My husband and I are caring for our grand dog Buddy while our youngest son and his family explore western Canada. Last night I let Buddy and our three dogs out one last time before bed. For a moment all four dogs seemed to disappear into the inky darkness. Suddenly there was a noisy scuffle. I turned on the powerful outdoor light and saw that Buddy had caught a skunk; a very big black and white skunk! Quickly, realizing what he had caught, he released it, and in that instant it turned its huge and fluffy tail toward him and let loose! Horrified by what he had done and the stickiness of the odorific spray on his face, he rushed into the garage and frantically rubbed himself on his bedding in a vain attempt to rectify his condition. Tessie, his co-conspirator, did the same. Lacey and Zoe stood off to the side watching all the commotion, shaking their heads in wonder.
Lacey & Zoe
Shamed by their new smell, he and Tessie lurked in the corners of the garage. I tended to them as best I could, considering the lateness of the hour, and the odor seeping into my home. I bid them goodnight as they slunk into the shadows.
The next morning I went to Buddy's pen to let him out. He shamefacedly hung his head, contrite over his foolishness. I had texted our son to share the excitement. His response was that "Buddy tangles with skunks about twice a month, he knows all about them, but never seems to learn." So his surprised innocence was no longer working on me as I understood that it was the thrill of the confrontation that Buddy enjoyed.
Out in the big yard this morning, he and Tessie went looking for more trouble. Hoping, I am sure, for a rematch with their worthy opponent. As I sat drinking my coffee, it occurred to me that sometimes humans do the same thing; engage in a conflict, perhaps over the smallest thing, for the excitement of the exchange. It is true, the adrenaline flows and the muscles are ready for action, but later one might feel foolish for the silliness of the altercation. Often the motivation is the thrill of the fight, not to actually win a point of argument; besides one never knows when they might get "skunked!"
The old saying, "One must choose one's battles wisely" may apply here. For now the thrill-seeker named Buddy is casing my yard for more excitement!