Is It That Day Again Already?

[Update: I was out back helping to spray the dogs with Nature's Miracle when two crows chased a huge hawk over our house. We looked up, and a raccoon was staring at us from the top of a skinny tree. The animals...they're planning something. Stocking up on canned goods and ammunition...]

The weather has been unseasonably warm, so we should have known this would happen. I smelled skunk earlier today in the back yard, but I didn’t pay much mind to it because it was full daylight. I figured the critters had been out and about in the night and left their mark. I let my dogs out and went back to my desk to work.

Well, soon I hear some mighty strange panicked barking. I look out the window and see them facing off a huge skunk through our wooden fence. The fence keeps each combatant on the right side, but I know it is already too late to save them from a spraying. I grab the Nature’s Miracle and a pair of shoes, and go out there. My dogs are thoroughly sprayed. They’ve been sprayed before. My other dog was sprayed several times. I am no stranger to the skunk/dog issue. But this spraying was a couple orders of magnitude beyond what I’d ever seen. It was like skunk aliens had invaded our planet and skunk-nuked our back yard.

I couldn’t let the dogs back in, and I couldn’t stop to properly wash them because today is a work day and I am on deadline, so I ignored them and waited for my husband to come home and deal with it.

Except the whole ordeal just went on and on. More strange barking happened, and I went out to look again. This time, I saw a baby skunk. The neighbor, on her back deck, ever so helpful, said, “There’s a skunk right there!”

Argh! It’s a family of skunks! Living in the burrow under our shed. I realize this barking and spraying is going to keep happening until the entire family of skunks had unloaded all of its ammunition on my dogs. Plus, I started thinking I might need to call someone out to get them out of there, and they wouldn’t be able to work with the frantic-skunk-sprayed dogs barking and running around.

I had an idea. I dragged the X-pen out of the basement. Oh, X-pen, you are so handy! I congratulate myself on thinking of the X-pen. I congratulate myself on owning an X-pen. I am awesome.

I set it up in the yard while Chewie looks on. I am smug. The dogs are going to jail and I am going back to work. The X-pen is ready. Now to put the dogs in.

The dogs are gone! While I was setting up the pen, they busted through the fence and went down in the ravine. They are staring at a skunk carcass.

There is swearing, and anger, and I scramble down the muddy hillside in my Merrill clogs, yelling “Bad dog!” I must have sounded scary, because they backed away from the thing. I dragged/chased/beat them back up the hill and into the yard. I had to disassemble the fence because Chewie was suddenly too big to get back in through the hole he had escaped through.

I don’t know if Courage killed the skunk, or just…tasted…it after it died naturally. The dead one was a small one, but I am quite sure I saw a gigantic skunk, so probably there are about 500 skunks still out there refilling their tanks, waiting to skunk-nuke us all in our sleep.

They are in the X-pen right now. I hate them.