By Jim Beers
Fifteen years ago I was washing my golden retriever (Bud, short for Budweiser King of Beers) with soap and water and rinsing him with tomato juice in my Virginia yard. My lawyer neighbor saw the dog all wet and looking truly "sheepish" and wanted to know what I was doing. I told him the dog had just bungled into his first skunk and that despite my commands (at this point I nudged the dog with my elbow), mister he-knows-best walked right into a full spray from a pretty large skunk. When my lawyer neighbor then said that it probably taught the dog a lesson (he was neither woodsy nor a dog guy), I told him it only taught the dog one of two things based on my experience. Either he will kill every skunk he sees from now on or he will avoid every skunk he blunders into from now on. The truth of this was never born out because Bud (to the best of my knowledge) never met up with another skunk.
This truth was taught me at an early age. We raised Dobermans when I was young and once they were let out of their pens to run in the yard and one of the male "dobes" got sprayed by a skunk, evidently before the skunk snuck back out under a low spot in the fence. About two weeks later that male Doberman (Red) came back to the house smelling of skunk. I went out to see where the skunk had gotten in the yard and what I found was shredded skunk in several locations. To my knowledge no skunks ever came back in our yard.
A few years later I was quail hunting in Arkansas with some relatives of some brothers I hunted ducks with back in Illinois. The bird dog was an Irish Setter. As she wandered into the edge of some woods bordering a field we were working she suddenly came running back out toward her owner. When I looked into where she had came from (hogs were a common problem) I yelled out that there was a skunk in there where the dog had just run from. His owner just looked disgusted and said she had been sprayed by a skunk a couple of years earlier and ever since she ran from them like a little kid running from a bully.
I thought about old Bud and Red the other day as President Obama cautioned us all to not rush to judgment about the Army "Major" that killed and wounded all those innocent military personnel at Fort Hood. As he prattled on about law enforcement requirements and trials and how the poor "Major" just snapped I was outraged. My thoughts went back to President Bush telling us all right after 9/11 that those that perpetrated this would pay for it. President Bush kept us attack-free for 7 ½ years and now we see both incidents and increasing terror incidents since the new President took office.
President Bush reminds me of my Doberman Red. When Red killed that skunk and left a lot of carnage, the skunks stayed away from our yard for years and years.
President Obama reminds me of that Irish Setter in Arkansas (whose name I don't even remember) that ran from every skunk it encountered for the rest of its life. Skunks never paid her any attention and probably not only nested under her porch but likely ate from her food dish at night.
If you want to keep the skunks away, get a Doberman: if you want skunks under the porch, get an Irish Setter. If you want a safe and free America, elect a conservative. If you want a smelly home that isn't fit to live in, elect liberal radicals that will infest the Congress and the White House with poisonous fumes that will soon cause you to have to abandon your own home.
See, dogs are just like people.
Jim Beers Veterans Day, 11 November 2009