by Jan Fielden

Well, it finally happened. We had a lot of instances of this occurring when SAM THE BEAGLE of the Red Oak Ranch was living. This is the first time it has happened since then. MO and Tasha got skunked the other night. Oh, what a breathtaking adventure that was and they didn’t even get the worst of it. They were barking like crazy the other night and suddenly it changed to serious barking. You know the difference when a Beagle is just barking to bark and when he actually has some animal or snake in sight. The tone of the voice is different and the bark becomes more urgent. Well, we heard all that and I turned on the outside lights but couldn’t see anything.

The Colonel got his gun and stepped outside and knew immediately what they were barking at!! It was in the air! The skunk was still in the yard but trying to get out quickly. He ran around the Holly bush and tried to push his way through the fence that separates the front yard from the back. Unfortunately for everyone concerned the skunk got stuck in the fence. He couldn’t go forward and couldn’t go backwards. The Beagles kept jumping at the skunk and The Colonel kept yelling at them to get back because he could not shoot at it without the possibility of hitting them. It was then that I got some treats for them, stepped outside, yelled “house” to them and waved the treats at them. As much as they love hunting they broke away and started running to their house. I shut them in the pen and gave them a treat and I knew they had gotten skunked!

The Colonel shot the skunk. The damage was done to his boots though and the air surrounding the house, which drifted inside whenever, the door was open. Today, three days later we can still smell it…inside the house. The skunk died outside by our bedroom window. We’ve put baking soda on that area and on the Beagles plus odor remover. It is not a good time to use tomato juice on them. Life at the Red Oak Ranch!!