Every night before bed and every morning when I get up, I do my thing and then it is time for the dog to do his thing.
My journey into the bathroom is usually uneventful. Light goes on, business is attended to, hands washed, light goes out (or not). I can be 100% assured that there is not going to be a skunk in the bathroom.
Things are a bit different when I take the dog to do his business. First, I must turn on the back porch light and see if anything is moving about near the back door. Then I grab the big yellow flashlight and shine it around as I move slowly to the back of the garage to the area where my dog does his thing. Usually the short trip is uneventful. There have been times in the past where a skunk has been on the back porch eating what the birds missed earlier. This morning it is quiet but I do see some movement off in the distance. I focus the flashlight on the alley next to my house and, sure enough, a big ol' skunk is running my way. I jump and run back into the house.
I shine the flashlight out of each downstairs window to try to find where the skunk was headed. Does he (she) have a home under my front porch? I have no luck seeing the skunk through the windows. I turn on the front porch light, which is right next to the door, to illuminate the porch and stairs. Nothing. I creep slowly out onto the porch, closing the screen door behind me to keep the dog in. Shine here, there, nothing. I turn back to the door and find that a swarm of bees has me blocked out of the house. More and more of the damn things are pouring out of the light fixture and are landing on the screen and door handle.
What the hell am I going to do now? I've got to make a choice. Bees or a skunk. Get repeatedly stung or risk a spraying. I can see that the bees are definitely there. The skunk may not be. I slink off of the porch and down the side of the house, listening. It's quiet. No shuffling skunk feet. Finally, I am at the back door and I stand still for a short listen. What's that digging noise? Do skunks go through garbage?
I've got to get the dog out and we surely cannot go out the front. I leash him up and let him do his thing next to the back porch. Hopefully the smell of that will keep Mr. skunk away from the house. I'm not looking forward to tomorrow morning's routine. For all know, there could be a bear out there tomorrow.
I really think that children are easier to take care of than dogs.
Any advice on how to find out where skunks live and how to encourage them to move along?