Dennis Mazur, who is trying to cope with massive veterinarian bills after his dogs ran into a prickly situation, is gaining financial help from a crowdfunding campaign.
His dog, Mahalo, was outside with two other dogs, Nestah and Solijah, when she encountered a porcupine.
The dogs tussled with the animal, and Mahalo was instantly covered in quills. Some of them pierced the dog's heart and lungs, requiring extensive surgery in Saskatoon.
Nestah ended up with a muzzle full of quills. Solijah got away with the least damage, with quills on his neck.
"Quills are a tricky thing," Mazur said. "They go in and they're just sort of barbed and they migrate and travel and that's the fear right now. Mahalo had quills that migrated up into her lungs and into her heart. And the fact that she's alive right now is a full miracle."
Mahalo and the other two dogs are now recovering.
"It's been a blessing," Mazur said. "I'm feeling truly blessed. I was not expecting this to pan out the way it did."
However, more trips to the veterinarian are ahead and thousands of dollars in bills are being racked up.
"I'm watching day-by-day," Mazur said. "As long as these are the last of the quills in here, we should be on the road to recovery now."
GoFundMe page raises $10,000
Mike Gerrand, a friend of Mazur, has started a GoFundMe crowdfunding page to defray the costs, which he said are "skyrocketing" toward $10,000.
Gerrand said this doesn't include money Mazur has lost through travel and missing work. He said Mazur even slept in his car outside the vet's office.
"These dogs are the love of my dear friend Dennis's life," Gerrand said on the the GoFundMe page. "They travel everywhere with him and are loved by the special needs clients Dennis works with."
Gerrand had hoped to raise $10,000. As of Tuesday night, $10,205 had been donated.