Contact Me

If you enjoy my blog and would like to contact me, you may reach me at this email:

Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Monday, July 8, 2013

Don't Get Skunked

When we lived in Paradise, California, a skunk used our backyard as his private highway.
I believe he lived under a large shed which still sat on the vacant lot next door.
Skunk had his nightly routine down.
First he scratched for grubs around the shed.
Then he moved to the grassy area right outside the master bedroom.
Since it's warm in Paradise in the summer, we kept the windows open at night.
I could hear his nightly forays outside our bedroom.
His next activity was checking out the bunnys' food that fell from their hutch. This was on the opposite side of our backyard.
Sometimes Skunk got his schedule a little mixed up and he'd cross our backyard an hour early.
Which meant that he'd be in our yard when it was time for our dogs to go outside for their nighttime potty.
One particularly warm night we had all the windows in the house open.
Daughter Kiri opened the kitchen door and let Dudley and Sprite run outside.
She left the door open since they usually did their business quickly, then ran back inside.
On this occasion, they tragically intersected with Skunk, who automatically let 'em have it with both barrels.
Dudley and Sprite, frantic to escape the noxious spray, raced back inside.
Now I know we've all smelled skunk odor as we drive down some local road.
That's bad enough.
But have you ever smelled skunk fumes close up?
Holy Cow! It's unbelievably repulsive.
Kiri ran into her bathroom to retch.
And I, fighting the same urge, screamed for my husband to grab the dogs. The spray had coated their fur and they were running around the house trying to get away from the smell by rubbing against our furniture.
If the neighbors had overheard us, I'm sure they would have called 911. We sounded like we were dying.
We wiped the dogs' faces, then put them back outside. There was nothing more that could be done for them until morning when I could buy some odor remover.
We directed fans toward the windows, then hid in our bedrooms with doors shut for the rest of the night.
It took several days for the dogs and our house to return to normalcy.
I went to our local pet supply and bought several bottles of the enzyme cleaner that helps remove skunk odor from fur. I chuckled as I set them on the counter. "Boy, I'll bet our dogs have learned their lesson about skunks."
The store owner shook his head. "Not a chance. Dogs never learn that lesson. They'll go after a skunk again and again and get skunked every time."

A few months later Skunk met his doom when he decided to take another route through the neighbors yard just behind us. Their big black dog dispatched him discreetly and with amazing skill. We never smelled Skunk during that deadly attack.

Still, I remembered what the pet store owner said: "they never learn."
Gosh, I hope I learn my lessons better than my dogs.
I hope I don't keep repeating some stupid act over and over expecting a different result.
By the way, isn't that the definition of madness?

Do you ever notice yourself doing or saying something habitually that always ends in family strife?
We all have patterns of behavior, both good and bad.
Perhaps some of them need amending.
So you don't get skunked.

Here's a rather graphic proverb:
"As a dog return to its vomit,
so a fool repeats his folly." (Proverbs 26: 11 NIV Bible)

1 comment:

  1. I know what you mean! I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to slap my forehead and declare, "Now, WHY did I say that again?"