MORE ANIMAL TALES or…TAILS or…BUTTS up on Cabin Hill or..elsewhere.. — August 2014

By Gino Zamparo

First porcupines and now skunks?! But wait: This skunk was not of Andes. I’d imagine the Andes variety would be sweeter smelling.

Here’s how it goes: I’m walking Lily, our 10 lb. mini-mini-Schnauzer….you remember, the one who protected us from flying porcupine quills. And she is sniffing and pulling and sniffing and pulling and burying her nose deep in the brush as we walk, unrelentingly yanking me, her nose ever further into the brush. I, compliant, allow her to enjoy this blissful olfactory experience when, “What to my wondering eyes should appear,” but the butt end of a skunk, through the brush, which then proceeds to dilate its hind orifice and spray at compressor force ejection speed a stream of yellow-hued skunk juice at little Lily’s head. Stunned, she sits, and, stunned, I say, “Holy baloney!” (kind of). She, for several minutes, sits, and I worry that perhaps she is poisoned. But soon relief follows as she rebounds; another dog passes and Lily barks and grumbles, reminding all of us that she is boss. Whew!

We walk regularly in nature’s woods, what we call “our” woods here up on Cabin Hill and we cross the road and walk up Biggar Hollow, too, few visible passersby ever. This propulsive skunk adventure and Lily’s happy nose experience happened in New York City. Yes, Lily got skunked-sprayed in NYC, in the Heather Garden near the Cloisters in “upstate” Manhattan!

Getting her back to our apartment, I quickly researched and found that skunk spray, though smelly, is usually harmless. The critter actually aims for the head of its assumed predator as this skunk did with Lily. If the liquid hits an eye it might cause eye irritation.  It stuns always!

We bathed Lily in our kitchen sink with the recommended solution of a little bit of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and lots of soap.

Still, on occasion, as we frolic through the meadows up on Cabin Hill and Lily gets moist, the aroma of this NYC skunk seems to sneak itself through.

Maybe tomato juice next time…..and a sweet Andes skunk instead…mmmm?….no thanks!!~