Monday, February 16, 2009


I had about an inch and a bit of ribbing done with the Malabrigo Worsted (about to be a pretty hat) when Mom asked me to take Darcy, our dog, for her night walk

We always walk Darcy to the tulip tree at the end of our property and back, so she can have the opportunity to handle any pressing business before we all go to sleep. The familiarity of this routine has caused me to need no flashlight as I walk across the property, I know where all the branches are. It has also led to the development of a little song I sing to her, or myself, as we walk.

And because I have no shame (think the Andrews Sisters):

Don't go sniffing the tulip tree
With anyone else but me,
Anyone else but me,
Anyone else but me.
Don't go sniffing the tulip tree
With anyone else but me,
Til we go romping home.

Believe it or not, there are several other verses.

Well, Darcy likes to run ahead, explore the area by the river, then come back to me and walk up to the house. Tonight I called her at the tulip tree, and she didn't come. It was unusual, but I just walked up to the house.

Then I heard a funny noise. Again, this is not unusual. Darcy sometimes freaks out possum, the occasional raccoon, large herons that make sounds that convince you someone has just been stabbed, mice, chipmunks, squirrels, and other animals. She likes to run up and bump them with her nose, as if to herd them. We are used to it. She herds me every day. Apparently I belong in the front room by the gas fireplace.

I got to the top of our little hill and saw Darcy rolling in the snow. It took a moment for me to realize something was wrong, she kept rubbing her face with her paws. She loves a good roll, but the face rub was weird.

Ladies and gentlemen, my dog had been skunked.

This is a first for us, and we have lived here for 22 years, almost always with pets. Most of them have run around outdoors almost freely, as there is no one around us for miles and the people near enough to notice wouldn't care.

Not only had Darcy been hit with the spray, she was hit full in the face, in her eyes, mouth, get the picture. It was like doggie mace, and it was unpleasant. We spent the last hour and a half calling vets and scrubbing her and searching the net for help. Now my poor girl is asleep in the basement; she cannot come upstairs because she--well, you know. It is not as bad as it was, but it is still aromatic, pungent, obscene (if odors could be that, this certainly is).

Strangely, it does not smell the same as when someone hits a skunk with their car. Still very nasty, but different. And not the worst scent in the world. That was when Darcy rolled in the spill from when we had the septic tank pumped. Then she came tearing into the house as my brother, who had opened the door, looked on in horror.

It took a lot of cleaning to fix that.

So guess how I'll be spending tomorrow? Poor pup!

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