Last week was a hell of a week, with a lot of ups and downs, but what helped really rocket it off was on Tuesday night, when I let Cappy out for a last call and realized he was up to something in the back yard. When he came back to me, he had an unmistakable scent on him: skunk.
We’ve been here before and that previous experience helped us prevent a repeat performance. We kept him away from everything, immediately administered the de-odoring formula (please do your beskunked friends a favor and quit suggesting tomato juice, which does not work), and things actually went not too bad. By the next morning a lot of the odor was gone.
He didn’t seem to get sprayed badly, which helped. But also by the next morning we realized there was more to it. The skunk was dead in our back yard, a hole ripped in its side. Cappy had killed it.
I know nature is red in tooth and claw. Cappy, a dog, descended from wolves, was doing what millennia of instinct had programmed him to do. We thought it was cute when he chased squirrels, as he didn’t have a prayer of catching one, and less cute when he took an interest in cats (who at least sometimes gave him something to think about.) We knew that when he tore up boxes he was shredding prey. We knew that. But seeing the dead skunk, its entrails coming out of that hole in its side, knowing exactly how it had died from seeing practice runs with cloth frisbees and such, was a bit much. Cappy’s cute little face looking up at me had changed.
Becky had had such an encounter with Beebo, years ago, when he found a warren of baby rabbits in the yard. I had been spared the visuals on that. Beebo, though, had so many issues that the incident slotted in with them. Cappy, on the other hand, is harder for me to deal with, despite him being a vicious, bloodthirsty pit bull. We joke about him being a savage beast because it seems so ridiculous.
We took him to the vet for a rabies booster, even though he’s up on his shots. I moved the corpse into the street and then called the city to tell them there was a skunk corpse in the street. Otherwise they would have had me keep a dead skunk in my garbage until trash day. The corpse was picked up, Cappy’s doing fine, and there’s little trace of the smell.
Cappy and I are fine, too. It was a sobering moment, but he’s still my sweet little guy, and he’s a dog.
Oh, and there’s another skunk wandering around now.