Posts Tagged ‘problems’

Death to Flower

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010


My neighborhood has a skunk problem.

Let me rephrase that.

My neighborhood, which is well within city limits, where I can look into at least four other houses’ windows from my own because they are so close, where emergency sirens and roaring trucks are far more common than bunnies and birdies, has been taken hostage by skunks.

The week we bought the house, back in the good old days BK (before kids) when I still took my poor long suffering dog Brutus for real walks several times a day instead of just shoving him out the door and glaring at him to hurry up and pee, we ran across a skunk wandering down the sidewalk at 7 am. I managed to drag Brutus, howling and whining, two blocks home before the poor, dazed skunk even realized what was going on. I breathlessly called animal control to report a TOTALLY CRAZY skunk sighting but apparently they don’t work at 7 am so I got the front desk of the police station. I described in great detail exactly where I saw the skunk, the intersection he was waddling towards and (sigh)what he looked like, as thoroughly and completely as I would have described a robbery suspect.

I bet those cops laughed about me for DAYS.

The skunks are everywhere. They’re digging in my trash cans making a mess. They’re standing in my driveway in the middle of the afternoon. They’re wandering around my yard in the evenings making Brutus go apeshit. They’re squashed flat in the middle of the road, making me gag and my eyes water.

I am sick and tired of these motherbleeping skunks in my motherbleeping town.

Tuesday afternoon the baby, the groceries and I were trapped in the car for 10 minutes while a clearly dazed and unwell skunk wandered through the garden, so when Brutus started pacing and whining around 8 o’clock I figured the beast was back and terrorizing our street. I slammed the door and yelled at the dog to sit down muttering about moving back to the country, where my landlord took care of lost skunks the old fashioned way – with a .22 and a shovel. (True story.)

When the dog woke me up with MORE whining at 4 am I spent 20 minutes debating whether it was worse to ignore him and clean up dog poop in the morning or let him out and deal with a dog-skunk death match and the smelly horrible after effects before dawn.

You can see how that might be a hard decision.

Eventually I felt enough dog-mommy guilt that I decided to let him out – after turning on every exterior light and peering out the back door suspiciously looking for skunky signs like…I don’t know. Wilted flowers. Droppings. A squirrel holding it’s nose. When poor Brutus was eventually released to the yard he barely made it off the porch before he started peeing. And peeing. And peeing. I started counting mississippis when he was STILL peeing after what felt like 10 minutes and I made it to 45 before he stopped to poop. And then he peed some more.

I am a terrible dog owner. I blame the skunks.

But what can we do? It’s not like I’m going to set traps – I couldn’t bring myself to use any kind that killed the skunk (especially since there are a dozen or so outdoor cats in my neighborhood) and an angry, trapped LIVE skunk sounds even worse than skunk eating my trash. Animal control doesn’t seem to care. They’ve been staging this attack since early spring and it just gets worse every year. Advice appreciated.