I don’t have a picture of the skunk that sprayed my dogs yesterday morning, but frankly, I don’t think any of the party involved really want a permanent image to keep that memory going on and on. The skunk lived, and so did my dogs. And the stench surrounding and lingering inside our abode markedly designates it as the “house of shame.”
It happened at 6 in the morning. I’d known a skunk had been visiting us for a few days — first because the birdfeeder was getting emptied at night, and then because in an insomniatic moment, I got up one night and actually observed said skunk at the sideyard feeder (oh my gosh let it not be a completely different skunk). To avoid a potential problem, I began to make sure the feeder was empty in the late p.m. — completely forgetting about the feeder in the backyard, because most mammals, except those quick and nimble squirrels, rarely are foolish enough to enter the Dog Domain (yeah, who was really the fool here?).
Then this morning in a groggy state of mind, I let the dogs out into the dark to find their bladder relief, and instead they found a skunk. Chaos ensued. I don’t really need to give more detail on that one, I’m sure. But oh the morning I had. Three dogs sprayed. One small house. Everyone else in the family abandoning me as soon as possible. Me, utilizing my own concoction of baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, dishwasher detergent, dog shampoo, and peppermint castille soap. Three baths later, they still stank, and now so did I.
Turn the page to the afternoon. I’m sitting in a 4-hour conference, getting occasional (albeit faint) whiffs of skunk. As much as I wanted to apologize to everyone around me for smelling so offensive, assuming I did, I stayed silent, hoping instead that each person would maybe blame someone other than me, or at the very least, just have no idea who brought the stench to the conference (I seriously hope that I was simply being overly worried and not actually as bad as I feared). I sat there feeling like PigPen in a cloud of not dust but little stinky molecules. If I could smell it periodically, then in my mind it had to be so much worse for the others around me. The next day’s agenda? An all-day meeting trapped in one small room with a few others to interview several candidates for a job. Great.
Here’s the thing. I don’t blame the skunk. I hope it’s okay. I do hope, as well, that maybe it learned a lesson about my backyard. But the drought has really made all sorts of animals venture to places they might normally avoid, all in an effort to find food and water. And we had both here. I really don’t mind the occasional odd critter here — in fact, normally I’m downright excited about the latest species. But did it have to be a SKUNK? Ah well, it will only take months to get the stink out of this house and our dogs. Hopefully not so long for me.
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