Last night our miniature dachshund Oscar practically exploded in a flurry of barking and whining in front of the door to the back deck. We've had deer out back for the past couple of weeks so I just assumed some were passing through to and from the woods and the neighbor's cow pasture again. But we didn't want Oscar's barking to wake up our daughter Ally, so I picked the dog up and walked out on the back deck. Oscar continued to bark and struggle in my arms in a way that made me think there might be something more than just another deer out there. There was quite a bit of rustling down below the deck so Steve got the flashlight and we swept the yard, looking for an animal. We didn't see anything other than some fireflies and the eyeshine of the cows.
Figuring it must have just been the cows next door, we came back inside where Oscar launched herself at the front door with another explosive volley of barking and whining. Whatever it was out back was now in the front yard. Oscar was practically vibrating with excitement and I'm surprised she didn't shatter into a dozen mini-mini dachshunds, all wheeling around our legs and barking their tiny little heads off. Steve scooped her up again and we stepped out on the front porch with the lights on and the flashlight in hand. We didn't see anything but Oscar struggled so much to get free that Steve had to take her back inside so she didn't get loose and spend the night running around the woods after the elusive intruder.
And a good thing, too. I walked out to the driveway with the flashlight just in time to see three fluffy, inky black tails held high scurry after a bigger, fluffier, inkier black tail held high. The three kits followed mama skunk to the edge of the embankment and down into our ravine, where they made a surprisingly loud ruckus for a long time as they crashed through the underbrush.
Back inside, it took a long time to console Oscar about not being able to chase off the kitties and she's still not speaking to me this morning.