Saturday, February 26, 2011

That Which Goes Bump In The Night

Bear da’ Dog is the head of security here at HomePlace. He is very enthusiastic and makes sure I know he’s on the job. He barks.

He barks at big trucks on the road half a mile in front of the house. He barks at trains two miles behind us. Helicopters make him nuts. He barks at the porch cats, strange cats, armadillos’, squirrels and birdies.

If you’ve heard a dog barking often enough you pick up on the different tones. For example, I can tell ‘stray dogs’ barking in the distance from someone’s coming. Be it the UPS driver, our son or strangers Bear lets us know we aren’t alone.

I often work on writing projects late into the night if I’m on a roll. Bear keeps up a running comment on the comings and goings of the night life. A deep growling ‘Going to war / gonna eat your face off’ isn’t usually part of the playlist. Having said that, about 03:30 AM his vocals took on the tone of someone holding his ground against a Grizzly Bear! With that I took up the 1911 and a flashlight and went to see what he had found.

Bear was near the corner of the trailer, swelled to twice his normal size with all hackles up tracking something in the dark. I unsnapped the chain from his collar incase whatever he saw closed in. And it did.

Part of Bear’s dinner tonight had been some hen pecked eggs. Slowly, the intruder came into the light, sniffing the egg shells Bear had left in his dish. My blood ran cold when I saw the skunk.

At once Bear advanced, growling his challenge. The skunk lifted its tail, but didn’t spray – Thank God! I didn’t know how long that was going to last, however. They were circling and sparing with each other. They were too close and moving too erectly to risk a shot. I figured I had one chance to keep this from ending badly. When I called Bear he came to me on the porch. I put him into his travel cage for the rest of the night and left the skunk to clean up the egg shells.

There are two things on my ‘to do’ for tomorrow. First is to dig out and set the live trap in case the skunk stays in the area. The second is to add about five gallons of Tomato Juice to the shopping list, incase Bear get’s to the ‘intruder’ first.


  1. You do have the best luck not getting sprayed. Remember the skunk in the chicken pen? You avoided it then also!

  2. Greetings from Texas,
    I do remember, that one was in a nest box. Talk about adventures in gathering eggs!

  3. Tara also has her bugger bark.

    Mrs. Hang

  4. Probably 15 years ago now, I was called to evict a skunk from my mother's house. By the time I got there, it was nowhere to be found...until we caught sight of a fluffy tail hanging out of the cat's litter box. Stupid thing was curled up taking a nap amongst the cat turds and urine clumps.

  5. I've noticed an increase in skunk sightings (scentings, whatever) in NC too. More this year than ever before. Wonder why.

  6. Greetings from Texas,
    Wow Shepard, I thought I had it bad when I came nose to nose with a skunk in a nest box. In the house wins hands down.

    I can't say why skunk sightings are up Dave. I havn't seen near as many in the last few years as when we first came here. They do seem to be on the upswing.

  7. Mythbusters did a segment on getting rid of skunk scent, best mix they found was hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and dish soap. Found this on their site:
    I used 32oz Hydrogen Peroxide, 1/4 cup Baking Soda (NOT Baking Power!), 1 table spoon dawn dish soap. Mix the soap and peroxide together, then dump in the baking power all just before washing the dog.

    This cleaned the rank skunk off my Mastiff after only 2 washes within 10 minutes or work.