My cousin Martha is a dog lover, too. We certainly inherited the “dog gene” from our Grandmother Ruth Allen. Martha jokes that I inherited the “dog gene” tenfold!
Martha had some up-close and personal experiences with her dogs and skunks last year .I asked if she would write about them at some point, and was delighted that she did this past week. The following story is in her words.
“A snow day in February may seem like an odd time to write about skunks – those adorable little creatures with their fashionable stripes all nestled snug in their beds for winter. But they, or at least their lingering presence – returned to me the other night when our Dachshund, Ziggy, got wet in the rain. Oh hello you nasty little flashback!
My partner and I moved into a new neighbourhood last spring, which is really only a few blocks from our last home. But, it became a very different experience from our last ‘hood once fall rolled around. Our friends, who live around the corner from us now, had told us tales of hordes of skunks making their way across the local park like a herd of wildebeest moving over the African savannah. Funny, we thought they were exaggerating.
Until the nights we started witnessing this for ourselves. I began to classify my evening walks with our Labrador, Scout and Ziggy as a “one, two or three-skunk” walk. There was a hilarious skunk up the street that I dubbed “Tina Turner” because its tail looked like big, bad 80’s hair. We had skunks in our driveway, under our car, in the neighbours’ front yards, in gardens, behind fences … it was “High Alert, Def-Com-4 Level” walks every night!
Oh yes – they were everywhere, including our backyard, which is where Ziggy met her nemesis, twice. The first time, as was our habit, we unleashed the dogs at the gate after the walk. Both took off along the side of the house with furious barking. Ziggy must have gotten there first, or more likely, Scout, who is naturally timid and submissive to almost any creature, kept her distance. But leave it to a Dachshund to get her face right into the butt of danger. I sent apologies around to the neighbours the next day.
The second encounter was entirely our fault, as by now we should have known better. But, it was one of those nights when we had gotten into our jammies early and were not feeling the evening walk. So we simply let the dogs out into the yard. On hindsight, a walk would have been so much easier and far less time consuming. More apologies sent around to the neighbours.
We now keep hydrogen peroxide in stock at all times during the skunk season. Used in combination with dish soap and baking soda, it cuts the odor very well – until the next time the dog gets wet. I hope Tina and the rest of her posse are having nightmares all winter!”
Martha is a 53 year old public school teacher and happy dog owner with her partner Rachel. Ziggy, the Daschund, was their practice dog. When they knew that their schedules would work with dog ownership, they got a “real” dog – Scout, their Yellow Labrador. Ziggy is now 11 years old and Scout is 10 years old. With a big yard and walks in the city and freedom at the cottage in the summer, life is good for both the two- and four-legged when skunks are hibernating. Besides their dogs, Martha and Rachel have 3 grown children.
For more on dogs and skunks, check out my previous post.
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