We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
North American Porcupines are not rare in the northeastern US woodlands. The topic comes up because Mrs. BD and I watched one on his tedious climb up a Hemlock tree last week in Mohonk. Lots of fun to see one of these goofy critters.
Not only are they slow and short-sighted, they also often fall out of trees.
They are mostly nocturnal, and I rarely see them. One nailed one of our dogs (lightly) years ago in the Berkshires. We pulled the quills out of his face. As with skunks, a dog only has to be taught once.
Not my brother's dogs. One of them set the world record for porcupine attacks at 3 in one day. The first two were pretty minor, but after the third attack it took two of us to hold her down, while my brother pulled the quills with a pair of pliers. He still missed a few.
Together, his two dogs could kill a skunk, but it involved one of them getting sprayed (guess which one) while the other snuck around and killed it with a bite to the neck.
Some dogs are slower learners. I had a yellow lab that never did learn. On one occasion she brought me a live immature porcupine. He (the dog) had a mouthful of one inch quills. A 12" hemostat seems to work best for that kind of situation.
I pulled 120 quills out of our very aggressive (and stubborn) female shepherd mix's nose after an encounter with our resident porcupine. You have to be the one in the family that the dog is the most used to obeying, as they will growl at anyone who is at all hesitant with them and who they aren't completely submissive to. If in doubt (and you have a large dog with powerful bite) spend a coupla thousand bucks and take em to the vet. Retrieving dogs are easy, they will look sorrowful and let you help them, but more ferocious breeds might snap or growl. You CAN do it yourself if the dog knows you are boss, and you can soothe them while doing it. If a lot of quills, having some skill at needlework helps (really) as you may be delicately getting the things out without too much damage to the soft parts near the snout. I was rather annoyed at the porcupine that my dumb dog was so hurt (tho she recovered) and wanted to kill said porcupine, despite protected status. However, after lying in wait for it on its accustomed twilight rounds around the house, I was startled when it turned its head and looked straight at me. That was it. Dog hasn't gone after it again, porcupine still takes evening strolls ....