Skunked Again!


One day, on our daily walk with the dogs, we found a dead skunk on the trail, near a thick clump of bushes. We managed to get to her before the dogs did, and disposed of the body, which had not a mark on it. No idea why she died.

The next day, Dozer wandered off and returned smelling like skunk. He got inside before I realized, and so the house stank too! I rushed off to the closest store for Doggy Skunk Shampoo, and returned home to scrub him silly. And it worked. (Pro-Pet Skunk & Tough Odor Remover, bought at True Valu.) But I kept thinking, that skunk smell should have been much worse. And a few hours later, as soon as he got outside again, in fact, that smell was renewed.

In fact, every time Dozer went outside, he returned with a dialed down dose of skunk perfume clinging. I suspected the dead skunk we’d found had left behind some babies. There’s nothing in this world Dozer dog loves as much as baby animals. Lance thought it more likely that the adult skunk had sprayed around her former home at some point, and the dog was walking through the weeds and getting the scent on him.

Still, I’ve been bathing Dozer day and night. He just keeps going back for more. And then, lo and behold, last evening, Dozer and Daisy (both giant English mastiffs, by the way) spotted something in the field and ran like mad, then proceeded to “sprounce” around it. Racing out there to see what they were after, we saw it. A baby skunk. Dozer tossed it in the air like a stuffed toy, before we managed to call him off, and while he only wanted to play, the poor little skunk didn’t find it at all fun, and he sprayed both dogs repeatedly.

Happily, the skunk was unharmed. We got the dogs to back off, but instead of running away, the angry little stinker spotted our little buldog Niblet, who was just an innocent bystander, and it started to charge her! She was stunned. But she finally came to me for protection and was not sprayed.

The skunk then waddled through the hedgerow dividing our property from the farmer’s field next door. We spent the next hour washing dogs again. The skunk shampoo worked really well, but I also think baby skunks must not have as strong an aroma as their adult counterparts.

Now, though, I’m worried about the little stinker. Wondering if any of his litter mates also survived, hoping he’ll be able to find enough to eat on his own. I’m going to put some canned cat food out in the area where I saw him and also near where I suspect the original nest was and hope he and any siblings find it, as the ‘Net says that’s a good thing for little skunks about this size/age. I’ll do what I can to help them survive in the wild on their own. Maybe providing a bit of food for a few weeks will be enough. Not too much, though, as we want them to be able to scavenge on their own as well, and not rely solely on cat food.

I’ve been looking up skunk symbolism in my reference books, the best of which is ANIMAL SPEAK by the late genius Ted Andrews. He writes that skunk medicine

He says it’s also about the three channels of energy that travel up and down the spine, the moon (ida,) the sun (pingala,) and the combination of the two (sushumna,) reflecting an ability to direct creative energy along more than one line at a time. (I’m working on two books at once for the first time ever, one of them a young adult book, so that’s meaningful to me.)

That was it in a nutshell. And also about getting attention and deciding what sort of attention it will be. People are supposed to start noticing me about now, so I need to put on my best face, do my best work. So sayeth the totem.

Or maybe it was just a skunk. 😉

Anyway, that’s our skunk tale. I hope it’s over as far as the dogs are concerned, but I have an awfully strong feeling that we have yet to see the last of these little fellas. Oh, well. C’est la vie!

#skunks #maggieshayne #symbolism #dogs #twilight #totems #animalspeak #romancewritersconventionconference #life #maggieshaynevampirenovels

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