A close call... Each morning when I let the dogs outside there's joyful barking and a mad rush to get out the door, with four dogs all jostling – hard – to be first. For whatever reason, generally they run out and take a hard right, looking like a stampede of miniature cattle. Then by the time I amble out and start looking around at the morning, they spread out, calm down a bit, and start investigating, playing, and just generally being happy dogs. This is a pattern that I'm very used to.
This morning's dog release started out the same way: the mad rush, the jostling, the hard right – but then the barking stopped, two of the dogs turned right around and ran back to the door wanting to go back inside, and the other two were growling and sniffing, alternately. What the hell?
Figuring that caution was best, I called all the dogs inside, then went out to investigate. I saw a small set of glowing eyes, first (it was dark here, but I had the outside light on). When I got closer – a big old striped skunk! Nearby around some of our current construction there were some handy dirt clods. I grabbed a handful and started pelting the skunk. This he found very confusing. :) After a couple of clods bonked him on the head, he decided to skedaddle.
If events had proceeded even just slightly differently, I might have a few very smelling dogs to clean up this morning. Thankfully I did not!