|Reply from dog trainer:
can buy skunk spray ... spray the nuisance dog to let the owners
know that there are consequences"
Using skunk spray during off leash dog assaults
Thank you for the idea of skunk spray. I have had a bad run with those
stench pots and may not follow up on obtaining the spray as the odor makes
me nauseous. But I do like the effect it would have on the dog owner. That
part is devilishly clever! Ohhh...how very clever.
Skunks were common in Connecticut, as witnessed by the frequency they
appeared as road kill. Ridgefield was all winding back roads that had been
made from Indian trails that they had made following deer trails. New
England was a maze of verdant new growth maple, birch, white oak, sumac,
sassafras etc. California is a desert by comparison. It was almost tropical
with rain throughout summer; forests everywhere because there were no
housing developments or roads more than 2 lanes. (Neighboring town Redding
had 5 acre zoning to prevent building)
Skunk spray brings back a flood of memories such as my first job, on
old man Kaiser's chicken farm, at age 15. Raccoons killed the laying hens so
he set a catch-em-alive trap. When caught he'd put the raccoon in a burlap
feed sack to release at the town dump in
Ridgefield, Conn. Mr. Kaiser's farm
was shut down by the health dept a year after I graduated high school. So
you can imagine the kind of place it was.
Mr. Kaiser was out on the road twice a week delivering eggs & fryers to his clients.
He told me if the trap caught a skunk on the days he was out that I
was to shoot it. One day there was a skunk in the trap. The rifle his roly-poly German wife handed me was
the cheapest one sold in the Sears catalog. A a rusty single shot relic with the sights broken off. My
first shot didn't kill and that skunk sprayed. Man did it spray! Kaiser was
mad at me because he had to empty that disgusting skunk sprayed trap when he came
home. You try aiming a rifle without sights.
|The entire main street of Ridgefield was made "National Registry" after I
left home. I grew up there in a 21 room Victorian on 3 acres, surrounded by
woods. Ashland Cottage was built in 1825 as the rectory of St. Stevens
Episcopal church. At the turn of the century it was the Three Pines Inn.
The British burned down St. Steven's during the revolutionary war's battle
of Ridgefield. The rebuilt church, that I was baptized in, is something like
you'd see in a National Geographic special about New England. In high school I joined an reenactment group as both a minuteman and
sometimes a red coat member of "The Kings Own 4th of foot" regiment.
We did the battle of Ridgefield - firing cannons down the main street past my
house. Horses, flint lock muskets, powder charges set in the earth to
explode dirt simulating a cannon ball landing -we did it all. The crowd
loved the exploding dirt along the route but you could never do
that today! The legal liability of pyrotechnics near crowds would not be
allowed. We accidentally shot George Washington's horse in the butt with the cannon
wading. It was wet newspaper - like a big spit ball.
Why was I born & raised in Heaven only to be tossed into the ugly real
world at age 18? What shock that was! Suddenly living in the lower east
side of NYC in 1968 was like a vision of purgatory.
From age 18 until I was
54 there was constant turmoil, broken dreams, shattered hearts. I ran on a
treadmill going to Hell before giving up on all that futility-fleeing the
cities for this old farmhouse in a pasture,
Skunks. After High School I left to journey into the ugly real world.
Our old family dog Pepper was hit by a car at age 17. The next spring a new
dog showed up just the way Pepper had when I had been 3 years old. The dog simply
appeared and stayed as if to say "Hello! I'm your replacement dog." On a
weekend, home from school in New York, I named the collie mix "Aries" after
my zodiac sign and because he had a white flare in the shape of a ram's
horns on his head.
Aries was my parent's dog as a companion for their empty nest. I'm not
really rambling; the connection with skunks is here. Aries loved skunks! He
regularly hunted them and got sprayed. Year after year Aires would be
banished to live in the cellar (where his dog entrance was) until the stench
But then he'd get sprayed again. Aries was a wonderful dog except for
When my mother died I went home for the funeral. "Don't let Aires out at
night or he'll get sprayed again by a skunk" my dad warned. After too
much bourbon I forgot. Sure enough, Aires got sprayed that night by a skunk and
couldn't come to my mom's funeral.
Enough about skunks.
Tyler the babe magnet
It is too bad I'm obese now that I have Tyler. Women don't like fat men any
more than anyone likes fat people. But with Tyler all these really nice
women are cooing over him in public with "What a pretty dog!"
If I was thin and cute like I once was there would be all kinds of
fireworks with some of these women. Now I am too old, fat, and gone to seed.
Tonight the bagger at the supermarket, a very sweet bright eyed young
lady, spent 10 minutes at my car pawing over Tyler! She examined his teeth
twice, telling me how big he will grow, showing how to massage the sweet
spot on the temples at the entrance to his ears. Showed me cell phone
pictures of her German Shepherd. Said she'd had shepherds all her life and
Her childhood shepherd had such a gentle mouth he played with flies.
Her dog caught flies, held them in his mouth, then released them to
fly about! When the flies were killed from his game he'd sadly spit
them into her hand —remorseful that he killed his little fly
friends. She said it was amazing how innocent he was.
Who is this lovely young lady, sweet as wildflower honey, sharing childhood memories to me in a dark parking lot after a
winter rain storm? Is she
another Angel entering my life to remind me that I am already dead living in
Heaven or is alerting me of my coming departure from this earth?
She declared several times that Tyler is a very pretty dog. That
phrase now means this to me: "Tyler is an Angel on earth given to
you by the souls of your departed cats Spot, Rusty, Zircon, and Cougar.
Tyler's soul is comprised of those beloved cat souls transformed by
God into their next stage of
spiritual evolution—this dog. Tyler is your dog spirit, part of your soul.
Everyone who compliments him is another Angel reminding you of the very special gift you have
While shopping, minutes earlier, an 8 year old girl wanted to hug
my dog. She explained that her father had a police dog
shepherd she dearly loved. The dog was killed when it ran out in front of a car.
She told me how much she misses her German shepherd. I was incredulous to be in
the presence of such an emotionally articulate child. She must have been
another Angel that looks over Tyler.
What If I lost 200 pounds of my fat? I could probably have more than just a companion
dog; I could have a girlfriend again. Oh no. That would be the emotional equivalent of
going back to drinking alcohol after my 19 years of sobriety. Girlfriends
lead to emotional intimacy which leads to other intimacies, and then ends in
It is important to be
careful not to want what I don't have. Tyler often reminds me of something
Lao Tzu said:
|There is no greater sin than desire,
No greater curse than discontent,
No greater misfortune than wanting something for oneself.
Therefore he who knows that enough is enough will always have
Yes, of course; "He who knows that enough is enough will always have
enough." Tyler and the other furry Angels on this farm are blessings from beyond
earth. They are enough. (More than enough.)
I must be dead and this must be Heaven. Otherwise how can I explain the existence of Tyler?
Angels are all about me whispering in delight at their gift; "What a
All of Heaven exclaims their achievement; "What a pretty dog".
Yes, "What a pretty dog!"
One with a soul as gentle as a lamb.
A dog who evokes the 23rd Psalm - "The lord is my German shepherd, I shall