Unfortunate Encounter

By Sandy Kirby Quandt

Around 0 Dark Thirty Halloween night, I was wakened by the smell of coffee. Not the fragrant aroma I so loved as a child when I stood in the coffee aisle at the local A&P store. Nope. What I smelled was the stench of burnt coffee.

Realizing both Pilot and Bear were missing, I left the bedroom to search for them.

While I briefly entertained the thought that our neighbor’s cat had startled a skunk under the bedroom window, my walk through the house, and outside through the garage, confirmed what I feared.

Bear had been the one who riled a skunk with disastrous results. I found Pilot up to his elbows in a solution of baking soda and peroxide, leaned over our very odoriferous pup.

“Why didn’t you wake me? I could have helped,” I asked. Although, in reality, I’m glad Pilot didn’t wake me. Have you ever been around a dog who has just been shunked?

By the time I offered assistance, Bear had already been rubbed down three different times, with one more washing left before he was declared passable enough to be banished to the garage until morning.

The tee shirt Pilot wore throughout the ordeal was destined for the trash can.

Bear saw the skunk and couldn’t control himself. Must be whatever part of Terrier/Lab/ Australian Shepherd, and possibly Boxer, is thrown into the mix of his lineage. Or, it could just be his obstinance.

Either way, Bear refused to listen to his master, Pilot. He refused to retreat from the impending doom, and lunged headfirst, literally, and paid the consequences of having to endure repeated scrubbings to remove the stench he caused.

While this will be one more dog story Pilot and I have to go along with the countless others we’ve accumulated over the years, there are several things I believe we humans can learn from it.

  • When we don’t listen to our Master, Jesus’, voice, we end up in stinky situations
  • When we chase after things we shouldn’t, the consequences can be disastrous
  • When we get close enough to our Adversary for him to spray his stench all over us, we carry that stench with us until it is washed away
  • We can’t get the stench off on our own, we have to depend on our Master to do that
  • Our unfortunate encounters may lead to banishment

Fortunately, like Bear, we have a kind, loving, sacrificial Father who allowed his Son to take our stench upon himself and face brief banishment from the Father, to make us clean.

Jesus willingly left his throne in heaven, came to earth as a man, endured all the hardships we endure so he would know what we face, be sympathetic, and plead our case to his Father.


Jesus took our sins – our stench – upon himself and faced, for the first and only time, God briefly forsaking him because of those sins.

Jesus allowed the men he created to murder him horridly on the cross, without an ounce of mercy.

All so you and I could be washed clean by his precious, sacrificial blood.

Jesus paid it all so we wouldn’t have to.

Thank you, Jesus.

Pie…your pop needs a new Dallas Cowboys tee shirt, and you know I’m not about to get it for him. 🙂

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Remove my sin, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Psalm 51:7

I wish you well.


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2 thoughts on “Unfortunate Encounter

  1. Amen and Amen…..well remember the days growing up in the mountains of southwest Virginia when the dog would have close encounters with skunks….wasn’t pretty nor was it pleasant aromas. Thinking of you and your sister as your mom struggles to live. Please know that we are with you in spirit, prayer and love. Granny is a wonderful lady and I’ve kept in touch with her over the years…..she sent me a picture of herself last year and it reminds me of the spunky little lady she once was. May God be with you and yours during this trying time……polly


    • Polly, thanks so much for your prayers. This world is not our home…we’re just a passing through. Praise God for the promise of an eternity with him in heaven where there is no more pain, suffering or death.


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