Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I Think I Need One Of Those Assault Thingies...

Just kidding.

But around here the war is escalating.  You might say that Nature is in surge mode.  Last night, when my husband let him out to scare any deer that might be feasting on what's left of our plants, Wolfie was attacked by something in the yard.  From the description--low to the ground, a bit smaller than Bisou--I think it's a fisher.  Speaking of Bisou, it's a good thing she was asleep upstairs with me at the time.  Usually she's right on Wolfie's heels, sallying forth into the outer darkness.

Anyway, poor Wolfie yelped, and the critter scurried, and Wolfie came limping into the house.  There was no bleeding, no particularly tender spot that we could find, but he could not put weight on one of his hind legs.  It's amazing how miserable a solid black dog can look.  And there's something about a big dog in distress that makes you feel particularly helpless.  You can't pick him up and put him on a comfy pillow.  You can't exactly cuddle him.

I gave him a couple of baby aspirins in a teaspoon of peanut butter.  He could not climb up to the bedroom, and whimpered so pitifully at the bottom of the steps that I decided to sleep downstairs, to keep him company.  But he couldn't settle.  He was desperate to lie down but in too much pain to do so.  I gave him two more baby aspirins and he finally lay down and went to sleep.  Then of course I worried that I had overdosed him, and kept putting my hand on him to feel his breath.

Thanks goodness for Penelope Lively's How It All Began, a witty and wise novel that you all would love.  I read for a couple of hours and then turned off the light.  But the minute I closed my eyes I remembered that it was supposed to snow heavily today.  If Wolfie was still in distress in the morning, how would we get him to the vet?  I fell asleep, but Wolfie woke up and put his head on my knee.  It occurred to me in my stupor that this meant that he was still alive.  Then I did some coughing (which I've been doing for a month now, along with everybody else) and slept for about a minute, and Wolfie put his head on my knee again....

This morning it is in fact snowing hard.  Wolfie seems a bit better, and ate his normal breakfast.  But I don't relish the prospect of having to take him and Bisou out on leashes every night.

This cloud is not, however, without a silver lining.  Fishers are the only predator known to kill porcupines.

16 comments :

  1. oh man! poor Wolfie. and wow, you really do live in the woods, don't you?
    why would a fisher attack a dog? especially a big dog? can you not make a temporary fenced area, maybe, where they could be let out safely?

    i do love it when a dog (riley especially) puts his head on my knee. it's so trusting and comforting to both of us.

    I hope wolfie is merely bruised and nothing more.

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    1. Vet is closed Wednesday afternoons. Wolfie is improving slowly and starting to put some weight on the sore leg, "thanks God," as my mother used to say.

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  3. Laurie, fishers are supposed to be fierce, and are often blamed for the deaths of cats. I suspect Wolfie was going after the fisher, and it was defending itself.

    That head-on-the-knee thing is nice, isn't it?

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  4. Poor Wolfie! Did you happen to hear this piece about honey theft-by-critter on VPR this morning? I won't give away the culprit if you haven't! http://www.vpr.net/episode/55223/greene-mystery-scat/

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    1. Hi Rhonda, I heard a snatch of the piece and made a mental note to check it out later--and would have totally forgotten if you hadn't reminded me. Thanks!

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  5. I had never heard of a fisher until this moment. I had to search for it online. Looks vicious!

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    1. Ditto. I'd never heard of a "fisher" other than the type with a rod and reel. They can be pretty vicious too, if you steal their spot.

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    2. Ha!

      I'll have to be careful with the ones that hang out in the nearby stream.

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  6. Oh my - Poor Wolfie! I hope he gets better quickly. Now I'll stop complaining about the suicidal red squirrel who thinks it's funny to sit right in front of the glass door to the terrace. He sticks his tongue out, hands (front paws?) on hips, and does that na-na-na-na-NA thing while four (well this week it's six) absolutely frenzied Cavaliers throw themselves at the door screaming bloody murder at the top of their lungs. To say it's annoying is an understatement, but at least the dogs are not in any danger from the squirrel - unless knocking themselves senseless in the process is "dangerous" to their health.

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  7. Is the squirrel attracted by bird seed or does he/she just enjoy tormenting the dogs?

    P.S. Trapped Squirrel #8 in the chicken house today.

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  8. I don't know what a fisher is but it sounds like a verocious animal. Maybe it was not it that hurt your dog but he twisted his leg or something since there was no wound. All is well that ends well but I'm sorry you got such a bad night's sleep and I hope you make up for it tonight.

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  9. A fisher is a kind of marten, a member of the weasel family, and yes, they are ferocious. But I'm thinking you may be right, and he may have wrenched his knee during the chase.

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  10. Poor punster. Hope he's stil improving

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    1. Yes, he's better this morning, though he still can't get up the stairs.

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  11. Maybe the fisher will keep the other varmints away and then move on!

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