Monday, January 9, 2012

The Glass Pointer

As I wind down the 2011-2012 upland season, one sad fact is becoming more and more apparent, each and every time I hunt.

LuLu is injury prone.

First was her mishap with barbed wire up in Montana, on her first run since getting her from Nolan Huffman, my trainer.  That accident came perilously close to severing her Achilles tendon, and sidelined her for part of the trip.

Second was the opening weekend of pheasant and quail season here in Kansas.  She ran headlong over a cattle guard and fell in up to her chest at full speed.  Although she narrowly escaped breaking bone or ligament, she received a deep tissue bruise and subsequent cellulitis, which necessitated an extended rest on the sidelines.

Over the past month or so, she's developed a nagging tail injury, and it's usually minutes into a hunt before her haunches are spattered in blood.

And yesterday -- on what is likely my last upland hunt of the season -- she decided to tangle with a porcupine after pointing the damned thing.  All of my dogs have been stuck by these critters, but none as severely as LuLu.  Some of the barbs (typically an inch-and-a-half long) are buried more than an inch in her nose.  I was able to pull many of them, but the rest she's not letting me go near.  Presently, she's at the vet getting them extracted (along with my hard-earned cash).

Amazingly, none of these injuries slowed her down.  She's a gladiator-tough dog (even by bird dog standards) and I am happy and proud to hunt with her.  But dang.

Not quite two years old, I'm hoping that I can chalk this up to a young dog learning the ropes.  I can't afford a decade of this!

Update: Mrs. Scampwalker picked up Lu from the vet, and she is resting comfortably, sans 18 porcupine quills.  Apparently there were several inside her gum and palate.  I'd have never gotten them all on my own!


  1. Ouch. Well, at least she's finding something...

  2. I knew a kid like that when I was young. Couldn't get out of bed without breaking, spraining, or lacerating something. He grew out of it but somehow transferred the damage to inanimate objects when we hit high school. Beware...

  3. I had one of those tail splitting dogs. Sophie's tail would always split open on every hunt; I could always tell how much fun she had by how wide the blood splatter was on her back sides.