from Michigan State) plucked out the remaining quills with a hemostat. Like Cadet, Uhlan had driven one small quill in so deep that it could not be grasped, and he, too, will have to let it work itself out. The vet then gave Uhlan another shot which turned off his sleeping potion, and in just a few minutes he woke back up.
It was a late and gruelling evening for everyone. Karen heroically policed up fallen porcupine quills before letting the dogs ascend the stairs to bed. She even cleaned up most of the blood. We found, when we finally arrived upstairs, that Uhlan had managed to cover Karen’s pillow with drool and blood, while we were working on Cadet.
There was a certain amount of nocturnal wimpering coming out of the dog kennels in the bedroom during the night, and Cadet woke up eventually demanding an outdoor lavatory break, but things were more peaceable over night on the whole than one might have expected. By morning, the dogs actually seemed no worse for wear, though when they came back from their morning run, both dogs took their customary milk bone dog biscuit from my hand very slowly and very carefully. Sore mouths.
Hat tip to Gangman.
Dogs, Humor, Kazakhstan, Saluki, Tazi
Uhlan, when he was an adolescent, used to grow some extra fur in the wintertime. Here he is, in our backyard in Bluemont, Virginia with a piece of a groundhog which had mysteriously recently come to a bad end.
The Russian zoologist who bred our tazy recently was advertising a few pups from a new litter, and one of the European correspondents on the saluki discussion list asked: “What are Khazak tazys like? Are they similar in temperament to Persian tazys?”
These sighthounds bred from dogs recently imported from Central Asia are referred to in enthusiast circles as:”Country of Origin” dogs. COO dogs are particularly admired by connoisseurs because they are thought to fully retain their natural hunting instincts. Another way of putting it would be to say: they remain relatively feral. Consequently, training them and persuading them to refrain from anti-social behavior (or hellish crime) takes a certain amount of effort.
I was moved to respond to that European correspondent’s question by posting a link to the video below, which (on the basis of knowing Uhlan) I said “pretty accurately describes Kazakh tazys’ temperament and behavior.”
Steve Bodio actually responded before I had even written and uploaded this post.
Parachutiste Francais forwarded the above photo with the caption:
UN BEL HOMMAGE POUR UN VRAI HÉROS !
Ce chien s’appel Zanjeer.
Il a sauvé des millers de vies pendant la série d’attentats à Bombay en Mars 1993 en détectant plus de 3,329 kgs d’explosifs RDX, 600 détonateurs, 249 Grenades à main et 6406 sous munitions.
Il a été enterré avec les honneurs.
A fitting homage for a true hero.
The dog was named Zanjeer [meaning “metal chain” in Persian].
He saved thousands of lives following a series of attacks in Bombay in March 1993 by detecting 3,329 kg. of RDX explosive, 600 detonators, 249 hand grenades, and 6406 rounds of live ammunition.
He was buried with honors.
Zanjeer (1992-2000) was a Golden Labrador who worked as a bomb detecting dog for the Bombay Police. He died of cancer in 2000 at age 8, and was buried with full honors by the Bombay Police.
The above photograph began going viral last March around the time of the twentieth anniversary of the Bombay attacks.
HuffPo ran a story at the time.
Best comment: if you move them to the southern hemisphere do they spin the other direction?
Hat tip to Barbara Mackintosh.
From Steve Bodio, a photo essay on hunting foxes with the Kazakh Tazy (or Tazi or тазы), the local version of the saluki or Persian greyhound, a hunting dog which pursues its quarry by sight.
The tazy is regarded as a Kazakh national symbol. This essay tells us that there was an old Kazakh saying that one tazy could feed an entire village. Tazy are described as capable of running down prey at speeds up to 80 kph (49.7 mph).
According to the Russian text, there are only 300 thoroughbred Kazakh tazy left: “300 Spartans.” I’m afraid that I don’t buy into that “only 300 left” stuff. Steve Bodio and I both own Kazakh tazy.
John Hinderaker points out that, behind all the frivolous humor about Obama eating dogs, something serious was really going on. The commentariat of the Right was able to take an Obama campaign attack meme, turn it right around, and make the whole thing into a national humor fest.
The Obama Eats Dogs theme is silly, of course, but as many others have said, it is silliness with a purpose. The Obama campaign seriously intended to make an issue of the fact that decades ago, Mitt Romney put the family dog on the roof of his car, in some sort of kennel or container, because there was no room inside. The dog was fine, but the Democrats crowed that focus group testing showed that the incident would make voters dislike Romney. I think that claim was sheer fantasy, but in any event, the Democrats won’t be able to talk about Seamus now that everyone knows that Obama used to eat dogs. ...
While in the microcosm these issues may seem silly, they are important in the context of the 2012 campaign. The Democrats can’t defend Obama’s record and want to talk about anything in the world other than the economy and the federal debt. Thus, their campaign will consist of one distraction after another. The Romney campaign’s ability to hit back, turn the faux issue back on Obama, and return the conversation to the economy will be critical. At the moment, Romney’s counterpunching against Obama’s irrelevancies is looking strong.