Setting: A dark and freezing night. Zero visibility. Lots of slippery snow. The last walk of the day around the side of the house.
Dog: A large 100-pound yellow lab with a ‘going’ problem. Does not take no for an answer. Constantly sticks nose where it is not wanted.
Human: Exhausted mother/writer. Dreaming of bed after 1,000 such walks that day. Often led around by the nose by four-footed friends, and others. Wrapped up in favorite, very expensive faux fur coat.
Skunk: Bored and excitable. Has a nose for trouble. Looking to get into some. Nondescriminating.
Human: OK, dog. One more time around the house. Then I swear, this is it! We are going in. Do de do de doooooooo. (Strolls happily)
Dog: Let’s go! Let’s go! Let’s go. Did I say let’s go?
(Dog senses something in the front yard and lunges forward, pulling human off feet. Dog screeches to a stop as a large black-and-white devil turns and aims a bushy rear end at them.)
Human: Oh my god! Oh my god! (Drags dog back from whence they came, screaming at top of lungs and losing all sense of propriety.) Oh s**t. We have to get the f*** out of here! NOW!
Dog: (looking over shoulder) Isn’t that a friend? I’m sure it’s a friend.
Skunk: Sure! We’re friends. And here’s a little parting gift. (Lets it rip!)
(Begin baths in tomato juice, lemon juice, hydrogen peroxide mixed with baking soda and dish soap, AND after a shampoo with Suave, dog still smells. Human fears skunk is everywhere, and also fears she smells. Becomes noticeably paranoid on walks, and bemoans having to throw out favorite winter coat, which, of course, smells, according to a horrified clerk at Ocean State Job Lot.
A few days later:
Dog: (somewhat desperately, as usual) OK, come on. I have to go out. I have to go out. Did I say I have to go out?
(Human peers out into dark yard to see skunk chilling by the stone wall. It waves.)
Skunk: (laughs evilly) Hey! How ya doing. Come on out!
Human turns and retreats into office.
Dog: (follows) Hey, what about me? What about me? What about me?
Human: (Turns slowly then shuts the door) Do I know you?