Belle has warned him many times, by lifting her front hooves and planting them right by his ear, not to try and pick her grazing spot. (Trust me, this is a warning, not a miss. My girl has aim.) Poor Gibbs, the barn cat, makes sure to hiss a warning and show his claws every time Jag invades his personal space. And skunks, well, they see him coming...
The first time Jag encountered a skunk, my husband was knocked over by the stench as the dog crossed the threshold into the house and made his way to our bed....I was woken from a dead sleep by the assault on my senses and kicked them BOTH out of the house.
If you have never experienced the smell of a true skunking, you are grossly unaware of just how life altering it is OR how strongly your smeller is attached to your gag reflex. It's one thing to drive by skunk road kill - it's quite another to have skunk oil permeate your skin, every fiber in your home, even your jewelry. (a week after this first episode I grabbed my watch and bracelet off a high shelf in my bedroom and donned them. A few hours later, in a meeting with my employer, I was sniffing and distracted by a stench. I finally narrowed it down to the jewelry on my arm and was MORTIFIED. I had to explain to this skeptical city boy that I did bathe on a regular basis.) A bad skunking burns your eyes, your nose, your throat....and it makes kids home for some parent pampering run back to school.
When my husband witnessed Jag putting his nose in the rear of a skunk again yesterday morning, he knew better than to let this boneheaded dog back in the house.....he also had the sense to create a work emergency and leave as quickly as humanly possible. My poor older daughter, Cameron, was home for Jag's first tango with a skunk and again for this one. We both considered leaving Jag home alone and heading with Tank to Hotel Zaza.
Instead, I put on my de-skunking uniform (rubber boots, rubber gloves and throw away clothing) and she went into home freshening mode, mopping the floor with orange oil, lighting candles, buckets of Febreeze... I put Jag in the playpen we used when he and Tank were puppies - WAY out in the pasture under a tree. You couldn't even see him from the barn and somehow I felt better - like if I couldn't see him, surely I wouldn't have to smell him. Cameron, an old pro at this point, mixed up the vet suggested combination of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and Dawn liquid. (The scientist in her decided that vinegar would be a great addition to this formula - and she was right - except for the explosive effects. It was a little like uncorking a bottle of champagne without the buzz.)
I proceeded to hop in the playpen with Jag and bath him with Cameron's concoction while she and Tank looked on. Tank was clearly disgusted with his brother. He also had a bit of a cocky look because he knew what this meant - Jag would get no snuggle time in the near future - more for him! After the 15 minute "processing" requirement, we let Jag out and went to the pond to rinse off.
We're a long way from the end of this cleansing - the effects linger for what seems like eternity. Jag knows he screwed up AGAIN and he's keeping his distance. After all, he smells the consequence of Skunk Wrangling much more intensely than his human family. Tank won't even sleep next to him! But has this experience improved Jag's decision making skills? Probably not. We will no doubt have to pull out the hydrogen peroxide again.
Jag is not unlike a lot of us. Why do we not believe people or circumstances when they prove to us time and time again who or what they are? Like the perpetually late friend - why do we get frustrated that they are late when they have never been on time for anything? Haven't they already shown you what their plan is? Or the "true" liar - you know the one - that person who would make up a tale when the truth fits better. Why do we give them the benefit of the doubt when they've already proven they prefer fiction? How many of you have walked up behind a skunk and yelled "BOO"... TWICE?!
Good old Dr. Phil says, "When people show you who they are, believe them". I think this applies to situations as well. Like Jag with the skunk, believing what we are shown removes a lot of unnecessary drama from our lives. Why be disappointed with that late friend you adore when you can just smile and ask them to meet you 15 minutes before you plan to arrive?!