One hundred and fourteen: Gordie Gets Skunked
Mark: Well, here we are on another podcast Monday.
Jill: Beautiful, sunny, podcast Monday.
Mark: Beautiful, sunny, podcast Monday. Welcome back to the EnglishLingQ Podcast; Mark Kaufmann with Jill Soles enjoying the sunshine.
Jill: Yes and the warmth; it's really warm out too.
Mark: I have to apologize to Jill because was it last podcast or the podcast before when you were saying how every February we get a nice stretch of weather? I think I pooh-poohed you.
Jill: Yes you did and now you can eat your words.
Mark: And said we do not!
Jill: And the next week…
Mark: I mean it's been unbelievable for the last week.
Jill: Yeah, longer even than the last week because last Sunday was a gorgeous day, so a little over a week. It's supposed to be decent tomorrow and then I think it's supposed to rain for a few days.
Mark: Oh it is aye?
Jill: But we usually do tend to get a week and a half to two weeks of decent weather.
Mark: I won't say anything now. Obviously, we do because look at it outside.
Jill: Yeah, it's great.
Mark: I mean it's been sunny and warm and like 10-12 degrees.
Jill: 15 degrees on Friday it was.
Mark: Wow! I mean that's unbelievable.
Mark: So warm, it's like spring skiing conditions up there on the mountains.
Jill: Oh God, yeah.
Mark: The snow is melting and just T-shirts. I was up snowshoeing yesterday in my T-shirt. It was unbelievable how nice it was.
Jill: Yeah, I saw a few people on the weekend out in, you know, just a T-shirt or Capri's. I mean we're a little bit crazy here too because as soon as there's any sort of plus 10 degree weather and sunshine in the late winter or early spring people are kind of in summer clothes I think looking so forward to summer. I mean I'm sure for a lot of people it's still not that warm, but it is very nice for the middle of winter.
Mark: Absolutely. I mean it's cold at night, but like now it's warm.
Jill: Just beautiful.
Mark: Anyway, sometimes Jill's right and I'm wrong or at least this once.
Jill: Occasionally. It doesn't happen often.
Other than that what did you get up to this weekend?
Jill: A lot of really important stuff, apparently, because I can't remember. No, I think it was so nice out I went for some walks outside and did some baking and some cooking. I've got the whole nesting thing going on.
Jill: I just seem to be wanting to bake and cook all the time and that's really not like me.
Mark: I was going to say, I don't think the baby is going to be eating much baking for a while. Who is eating the baking?
Jill: Well, this is the problem. Chris told me he didn't want me to bake all these things I was going to bake because then he will eat it.
Jill: So I was going to just bake it and bring it work just because I have these urges to bake, it's crazy. And to cook and I just, yeah, I never sit down before 9:00 o'clock at night. I guess I went to the gym on the weekend and did a little shopping, you know, and that's about it.
Mark: Any baking that you do want to bring to the office I'm sure you wouldn't have trouble getting rid of.
Jill: No, no, so I'm sure I'll bring something next week; probably some brownies or something.
Mark: Oh that would be good.
So what did you do all weekend?
Mark: Well, a bit of an interesting weekend. Well Saturday started out as a usual Saturday; lots of soccer and hockey and that was about it. But then at night I actually went to the hockey rink nearby because I was sharpening my skates and Kyle's skates because they needed to be sharpened and he needed them the next day, so I went that night to do it. While I was there I got the phone call from Kindrey that Gordie had just been skunked.
Jill: Oh, no!
Mark: Oh yeah, Gordie my dog. She was walking the dog and he saw something and he chased that something and he got sprayed by a skunk.
Jill: Oh no.
Mark: Oh yeah, like right in the face. Apparently, he was like sputtering back with the stuff dribbling off his face and in his mouth.
Jill: It didn't get Kindrey though, right? He had gone off?
Mark: Yeah, no, no, he chased the skunk into somebody else's yard and got sprayed.
Jill: Oh my goodness.
Mark: And then slunk back not very happy and that was bad. So then I had gotten the phone call to go buy some…apparently you're supposed to wash them in peroxide.
Jill: Really? I don't know what would get rid of that smell.
Mark: Yeah, nothing really.
Jill: Other than time.
Mark: Other than time. Because the old wise tale is to wash them in tomato juice, but apparently that doesn't really work. The recommendation -- at least on the Internet and most places that you looked -- was some kind of a mixture with peroxide and baking soda or vinegar or some kind of acidic sort of mixture that would breakdown the skunk spray. Anyway, that was bad.
Jill: So does he still smell?
Mark: It's much better now. We scrubbed him a couple times and hosed it off outside. But, still, Kindrey brought him into the house briefly initially, which was a bad thing to do, so the house stunk badly.
Jill: Oh wow.
Mark: It just gets into everything; it's amazing. I mean we've just had the windows and doors open and washing stuff and putting stuff out in the sun. What a horrendous thing; it's unbelievable that smell.
Jill: How powerful it is?
Mark: How powerful; it just gets into everything.
Jill: Yeah, oh no.
Mark: Yeah, so that was interesting.
Jill: So did Gordie have to sleep outside that night?
Mark: Gordie that night, at least, he slept in the laundry room by the back door.
Jill: That must smell nice; that room.
Mark: Yeah, it was bad. We should have made him sleep outside.
Jill: Well we actually do, we have a lot of skunks around here. You see skunks quite often.
Mark: Absolutely and smell them.
Jill: Yeah, yeah, that's right.
Mark: And, normally, if you smell them they've sprayed a dog.
Jill: I always thought maybe they'd been hit or something.
Mark: That too or they get run over by a car.
Jill: But I guess they could have sprayed as well.
Jill: It's a shame you know because they're really such cute little creatures when you look at them. Chris and I were walking a couple months ago and saw one by where we live. He was right close to us and just went by some steps and we were able to stand there and kind of look at him; the tiniest, cutest, little faces and fluffy. They're very cute animals, but you don't want them…
Mark: Terrible. Yeah, no, that was not pleasant; 11:00 o'clock at night out washing the dog.
Jill: On Saturday night.
Mark: On Saturday night, yeah.
Jill: Oh wow.
Mark: Yeah, so that was a little bit of excitement for everybody.
Jill: What did the kids think?
Mark: Well, I mean…
Jill: They were grossed out too I guess.
Mark: They were grossed out too and they all came down because they heard the kafuffle. They were in bed, but I guess still awake. And then the next day, I mean, just having to smell that all the time. Yeah, anyway, it's much better now.
Jill: Hopefully Gordie has learned his lesson.
Mark: Yeah, I doubt it.
Jill: Probably not.
Jill: He's probably not that bright, ha?
Mark: No, I don't think so. I don't think most dogs are that bright.
Jill: No, no.
Mark: He's certainly not exceptional in that regard.
Jill: But he's nice.
Mark: He's a very nice dog, yes. The thing is about him too is he's scared of everything. He's a total chicken, but he chases little squirrels and…
Jill: …skunks, apparently.
Mark: And birds, yeah. Everything else he runs away from.
Jill: Lucky you guys.
Mark: Yeah, so that was kind of too bad.
Jill: Well, it's all an adventure; kids, dogs, you know.
Mark: For sure.
Jill: What would life be without these exciting, unexpected, moments?
Mark: You'll get your share, don't you worry.
Jill: Oh yes, I'm sure.
Mark: Especially when you get a dog to go along with your new baby.
Jill: Yeah right, no, I don't know. I don't think we'll be getting a dog anytime soon.
Jill: They are so cute. I love puppies and I think they're a great addition to a family and one day maybe we will.
Mark: Yeah, right.
Jill: Like what you guys did, waited until the kids were a little bit older.
Mark: Theoretically the kids will help look after the dog.
Jill: They always say that don't they?
Mark: They do.
Jill: Oh I'll do all the work mom.
Jill: I'll walk it.
Mark: Oh yeah.
Jill: I'll do this and in the end it becomes the parent's problem really.
Mark: For sure.
Jill: But, no, I think dogs are great. And I see young families; I see people with two little kids, three little kids, one little kid and one, two, three, dogs.
Jill: I don't know how they do it. I'd go out of my mind.
Mark: Yeah, some people kind of thrive on chaos a little bit. But, yeah, I wouldn't have wanted a dog any sooner than we had one.
Jill: Yeah, yeah.
Mark: And to have more than one dog that's even more…that's more than double the trouble I think.
Mark: We looked after a friend's dog for a weekend and with two big dogs running around the house and bugging each other and always under foot it was just very irritating. One's fine, two is bad.
Jill: Yeah, it's a lot of commotion all the time.
Mark: I guess it depends what kind of dogs and they'd probably get used to things. They were a little excited because they had a friend there all the time and they weren't used to it and they're…
Jill: …playing all the time.
Mark: And Gordie is quite a young dog always wanting to play, so that was a bit irritating.
Jill: Yeah, no, I think one would be good for me too, so maybe five years from now, six years from now, you never know.
Mark: You never know. So, other than that, I mean the weather was beautiful. Kyle's hockey team won, so we had to go back to Whistler again.
Jill: Oh you did.
Mark: Kill another Sunday, another beautiful Sunday; two beautiful Sundays in a row, although, it makes for a nice drive. Like it's a beautiful drive up the coast, you see the mountains in the distance and up Howe Sound and then inland after that, but it's not that beautiful.
Jill: No, you'd rather be outside enjoying it than in a car.
Mark: Yeah, exactly.
Mark: So, other than that, we didn't get up to much on the weekend.
Jill: Well it sounds like it was enough.
Mark: That was more than enough; that was more than enough. We're going to have to build a fence to keep him in; although, actually, he wasn't running free he was with Kindrey. Like he was free, but they were on a walk. I think at night we're best to keep him on a leash because, as you say, there are a lot of skunks around.
Jill: And I think they're mostly out at night, right? You don't really see them in the day.
Mark: Yeah, no, in the day…they're nocturnal, yeah.
Mark: They're out at night and so I think, for the most part, as long as the dog is on a leash at night it should be fine.
Jill: Well skunks are afraid of everything too.
Mark: For sure they are.
Jill: They're afraid of dogs, so I'm sure if Gordie hadn't gone and chased it.
Mark: Yeah, I mean the skunks know that there's a dog in our house, so I think they stay away.
Mark: But they weren't in our yard they were up the road and they thought they were fine. And so, yeah, they get scared and it's a defensive mechanism, right?
Jill: You can't blame the skunk.
Mark: You can't blame the cute, cuddly, skunk, yes. Apparently, friends of ours had a family of skunks living under their shed and they figured this out at some point; mom, dad and two baby skunks. And so they phoned the pest control or the exterminator or whoever you have to phone, I don't know who you phone and they had a hard time finding anyone who would even deal with skunks.
Jill: Oh wow!
Mark: But they found one pest control guy who would deal with skunks; $400.00 per skunk to remove them.
Mark: So a family of four was $1,600.00; that's unbelievable.
Because I mean there are tons of companies that will get rid of your rats or whatever other problem you have and it's not a big deal.
Mark: Not at all.
Jill: So I guess skunks are a whole other…
Mark: People don't want to deal with skunks.
Mark: I don't know if skunks have any natural predators, I don't know. I do know that when I was a kid growing up here we didn't have any skunks.
Jill: I think it's true. I think that we have, for some reason, gotten more skunks over the last several years. Because somebody said that…I don't remember, I grew up here too and I don't really ever remember smelling skunks or seeing skunks.
Jill: And then somebody said to me a while ago that there never used to be skunks, so I don't know if maybe they've just sort of migrated here from other areas.
Mark: I have to assume that's what happened. What did happen -- I don't know maybe five-six-seven years ago -- all the raccoons and coyotes died. They caught some kind of bug and died out; almost all of them.
Jill: Oh really?
Mark: I mean not all of them, but…
Jill: …a lot of them. Well they're sure back.
Mark: A majority of raccoons and coyotes died out. Now they're coming back, so maybe they kept down the skunk population and when they disappeared the skunks multiplied. Now the coyotes and raccoons are coming back, so maybe over time the skunks will get…
Mark: I don't know, eaten, cut down to size, I don't know. I mean I've got to imagine that, you know, if my dog's chasing skunks, obviously, the coyotes are going to chase skunks.
Jill: Yeah, I would think so.
Mark: And you've got to think they get them some of the time.
Mark: You know coyotes definitely get cats around here, so why wouldn't they get skunks?
Jill: Yeah, I'm sure they would.
Mark: I'm sure they would, so maybe as those populations increase…I prefer coyotes and raccoons to skunks.
Jill: Yeah, I don't know, coyotes? Well yeah, it depends; I guess if you don't…
Mark: …have a cat…
Jill: …that you really, really, love. You're not worried about your small children or whatever.
Mark: Yeah, exactly.
Jill: But, yeah.
Mark: I think it was probably the raccoons, to be honest, because there used to be a lot of raccoons.
Jill: I remember growing up and there were always raccoons in our yard.
Mark: Always, always.
Jill: All the time.
Mark: I mean you're starting to see them now again, but nowhere near as common as they were when I was a kid.
Mark: Like they were everywhere. I can remember them up in trees fighting each other and falling out of trees. They are actually dangerous to dogs; they're vicious raccoons, but better than skunks still in my book.
Jill: At least they don't spray you.
Mark: No, I know. Anyway, that was a little departure into the animal kingdom today. We'll probably end it there and we'll talk to you again next week.
Jill: See you later.