Ewwwwww....skunk. The smell was strong enough for me to suspect that the stinky critter was within spitting distance – make that spraying distance. Lex, wait! I tried to close the door before she got out. Too late. She was gone. A dog on a mission and it had nothing to do with a skunk.
Out in the yard, Lexus circled and sniffed while I continued to coax her back into the house. A command didn’t work so I used my ‘what a good girl you are’ voice − the ‘milk bone’ voice. She looked back as if to say, ‘wait a minute, will ya, I got things to do.’
Lex squatted. Yes, yes. No. She changed her mind. She needed a few more turns and a couple more sniffs. Oh, come on! Normally, I don’t watch her and maybe that’s why she kept looking over at me. ‘Do you mind?’ Yes, that’s likely what she was thinking.
Leaning through the open doorway, I called to her, telling her to hurry and even clapping my hands – like that would make a difference. Anything to get her back inside before there was an unfortunate encounter. Thoughts of the striped animal scooting between my feet and into the kitchen did cross my mind, as far-fetched as that sounds.
Nervous, I glanced at the bushes next to the deck before scanning the yard. Nothing. The smell of skunk was nauseating. It had to be close. It could get either one of us.
Another anxious look at the dog. Finally, she had finished her business. With a little encouragement, Lex headed back to the house, raced across the deck, and skidded over the threshold. An indignant snort let me know she wasn’t pleased at being rushed.
Normally, she likes to wander a bit first thing in the morning. It’s her favourite time of day. The rabbits are playing tag in and around the shrubs and she joins in the chase. After nosing along the creek and a general tour of the perimeter, she returns for breakfast. But not this morning.
Even though the smell was all through the house, we had both escaped unscathed and the skunk was probably spreading good cheer at neighbouring properties.
Later that afternoon, the skunky stench long gone, I went outside to do some yard cleanup. I headed to the gardening shed back by the creek. My garden cart was up against the outside of the shed and I moved some campfire chairs and gave the cart a tug. Sniff, sniff. Yuck. I’d disturbed something, no doubt.
I dragged the cart out to the clearing and eyed the shed that held my garden tools. The smell was getting stronger. Lex was rolling around on the ground, getting up, and diving through the grass again. Stop that, Lex, I said. Keeping a leery eye, I backed away.
Clearly, the skunks had taken over the rabbits den under the shed. My fingers tightened around the keys in my pocket. What if they’re inside the shed, I thought. Visions of being immersed in gallons of tomato juice, rubbing my stinging eyes, and coughing and choking and crying – for sure I’d be crying − made me cautious.
Urging Lexus to follow me, I pulled my cart across the yard. I’d manage without my garden tools.