Close Encounters

We live on the edge of town, not quite in the full-blown country but close enough to see feral cats, dumped dogs, hissing possums, semi-evil coyotes, silent owls, nasty buzzards, large turtles, random snakes, awkward armadillos and other critters on a regular basis. Every night toward the far side of ten o’clock, Daisy the Dog and I venture outside for her last ‘hurry up’. (Years ago, a good friend told me to call the dog’s business a hurry up rather than a s#!t as it sounds much more genteel to yell at the dog to ‘hurry up’ rather than ‘go take a s#!t’.)

Last night under a half-moon nearly obscured by hurricane-induced clouds, we followed our regular routine.  Upon approaching the prescribed area, Daisy was distracted by rustling in a nearby bush.  I heard it, too, thinking it was the neighbor’s cat come for a late night visit.  Daisy, forgetting her original purpose, ambled toward the bush and leaned in close.  I neared the bush as well to pet the cat and remind Daisy to hurry up. 

The moon slipped out from behind a cloud and the darkness peeled away a bit.  Just enough for me to see that Daisy and I were peering at the business end of a skunk from about three feet away.  While I have taken a direct hit from a skunk many moons ago, Daisy hadn’t.  I made the executive decision that she didn’t need the experience and I didn’t want to repeat it.  I grabbed at the dog’s tail to distract her as I was backpedaling from the skunk’s tail.  Apparently, the skunk had mercy on us or just failed to fire.

We hurried up and hurried back inside none the worse for wear. However, I will take a flashlight with me tonight.

image credit: San Diego Zoo

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