When Dog Meets Skunk

Not my skunk and dog
Not my skunk and dog

Oh the stink when dogs and skunks meet!

Our dog Kiki and I recently discovered that a picture perfect skunk had made its home under our low deck. Every morning I let Kiki out in the cool mist of a California coastal early dawn. One day Kiki was standing at full attention, something was on the deck.

I flipped on the outdoor light and BAM! there was the skunk staring down Kiki. Kiki barked.

That introduction occurred several weeks ago. Then this morning, with light in the sky, I assumed it was a safe time to let Kiki out. Skunks are nocturnal creatures, after all, or so I thought.

But, much to my chagrin, Kiki bolted out the door on a mission. Growling and barking like I’ve never heard, I knew she found something. I stepped out onto the deck to see what was happening.

Lo and behold, Kiki was in an aggressive posture facing the skunk who was raised up on his or her hind legs like a grizzly bear in attack mode. I yelled for Kiki, she didn’t respond. I yelled for her to come in the most commanding voice I could summon. The skunk bolted toward the fence with our neighbors and Kiki came running into the house.

I turned and followed her in when it hit me like a wall. Kiki had been sprayed by the skunk.

Now I normally don’t mind the smell of skunks at all. But when it is fresh like that it smells like kerosene, soot, and sewage all combined. YUCK.

It was bad enough that the dog smelled but since she ran into the house upon receipt of the spray, now the house smelled. Kiki got sent into the garage and the windows to the house needed opening. At 7:00 in the morning.

I am happy to report that the smell dissipated rather quickly from the house, the skunk found his way back to his under-deck home while Kiki was in the garage, and maybe, just maybe, Kiki learned to leave the skunk alone.

By the way, skunks are crepuscular, meaning they come out around dusk and dawn. An important distinction from being purely nocturnal.