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October 31, 2009

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Thundyr, the Pet of the Day
Name: Thundyr
Age: One year, five months old
Gender: Female
Kind: Mahogany Skunk
Home: Drums, Pennsylvania, USA
   Thundyr Myah Lylak Clyde is a Mahogany Skunk. She is the most loving animal in the world. She walks on a leash better than most dogs and can hike more than four miles at a time. She is wonderful with our shepherds, two other skunks, sugar gliders and cat. She's beautiful, friendly, very playful, funny and just one of the best companions a human can have.

    In the state of Pennsylvania, skunks can only be purchased from a breeder, who is supposed to check the person out and make sure that they feel the skunk will be taken care of properly. A skunk is given a special "number" we call a "skunkcurity" card number that we need to show that she is legal if anyone would stop and question us or come to the house to make sure the animal was purchased legally. The scent glads are removed at the age of four weeks, and after they are removed there is no smell on a skunk at all. They do not need a bath often, but if/when they get into something, like any animal, they can take a bath with non-allergenic baby wash. Their fur gets so puffy and soft it's almost hard not to wash them often.

    For meals, as an adult, she eats once a day. She needs protein and fresh fruits and vegetables, so she eats a good quality dog food or cheese or chicken or turkey or egg (or other protein), I like to vary it for her. She also needs a variety of veggies and fruits, which I always cut up for her fresh daily. (She's a tad spoiled, like every animal should be.) She loves anything pumpkin, and like anyone human or fur, she loves her snacks, her addiction is almonds, so not a bad one, but she adores pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin rice pudding, pumpkin pie, you get the now is a very good time for her. She would eat most things that are bad for her, if allowed, so we either ration it, or don't allow her to have it and she's happy with that most of the time. In the summer after a long hike, a small ice cream stand near us knows her favorite is "blue goo flavor burst" and will have it ready when they see us pulling in.

    She loves to go out, shopping is one of her favorites, and all the pet stores in the area know her by name. Her favorite "out" time is hiking though, and living in the Pocono area, we have a lot of that available for her. When we take her out, shopping or to a park or fair, she is usually friendly, but I always hold her head just in case she gets nippy, as in the US, they are considered rabies vector animals and will be killed should she nip anyone. She has never broken the skin on any of us, but I'm not taking any chances. There has never been a farm-bred skunk with rabies, ever, but that doesn't stop the game commission from removing them from the home and killing them to test for rabies. She doesn't mind being petted on the back or have her tail touched, or even usually have her claws touched, unless she was on the harness walking and is on the move. She loves to walk and run and if I stop that she can be a little annoyed.

    Her claws appear long, but skunks have very long quicks, as their nails are for digging grubs, not for defense, so they are not sharp and do not scratch. She loves to dig, though rarely finds grubs, but has a few times.

    She is litter box trained, but doesn't like litter, just uses two paper towels and she's good to go. She will kiss on command (if she's in the mood) she loves to "run and stink" meaning she will run around like crazy pretending to come after you and when you go back to pretend to get her, or touch her while she's running, she'll take the "stink" stance, very, very cute... She loves to sneak out at the person playing with her as well. She will run behind the couch or in the other room, and come back a different way. I think she smiles when she catches someone off guard.

    While in her crate in the car (safety first, that's the only time she's crated) she loves her favorite blanket (or one of my tee-shirts) and a cuddle toy. Right now, her favorite is a pink and black skunk from Yoohoo and friends, that was purchased from Halmark. It giggles when you squeeze it's belly and she knows how to make it giggle...which is a riot in the middle of traffic to hear coming from the back of the SUV...

    She is very cuddly if she's not playing or eating and loves to snuggle, especially in bed. She will climb right up and get in bed and get all cuddly if she's in the mood. Otherwise, she has a few "dens" in the house, under the couch, in the cubby, under my daughter's bed, in my dormer and two dressers. She will swipe anything that she finds she "needs" for her den, and can carry a king-sized comforter clear across the house if the spirit moves her, even though she's only 5.5 pounds. I have often found socks, underwear and favorite sweaters in her den. My husband says, if you'd put your laundry away quicker, that wouldn't happen...true, but it's really cute to see the dens.

    I hope getting to know Thundyr will help educate people about these beautiful and loving animals, and get the negative connotation away from them. They have the sweetest faces and are a joy to have in the family. They get along great with my two shepherds, two sugar gliders and one cat. They have a great sense of humor and are very affectionate.

   Thundyr is my little sweetie!

Thundyr, the Pet of the Day
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Thundyr, the Pet of the Day
Thundyr, the Pet of the Day
Thundyr, the Pet of the Day

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