Not in the suburbs any more.
I awoke again this morning to the sound of dog-shimeying-out-from-under-bed (I wonder how that would translate into German). She made out with my hand again... and then she retreated to the corner of the room to stare at me. Did I do something wrong? Did she want to cuddle with more than just my hand. Since the bed was clearly verboten, I took my sleeping bag and crawled onto the floor (I vacuumed yesterday). She continued to stare at me like I was some sort of bad person. Fine, I said, so I got back on the bed.
Some actual people came by the house last night to work on a project in the outbuilding. I actually went out there and talked to them for a long time while they varnished furniture. After I walked them out their car, I realized that I was behaving like a Lonely Person. Kinda freaky, really. They also showed me how to use the choke collar.
While I was hanging out with them in the backyard, I let willow come out of the house and say hi to her friends. While we talked, willow started barking and growling and jumping around, and in the darkness I saw a little figure with the famous black and white racing stripes. It was frozen by the cement pagodas... she was baring her little teeth and hissing. I had bad visions of running through the black forest, stumpling over logs, chasing willow and the skunk. The couple started calling to willow to come back to the house, while I scuried to the closet to find the object that made the sound willow could never ignore-- her leash. I ran outside and shook it vigourously. Willow's highly attuned leashdar responded immediately and I shooed her into the house and shut the door before she knew what happened.
The skunk melted into the darkness.