I recently attended the Florida Annual Skunk Show. It was not the first time I have attended the show, but it was the first time I have entered my own skunks into the show. Because a lot of the skunks that I keep are rescues, they often have little idiosyncrasies that I was worried would keep them from being able to handle the judging table. For instance, my champagne skunk gets highly stressed in crowds and will drool and pant in a way that would remove her from any sort of "best in show" running if they take appearance into account at all. I was pleasantly surprised by how well my babies did.
Gingerbread (the aforementioned champagne skunk) seemed far more confused by the sudden proximity of more skunks than she has ever before seen than she did scared of the crowds. This enabled us to enter her into the contest along with all of the other champagne skunks. After a slight hitch where the announcer's speakers scared her as we approached the table, she even managed to stay calm enough to take a nap on the judging table. She managed to net two second place ribbons.
Stunky (my black and white) has never cared about crowds so we weren't too worried about her. Imagine my surprise when it turned out to be her who acted a little hand shy around the judges. She placed first in category, but didn't manage to place for best in show (likely because of running from the judges on the final judging table).
All in all it was a good afternoon. Here are a few points about the show:
- As I have realized, being in the skunk community for some time, every skunk owner in the world has a different opinion of what is "OK" for skunks. I had to bite my tongue a few times watching people feed their skunks things that I would never feed my girls, but that was their owner's choice.
- Everyone in the skunk community is happy to find that we aren't alone in our love of these furry creature. I didn't meet a single person at the show who was ill tempered. I have noticed this in previous years and am glad to see that it is a continuing trend.
- A skunk in distress can often be calmed by shoving a handful of dried mealworms or a walnut in their face. It did wonders for my Gingerbread.
- The people who stopped by but do not own skunks were all very pleasant this year. I talked to several people who were genuinely curious about the skunks, rather than some years where spectators have come with an attitude of "look at this freak show."
Feel free to stop by the gallery and check out the photos of the event.