A couple of years ago a skunk moved into the neighborhood. We sensed his presence immediately if you know what I mean. But fortunately it has mostly been a "I won't bother you - you don't bother me" relationship. We humans all understand this. The dog: not so much. Which makes this story all the more amazing.
At night I usually walk the dog around the campus (late) without a leash and turn off lights and pick up trash and in general make sure all is right with the world. I few years ago when Fr. P was still here he sometimes joined me. One particular night, after making sure nobody was walking around the property, we let Sebastian out for our walk and he took off like a shot. He wasn't barking but making a "Whoohoohoo" sound that he conjures up when in hot pursuit of a woodland creature.
He was making a bee line for the end of the drive in front of the parish hall when Fr. P asked, "What is that thing out there?" We both came to the awful realization at the exact same moment.
And miraculously he did! Inches from the animal! The tail was up and pointed but Sebastian stopped and the skunk froze. Of course we were screaming our fool heads off. "Come here! Stop! Get away from there! Nice kitty!" Sebastian did his version of shrugging his shoulders and walked away and the skunk very slowly swaggered across the street like it had something to prove. "I aint afraid no dog."
This happened a couple of times. (I know, stupid priest - put your dog on a leash.) Now I recognize the signs; the "Whoohoo" noise, the funny skulking run. So I try the old "there's something even better over here" routine.
This happened again just two night ago. Sebastian ran right up to the skunk - the scene was set for disaster, and they just parted and walked separate ways. Either I have the most clever dog in the world or Akron has the kindest skunks ever. That is all I can figure.