Skunk! Lu Gets Sprayed

In case you weren’t aware, skunks literally live everywhere. EVERYWHERE!

Even in the city.

About three years ago, I was enjoying an evening outside in one of my Adirondack chairs in the front yard. I was sitting in the dark just enjoying the weather when I saw something move out of the corner of my eye.

I sat in silent horror as the biggest skunk I had ever seen in my life, waddled across the yard in front of me. I do not know if it knew that I was there. I would assume that it did, but I did not introduce myself.

I tried to stay perfectly still, and not breathe, as I watched the skunk sniff around at the bushes before it made its way across the yard and then disappear into the night.  I was mildly horrified, but at least I pulled through unscathed.

Dingo Lu was not so lucky.

Recently, I got home from work late and let her out to poddy. I went upstairs to change my clothes and the skunk odor came through the bathroom window and into my bedroom. My heart sank because I just knew that Lu had been sprayed.

I rushed downstairs and confirmed the hunch as I slid open the patio door and in came a very sorry little Australian Cattle Dog. She was immediately ushered back outside.  Poor Lu took a direct hit to her face. Her eyes were watering and I have never seen a dog drool like that.

It was as awful as it sounds.

Skunk funk, as I have come to call it, doesn’t smell like you think it would either. It’s more of a burning tires and hot piss kind of smell.  Or, if you’ve ever walked into a Starbucks.  It’s terrible.

I quickly took to the internet to find a real remedy vs what I have heard through the channels of Old Wivers tales.  Who has the time  to mess around in this situation?  Not I. I quickly made a list of necessary supplies and sped to Wal Mart.  Thank God for 24 hour super centers.

I obtained everything that I needed for the task at hand. Then I sat in my car in the parking lot and ate an ice cream bar while contemplating running away from home. No really.  I was at least mentally preparing for the endeavor.  The process was as awful as you imagine. It was also cold and raining and I had to do all of this outside because there was no way I was putting her in the car to take her to the dog wash across town.

In the end, I got it done.  The method I used worked.  I will share this with you below in the event that you end up in this situation yourself. .

Skunk funk. What is it?

Skunks have two glands; one on each side of the anus. These glands produce the skunk’s spray, which is a mixture of sulfer-containing chemicals such as thiols (traditionally called mercaptans), which have an offensive and nauseating odors. I can attest to this.  A skunk’s spray is powerful enough to ward off bears and other potential attackers, like little nosy cattle dogs.

It’s important to know that the chemical spray from a skunk is oily and you will also want to take care to avoid getting it on your hands and clothing. Don’t worry if you do, I have a tried and true method to remove the smell from your pet and from yourself.

You will need:

  1. Rubber gloves that come up to your elbows.  You can find these next to the cleaning supplies at the store.  Trust me on the gloves. Buy the gloves.
  2. Depending on the size of your animal you will at least want to start out with two medium size boxes of baking soda.  I used Arm & Hammer.
  3. Hydrogen Peroxide
  4. Dawn dishsoap
  5.  A large bowl
  6. Water
  7. Oatmeal Shampoo

 

In the bowl mix the following:

1 box of baking soda

1 quart of 3 % Hydrogen Peroxide

2 tablespoons of Dawn Dishsoap

Mix these ingredients together to create a paste.

Wet your animal in warm water. Then apply the mixture to the entire body, be careful around their eyes. Let the paste sit on the hair coat for 10 minutes. Rinse.  Then do the process again.

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Lu soaking in her paste. Poor unhappy Dingo!

I did this three times. It got most of the odor out. Her face was still a bit stinky.   I then used the oatmeal shampoo to soothe her skin and it helped to have a little bit of extra fragrance.

While this method cleared up 99.9% of the odor, there was still a faint odor. I noticed it more when she was wet or if I got really close to her face.  I decided to see if there was anything else that I could try.

I did some research and reached out to friends who all recommended that I follow up with a product called Nature’s Miracle Skunk Odor Remover.  You can find this product at PetsMart.  I got the big bottle that retailed at $19.99. It’s lavender scented.

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I gave Lu another bath using this product and it was highly effective. It smelled really good.  I poured the product into a large bowl and then soaked the collar she was wearing at the time of the incident, the collar she used when I gave her the baths, and also the leash that I used to hang onto her.  It worked great.

The smell has finally disappeared and life has returned to normal. Though, I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t a little paranoid at night when I open the door to let Lu outside to do her business. I never want to go through that again.

At least I know what to do next time in the event it does. Also, my silver lining is that it happened at home and not out on the trail where I would be forced to put her into the car and transport her to get her cleaned up. I cringe at the thought!!

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I hope everyone is having a great weekend!

 

 

 

 

Operation Hilli Dig: A Funeral For A Friend

Hilli has been laid to rest.

This past February, I wrote two stories about my red Australian Cattle Dog, Hilli. I wanted to share the stories about my girls, where they came from etc. The first story I wrote about Hilli was about her adoption and adopting a senior dog.  You can read about that story here at Sweet Souls Of An Old Dog: Hilli.

Sadly, the second one that I wrote was only a week later and it was about her death. You can read about that here at Death and Friends; Hilli Has Flown Away.  Hilli had lived with me since October of the previous year. She was a sweet old girl.

If you’ve been following along, you know that I live in the midwest and it gets really cold here in the winter. Even though our winter was fairly mild this year., the ground was frozen in February. This posed a problem with her burial as I do not own large equipment that could dig a hole for me.

With the assistance of my friend, Diana, I was able to place Hilli’s body in a freezer until the ground thawed enough where we could use shovels to dig her grave site. I already knew where I wanted to bury her as far as location, but I still needed to find a spot for her grave.

Diana and I discussed the location and options in addition to how exactly we were planning to smuggle two shovels and a frozen dog into the undisclosed location to bury her.  It ended up not being as hard or awkward as I thought. Illegal? Maybe. I decided to just do it and not ask for permission. If I got caught I would apologize and ask for forgiveness.

After a lot of thought and even mentioning it to a couple of people, I determined the risk of being discovered by the police etc really wasn’t that scary and after I explained the story of Hilli, I would probably be met with understanding or at least a blind eye.

Move along, nothing to see here.

I also have the benefit of being known. It’s good to have connections, right? Amiright?  I don’t suggest smuggling your pets onto government owned property to perform a burial of your beloved canine. However, I would totally root for you.

As fate would have it, Diana had a large backpack that Hilli’s body easily fit into.  We decided to drop off our shovels and the backpack containing Hilli’s body near one of the back entrances to the undisclosed location. There’s a gate here but the fence has also fallen down and you could easily step over it. We hid the backpack and the shovels and then drove around the property to the entrance of the undisclosed location.

We hiked about a mile and a half until we selected the perfect spot. The location is up on a hill, just adjacent to the trail. It is between a ring of tall Oak trees and overlooks a wet land area that has a small creek flowing away from it.

We buried Hilli in the center of the ring of trees. In the spring, she will be covered in trillium’s. It was so peaceful.  It wasn’t weird or gross. She was perfectly preserved and looked like she had simply curled up and fell asleep. She was wrapped in her blanket and placed into the grave. We used the rocks that we dug up as a headstone.

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In our usual fashion,  we laughed at the situation. I think Hilli would have wanted that. Hilli tagged along on our winter hikes and she loved the property where we roamed. She would most definitely found the humor in the situation that presented itelself. I also believe that she appreciates what was done for her in the end.  At one point while we were still digging her grave, there was a cow in the distance that had the most eerie and demonic sounding moo, I’ve ever heard.  It was obvious that no one could see us from the road, but we couldn’t help but call out CAR!

We look so normal.

It’s stuff like this that makes me think about friends, life and things that are important. I’m lucky to have been able to have Hilli, even though she was only with me for a short time, but also that I have Diana and that she was more than willing to help me.

Below in the gallery are some shots of the undisclosed location.

 

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Death And Friends- Hilli Has Flown Away

My intention was to write blog posts for each of my dogs. All three of them have a story. We all have stories, but I think that dogs that have come from the shelter situations and have passed through many hands, have greater ones to tell.

This past week I had written about my eldest dog, Hilli, in a post titled “Sweet Souls Of An Old Dog-Hilli”. Hilli was a senior Australian Cattle Dog that I had adopted this past October. Hilli had been dumped at a shelter in Oklahoma for being “too old”. I took her despite the issues that came with her and she proved to make up for all of that with love.

It is with regret that a week later, Hilli has passed away.

I was home for the day after spending my morning at the market and was in pretty high spirits because I had finally located some curtains with patterns that I could live with for the upper level windows of my house.  I was happily doing house work, including laundry.

Hilli liked to lay on her bed in the basement. Just adjacent to where she liked to take her naps is the laundry room. When you run the dryer, it gets comfortably warm and creates the ideal environment for napping. I think that’s why she liked to lay down there so much.

I was making my way down the steps to change the laundry out and as I came to the bottom of the stairs I noticed that Hilli didn’t look quite right and on closer inspection, I realized that she was gone. It had only been a matter of minutes since she had flown away.

I called my friend Diana, the friend I hike with a lot, and told her the news. Diana and her husband own a lot of property so I wanted to see if I could bury her there. I’ve also never had anyone pass away at home or in the middle of winter before, so that posed a problem.

We decided that the best thing to do was to place Hilli in the freezer until the ground thawed and we could give her a proper burial.  After some discussion and debating on whether or not we would get in trouble or if we cared that we would get in trouble, we decided that we were going to place her on the grounds in one of the parks where we liked to hike.

It might seem gross to some people to place her in a freezer for a couple of months but I think it’s the best thing to honor her life. She deserves it. She lived all of those years and in the end, was dumped by the people who were supposed to love her.

I don’t know that Hilli was ever mistreated. If she had been, she didn’t show it. Hilli was a very loving dog and never knew a stranger.  She was always very sweet and receptive to everyone that she met.

But.. In the end, she was dumped and left with an unknown future. Her former owner probably has no idea that a breed specific rescue had taken her out of the shelter and transported her to Illinois to be adopted out to someone in north central Indiana.

Whomever had her probably assumed that she was just put to sleep and never gave it a second thought. If they even cared enough to give it a second though. Probably not though. Any decent person with a conscience would never have left their senior partner behind like that.

The last five months of her life were spent hiking, napping, eating and playing with my ten year old son. I know that she really enjoyed the time that she spent out on the trail and even though she was older, she had no trouble keeping up.

It only makes sense to lay her to rest in one of the places that she came to know and really enjoyed spending time at. I think I have the perfect spot in mind. The hard part is going to be sneaking on to the property with a shovel. I’m sure it will be fine.

I have just a little anxiety over knowing that I have a frozen dog in my best friends freezer. It’s also kind of comical and it’s like Diana told me “Everyone needs a friend that will let you keep a body in their freezer,”

How true is that?

I enjoyed my time with sweet little Hilli. I wish I could have had more time with her. I just hope that her last few months on Earth were happy and comfortable and that she never felt any sadness and if she did, it was only for a moment.

She will be missed.

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Hilli getting a drink during one of our hikes

Secrets And Lies- Mommy Edition

My son Dominic is ten. For the past couple of years I have had to seriously monitor him when it comes to getting into the refrigerator and helping himself to juice, milk, chocolate milk and ice cream. This child will consume an entire bottle of orange juice in a short amount of time if you let him. There was a time when I thought he would prefer to live on a liquid diet.

However, he is no longer thirsty when you insist he have water.

You haven’t lived until you’ve discovered a pint of melted ice cream hidden inside another bag that was carefully hidden under the bed in your child’s bedroom. He wasn’t grasping that ice cream is frozen and it will melt.  He knows that now.

To combat this, I have a small refrigerator in the basement so that I can take part in sales when apple juice, orange juice etc go on sale without having to totally police my son and his use of the fridge.  I also have root beer and ice cream. Basically, this fridge holds three large bottles of juice I got on sale and a little carton of ice cream.

He’s allowed whatever he wants as long as it’s in moderation.  He knows that he doesn’t have to ask as long as it’s within reason. I keep fruit in a basket on our kitchen table and a very easy to use Britta filter  container of water in the refrigerator.

You can have a banana, but you can’t have four bananas.

Since he’s currently afraid of the basement and won’t go down the steps, this secret shall remain a secret until he’s older and more brave to go down there. Perhaps by then, he’ll have an understanding of self control. For now, he’s a kiddo being a kiddo.

I confess to hiding in the basement to enjoy a bowl of ice cream or a drink of root beer, undetected.  I’m allowed because I am the mommy and this is my time. Hiding in the laundry room, sitting on top of the dryer. Alone. There is no shame.

So, for Valentine’s Day, I made cupcakes and other goodies to give to his grandmother’s. He has two grandma’s and a great grandma.  My mom and his father’s mother and her mother.

I was putting the baskets together, which also included frosting the rest of the cupcakes. Dom asked if he could have one. He had already had three cupcakes by that time. I told him no and that these were for his grandma’s. He stomped off.

As soon as he was gone, I poured a half glass of milk.  I then fled to the basement to sample a freshly frosted cupcake. I laughed at myself because I think this is hilarious and I also don’t think I am the only mother who does this.

 

Secret cupcakes

Secret cupcakes

 

Secret ice cream, secret root beer, secret cupcakes. My basement is full of secrets.

Sweet Souls Of An Old Dog- Hilli

In October, I drove nearly three hours to meet up with the Australian Cattle Dog Rescue of Illinois to pick up a stray that they had taken in.  All we really knew for sure was that she was approximately 7 years old, had cataracts in both eyes and that she was dumped at a pound in Oklahoma for being too old.

Hilli was led through the door on a leash. It was obvious that she did indeed have cataracts in both eyes and she was much older than 7.  Either way, she was in need of a home and senior dogs are hard to place.  After visiting with her for quite awhile, there was no way I wanted anyone else to take her.

Hilli can see a little bit during the day. I’m guessing that she can at least see shadows during the day. At night she will struggle if it’s dark and the lights are off. Once she figured out the house, she was fine.

At first, she was a little timid and would snap at people. She finally learned that she was safe and that there was no need for that behavior. Biting would have been a deal breaker.  She isn’t able to control her bladder much anymore. We deal with that by managing her water intake vs her frequent poddy breaks. It isn’t a perfect plan.

For now, Hilli is healthy and happy. She eats, she plays and she likes to join us on our short hikes. She keeps up just fine and actually does a lot better than Sasha ( the Rottweiler) and doesn’t seem to slow down at all.

There is something great about looking into the eyes of an old dog. Oh, the stories they could tell if they could. Looking past the eyes and seeing that life may not have always been great, but now it is, and that’s all that matters.  She looks forward to clean and warm blankets every morning, meals at the same time every day. A big yard to wander through. Not a care left in the world.

Hilli in October, right after her adoption. She helped my son and I rake leaves in the yard.

Hilli in October, right after her adoption. She helped my son and I rake leaves in the yard.

 

After adopting Hilli and watching her enjoy what’s left of her time living care free and in peace, it’s actually encouraged me to consider adopting more senior dogs. One at a time, of course, but to simply keep doing it.  The love and appreciation that is felt is overwhelming.

Why would anyone want to pass that up?

 

A Walk In the Woods- Snowfall Means Snowshoes

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We had a significant amount of snow fall in my area over the past two days. I made a last minute decision to go out to the park for a short hike before work.  I grabbed the bag that contained my snow shoes, loaded Lu in the car and off we went.

It was the first time this year that I was able to hike with my snowshoes. They definitely came in handy as the snow was just about to my knees. Snowshoes really do make a difference when you’re making your way through deep and heavy snow.

I was the first person to trek through the freshly fallen snow in the park. It was still snowing lightly when I arrived, but then the sun came out and the sky was the most beautiful shade of blue that I have seen in awhile.

I almost couldn’t stop staring at it.

Blue skies.. Nothing but blue skies..

Blue skies.. Nothing but blue skies..

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It was so beautiful!

 

I didn’t get to hike for very long before I had to get in the car and head back home. I had to work and the decision to go out to the park was last minute. Even though I didn’t have a lot of time, I still enjoyed it.

As usual. I had the entire place to myself. Lu and I had a really good time.  I took some photographs. I hope you’ll check out the gallery below.  It was a gorgeous morning. The sky was amazing.

 

 

When Your BFF Is a Jerk- Part Two

This blog post is a follow up to another one that I wrote a week or two ago called “When Your BFF Is A Jerk” 

I had a rare weekend off. I spent the majority of my Friday morning cleaning the house and doing laundry.  I washed a mountain of laundry and also managed to wash all of the dog beds.  Between the three dogs, we have at least six beds total and a number of blankets.

I say a “number of blankets” because I am seriously not sure. With Hilli ( the red cattle dog) being elderly, and not able to hold her bladder, you need a few otherwise you would be doing laundry every day.

I have three beds upstairs for each dog. I took Lu’s bed and the cover for Sasha’s up to the side room where I usually keep them and left them on the floor. Hilli’s was still in the dryer. I came back a few minutes later and this is what I saw.

 

Poor sad Sasha

Poor sad Sasha

Lu took her bed and not only put it on top of Sasha’s bed, but she’s also laying on the cover for Sasha’s bed.  Oh Dingo Lu, you’re such a cattle dog. AS you can see,  Sasha is completely milking the pity out of this moment.  Just look at that face!  Look at Lu and the “I don’t care,” look on her face. She’s priceless. She’s such a turd.

Lu is a great dog and all three of them get along really well. They play together and very rarely do they scuffle or growl at each other. You put three women anywhere and you’ll occasionally have some bickering.

Silly girls. I couldn’t imagine life without them.

 

Throw Back- Two Years Ago Today

Yesterday, I wrote about the “On This Day” app that you can use on FaceBook that will show you every post you made on a specific date in previous years.  It’s a really neat thing to have and I think it’s fun to see what I was doing then and to read through the comment threads.

Today I got to see more posts that I made regarding the huge snowstorm that we had in January of 2014.  On this date, two years ago, I was still shoveling snow. More snow. We referred to it all as “Snowmaghedon” and the “Snowpacyplse”. We had a regional travel ban for days where if you got caught out on the roads you could be given a ticket and even taken to jail.

Lucky for me I am considered essential and I was permitted to be out on the roads. It was actually kind of nice ( and fun) to be out and about when no one else was. The streets were pretty empty.

In the photo below, I had just shoveled a new path out to the street. Dingo Lu is sitting on the steps, supervising my work. She’s clearly not impressed. She doesn’t care for the snow at all. She doesn’t get excited about it or want to play in it the way that Sasha (the Rottweiler) does.

The curb to the street is actually about a foot and a half from the tree. The snow probably came up to just above my knees. As you can see, the snow is pretty deep out into the street. This is due to the issue I mention yesterday about people not moving the I cars for the plows and the plows not being able to get in to plow the snow.

This is why I had to constantly keep up with shoveling so I would have a place to park.  The plows can only do so much people people don’t want to comply. Our street kept getting narrower and narrower.

Today in 2016, with the exception of what is piled up in parking lots, we have no snow on the ground. It actually rained the other night for a little while. I know I keep sending myself the reminder about how I should be careful what I wish for, but I still hope we get a fair amount of snow before Spring.  There’s still time.

It seems typical around here to usually have a fairly cold January and the real snow doesn’t come until February and early March. Weather forecasters always seem to convince their viewers that our weather is doing strange things. I agree that sometimes it does, but it really doesn’t for the most part.  I snows in the winter and gets hot in the summer.

It annoys me and I find it irresponsible how the weather gets dramatized. It’s my opinion that it sets people up to get hurt. After awhile nobody takes anything seriously, then when something big is coming people won’t prepare themselves.

I watched the Weather Channel last weekend and did a lot of hard eye rolls at the reporters who dramatized the situation they were in. One of them went on and on about snow plows and wow can they talk a lot to fill the segments.  Then another was losing their mind over a couple inches of snow. Even the people in Central Park were looking at this person like “Why are you making such a big deal about this?”

I am not downplaying the situation out east. I know a lot of places got hammered. It’s not normal to get what they got in the Carolinas, I get that. I just don’t think we need to make a whole lot of something out of nothing. It’s dangerous.

Anyway, I miss the snow. Sasha misses the snow. I also posted the photo’s below on this day in 2014. Dingo Lu was simply not impressed. Sasha is so funny. I had a videos also but I couldn’t save it from FaceBook. Too bad too, Sasha was going nuts playing in the snow.

Lu stole Sasha's bone but Sasha didn't mind because she was too busy enjoying the snow.

Lu stole Sasha’s bone but Sasha didn’t mind because she was too busy enjoying the snow.

 

Lu overseeing my snow removal efforts.

Lu overseeing my snow removal efforts.

 

Sidenote, the spiffy green house is currently for sale. I really miss the woman and her dog that used to live here.

Enjoy the Silence

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Solitude in the pines.

I went for a walk in my usual place. I have a lot of thinking to do, this is the best place to do it. I have a lot on my mind. Big stuff. Life stuff. Future stuff. Stuff stuff. I needed to get out and breathe and enjoy some solitude.

I arrived to find the parking lot by the trail head empty. My favorite way to find it.  There had been a recent snow fall.  There was evidence of a plow truck coming through and the county parks department that came earlier to unlock the front gate.

The sun was making an appearance. It was 18 degrees, but it didn’t feel that cold.  There was enough snow on the ground that I almost could have justified wearing my snow shoes. I didn’t bring them though. I’m starting to wonder, as January comes to a close, if we will have enough snow this year to  be able to get them out.

I know, be careful what you wish for.  The eastern United States is dealing with a snow storm that around here we just call “winter”. I’m certainly not downplaying the situation out east, we are just used to it here. I live near Lake Michigan and we experience the phenomenon of “lake effect snow“, where we will get a lot of snow dumped on us.

The systems can be pretty crazy. Sometimes you can actually see it ahead of you. You can actually see the outline of the snow on the wind as it’s blowing. Often, you can be stuck in the middle of a white out ( where you can see nothing) while two miles away, the sun is out and they don’t even know it’s snowing down the road.

Sadly, we don’t experience any sort of phenomenon of “lake effect sun”. That’s does not appear to exist. We actually experience more overcast days because of the lake. I love that lake though, don’t let me fool you. I am a huge fan of it and the sand dunes.

On my way to the park I passed a local in his little pick up truck. I know him because I met him on Instagram. He and I are the only people who regularly tag our locations for our photography. I don’t know his real name, but I can point him out in a line up.  He loves the park as much as I do and he runs the trails.  He was there. I recognized his footprints.

I ventured out. Since we were alone, I allowed Lu off the leash. It really doesn’t matter either way, she’s always behind me. It’s a cattle dog thing. Every now and then I instruct her to “go on” and she’ll run a hundred or so yards ahead of me, stop and turn around and run back. It’s always good to let them go and be a dog. Sniff around, dig in the snow a little, run, stalk a chipmunk.

We were spotted by two White Tail Deer who took off through the woods.  Lu and I watched from a distance as they jumped over the downed trees and brush. Then they stopped to watch us to determine if the intruders were any kind of threat to them.

We made our way through the trails. I am fairly predictable here. We completed our loop, stopping on the pier at Lancaster Lake. It has finally frozen over. There was evidence of critters that had been taking short cuts across the frozen water.

Breathe in, breathe out. Repeat. It was simply the perfect morning.

I forgot to think about much else.

I think that’s the point in this…

When Your BFF Is A Jerk

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Seems legit.

I am moving things around in my spare bedroom because I would like to paint. I’m also boxing up items to take to Goodwill. After I took a load of boxes out to the car, I returned to find that once again, Dingo Lu has taken over Sasha’s bed. Poor Sasha is such a sweet dog doormat, that she doesn’t even try to object.

Sasha is an 80# Rottweiler while Dingo Lu is a squatty, maybe 30# Australian Cattle Dog.

I don’t know why Lu feels like she needs to do that. Sasha certainly doesn’t get more attention.  Lu shouldn’t feel like she has something to prove. I think my best buddy is suffering from Stubby Dog Syndrome. This is a similar condition to what human’s often suffer from know as “Short Man Syndrome”.

Oh Lu.

You’re not bossy, you have leadership skills.  You’re assertive.

You might be a a little bit of a jerk though.