Tuesday night I decided to take the dogs for a walk. I stepped out the door and froze. The smell of skunk was very strong. The dogs were sniffing the air but fortunately didn’t see anything.

After pausing for what seemed like several minutes, but was likely a few seconds, I quietly turned on my flashlight and looked around. Sure enough, there were eyes looking back at me about 50 feet out, beside a bush.

I don’t actually know what the range of a skunk is but I assumed it was less than 50 feet so I took the dogs out along a route that would keep some major distance, moving very slow so there were no misunderstandings.

I went for the walk and was quite cautious coming back. No further sign of the skunk.

I love the power of a flashlight to reveal hidden animals. They don’t know their eyes are giving them away.

While I was walking, I was reflecting on how time moves differently when you perceive danger. Sure getting skunked is not really danger (fear of having to clean two dogs and myself is a real fear, but it is not danger); but the brain sees it as fear it so it works the same.

Reminded me of the lizard brain that Seth discusses quite a bit in Linchpin. Sometimes we are glad it is there.

And sometimes, fear makes you react with avoidance. Sure you might get skunked, but you also might miss a really good journey or not get anywhere worth going. You can mitigate the risk and push aside the fear.

I could have went back in the house, but I didn’t. I got an adventure and the dogs got a walk.