So the results from the vet came back, and Hobkin has a staph infection, apparently a methicillin-resistant one. He gets another course of antibiotics. Poor lil guy! But it's a relief having a definite diagnosis and simple treatment.
However, as one skunk-related worry resolves, another rears up. The housing crisis and economic recession caused Hobkin's godmother to lose her house. She'd been unemployed for a while, and with the job market being what it is, she ended up exhausting her savings and then having to default on her mortgage. She declared bankruptcy, and she and her houseful of skunks relocated out-of-state.
We're devastated. I hope she manages to get back on her feet soon. Really, really hope she does. And now Hobkin doesn't have a place to go when we're out of town. His godmother was wonderful. We completely trusted her to look after him, had total peace of mind boarding Hobkin with her, secure that she was both capable of and would look after him with the same care and attentiveness that we would.
I don't know what we're going to do next month for Christmas when we go to visit fosteronfilm's folks. We can't take Hobkin with us because skunks are illegal to own as pets in Illinois, and we simply can't board him at our vet's. It would be far too stressful. We're considering getting a professional pet sitter, but even if we can find one who'll sit a skunk, I very much doubt they'd have any experience caring for one. And even if they came by four times a day (which is how often Hobkin's meals are), Hobkin would be alone for huge chunks of time. He's used to having someone with him essentially 24/7, not to mention sleeping with me at night. I think he'll be sad and lonely being alone for so long. I would be.
Don't know what to do. Wah!
Wahh indeed! I feel for your distress! Poor Hobkin! Are you by chance in a town with a university? Maybe there would be a biology/mammalogy/wildlife major grad student who would HOUSE-sit for you while you're gone, and take care of Hobkin, too? Is there a nature center near you? Maybe you could call them and see if they know of anyone they would consider reliable, trustworthy and skunk-loving? Or - my PetCo has lots of ferrets, chincillas, etc., maybe they'd know (if you have such a store nearby) of someone who would know how to take care of him?
Wish I could help! Keep us posted!
Our kitten is very upset when we leave for the weekend. He's used to me being around all day, writing and petting. And of course it's much easier to find someone to care for cats (we did have trouble finding people to care for the rats sometimes, though, when we had rats...)
Hobkin really doesn't like the vet's. He's always terrified when he has to go there. Also, he's an only skunk, so he's not used to other animals, and being around other barking, meowing, or squawking critters would freak him out. Plus, he gets free run of the house (the downstairs), and hates being confined in any sort of cage--he normally sits on my lap for car rides because he can't stand being in the pet carrier. So being left in a cage at the vet's for a week just isn't a good option.
Ah. That makes sense.
It also means that boarding him elsewhere would have the same problem, so that suggestion is out. :-/
If you get absolutely desperate, I have some friends in Atlanta who, so far as I know, are currently petless. While they don't have skunk experience, that I'm aware of, I could at least ask if they'd be willing to take on a temporary roommate. And they're really good people; I'm willing to vouch for them 100%.
Of course, I can't promise they'd agree, but if you run out of any other options, I can at least ask. (Then again, I'm pretty sure you have plenty of local friends of your own that you could ask, if it came to that.)
poor baby! i do know, however, that at least 2 petsitting companies in Atlanta offer overnight visits, so the sitter would be sleeping at your home. if i was still sitting full-time, i would offer myself, although i have no experience with skunks, so, yeah... but Barking Up the Right Tree and Buckhead Pet Pals are the ones I was working for (same owner, same sitters), and they both do overnights. they may have someone who has experience with skunks...
Poor Hobkin! Poor Hobkin's godmother! Poor Hobkin's mom and dad!
I hate leaving Fudge. We've only had one long weekend away since both of the boys have been gone and she's been alone. I wish I was close. I'd *love* to Hobkin-sit!
Hello! Forgive me for butting in, but melonaise pointed me in your direction.
I'm a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, I live in metro-Atlanta, AND I'll be home for Christmas. I'm licensed to care for wild skunks (whoo, RVS license!), although I've never rehabbed one before or taken care of a domestic. However, I've raised/rehabbed just about every other wild small mammal. I raised 12 raccoons this summer and currently have two raccoons that I'm overwintering. I'd be willing to petsit for Hobkin while you're gone. If you're interested, feel free to PM me or e-mail me (eohartman(at)gmail(dot)com) so I can tell you more about myself and we can figure out whether it'll work out or not!