Thursday, April 29, 2010

My $550 Dollar Trail Run

Running is stupid. I'm pretty sure I've made that comment a million times, and I do feel that way. It is the same way I feel about snowshoeing. However I do run and I do snowshoe- but then again I also pay taxes and I'm not always feeling so happy about that.

That being said I took the dogs out for a trail run yesterday after work. It was raining a bit and I'm lazy, so I figured it would be easier to clean up myself and the gear needed for a trail run than a bike ride, so there you have it- lazy trumps stupid.

Molly, Jake, and I headed out and settled into a nice groove. For me that means constant motion and only one nearly rolled ankle out of every 50 footfalls. We had completed the first part of the loop and I decided I wanted to do a bit of exploring for some future trail building I've been planning. So we hopped over a small stream and picked our way through the woods. We had just come across a really cool spot that had about 30 largish boulders and rocks strewn about and I was envisioning cool northshore style elements that I'd likely never ride- but sure would look agro out in the woods. I was mentally mapping where we were and just picking our new heading when Molly took off. I didn't think much of it other than thinking "Squirrel" in the voice from "UP". Then I heard her barking- and I knew it was one of four things: skunk, porcupine, bear, or another dog.

Now this list of four is not random, in fact it is quite well researched. My dogs have a tendancy to get themselves into a bit of trouble. My wife and I were trying to figure out how many skunks and porcupines the two of them have gotten into over the last few years- we lost count. Add in the handful of bears that Molly has faced off with (or the one my wife faced off with when it looked like Molly was about to get into a bit of trouble), and a King Kong sized handful of dogs that our two have scrapped with- you get the idea.

Of course being the responsible dog owner I am, I have no leash so Jake follows me as I go charging through the woods to find the barking Molly. I then hear the first yelp, followed by more barking- so my list of four remains firmly in my head. I then find her, trying to bite the ass end of a porcupine.

Now the thing about porcupines is that they don't move very quick, so this 80lb dog is yapping and trying to bite off its backside- but is is still moving at a Sunday stroll pace. And Molly, well she looks like she's got a full beard now- face full of quills and it doesn't seem to phase her- yet.

I yell to Jake to stay (this is when the leash would have been helpful) and he does for the most part. I run over and pull Molly of the porcupine and wait for it to start to scamper up the tree. But this is toooooo much for Jake, he's about 15 feet way and just vibrating- and then it happens- he busts forward grabs the porcupine (now about three feet up the tree and moving slooooooowly) by the leg and the thing falls on Jake- filling his side, paw, and part of his face with quills.

If it wasn't for what I knew was coming soon, it would have been sort of comical to watch. Now I grab both dogs and try and encourage the porcupine that moving up the tree a bit faster this time might be a good option. Of course if you've ever trying to hold two dogs by their collars while their faces are now pin cushions and at the same time trying to not get pulled over by them onto a porcupine, you'll know that there is a moment where you wonder how bad the jokes are going to get about the fact that your face is full of quills. Fortunately that didn't happen.

Next we begin the trek home. At first the dogs were fine, but they kept getting their heads a bit to close to my legs, and now the frustration of knowing I've got to pull quills, or more likely, will need to finance another significant vet bill, starts to creep into my head (there goes that new road wheelset!) At the same time I'm having that thought the dogs start to become more aware of their new Pinhead look. Jake is rubbing his face and side on the ground about every 20th step and Molly grabs at her face with her paws and tries to pull them out that way. But we slowly head home.

We get to the house and the dogs stay on the porch. I go in to let K and the girls know about the dogs and to grab a pair of leather gloves and pliers. The girls want to see and K is already on the phone with the vet. I get about 40 quills out, but each one is at the risk of loosing my hand as Molly is getting pissed and pretty snappy with her mouth. Jake is just so full on his side and is so squirmy that I just can't make much progress.

K comes out and says the vet will meet her at the office and she loads the dogs and heads out. Now the guessing game begins- how much will this one run?

About three hours later K comes home with two very dopey dogs. Molly is very out of it as they have to sedate her just for her shots, so a quill removal requires and elephant tranquilizer. Jake is a bit gimpy as his dragging his side on the ground drove a couple quills pretty deep and they had to cut him a bit to get some of them out. The total bill $550.

Remember how I started this- running sucks.



Dennis said...

that should teach you to go trail running or any running for that matter

Mike said...

I feel bad the poor pups, but I have to echo what Dennis, said...That will teach you to go running..

Sven said...

tell me about it! the dogs are fine, but no new wheelset for me!