Pet of the Day

April 22, 2000

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Callie, the Pet of the Day
Name: Callie
Age: Eight years old
Gender: Female
Kind: Domestic Skunk
Home: South Carolina, USA
   Callie is a special little girl! She weighs 4.6 pounds and rules our household. We have three domestic skunks but Callie is our oldest and our only female. She was bred at a fur farm, and is domestic. She lives in our home with us and is a very important family member.

    Skunks are complicated pets, kind of like a cross between a cat, a dog, and a human toddler. A skunk will do a trick if it wants to do it. Callie is rare in that if I tell her "No" to something, she'll stop. She'll stomp her feet to let me know she disagrees, but she'll stop. Callie is my oldest skunk and very bonded to me. She would rather be with humans than other animals. She sleeps in my bedroom or bathroom and, when we travel, she goes with us, A year & a half ago, we had a serious house fire. When the firefighters broke in the door, Callie ran out onto the back porch - a very brave feat for a three pound little skunk! She has had health problems ever since the fire, but she still perseveres. She is very stubborn, thank goodness, because I think that's what saved her! The other skunks burrowed under blankets in their open crate and that saved them from the worst of the smoke, although all of them were sick for months.

    Callie is very affectionate, but on her terms! She loves to be cuddled - then she's ready to get down. Like most skunks, her favorite game is to "play skunk". She stomps her two front feet, then rushes at us. Right before she gets in reach, she'll stop suddenly and turn her backside at us, as if she is going to spray. She is also very curious, much like a ferret. She loves to explore cabinets, trash cans, boxes, houseplants - anything that looks like it is hiding something. Like all domestic skunks, Callie was descented at the breeder's, during her first week of like. Most domestic skunks are neutered by about three months of age, but Callie went into rescue at age one year and hadn't been spayed yet. She was spayed immediately and has had no problems since (although we attribute her bone and joint problems to her late spay). Callie and her brother, Hart, go with me to schools for educational programs. She has been on TV programs about domestic skunks also. Once a year our skunks are entered in a Skunk Show for domestic skunks. This year, Callie showed in the Senior class and did very well. Callie is more than a pet to us, she is our little girl and her Mommy's heart! I always wanted a pet skunk, the whole time I was growing up. My parents didn't take me seriously. My mom used to tell me that once I was grown I could have all the animals I wanted. I'm working on that! In the meantime, my skunks, especially my Callie, have truly taken my heart.

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