Tucker (the big dog) had a run in with a skunk. Tucker lost.
I was out last evening but the family said they smelled skunk in the neighbourhood. When I got home, we watched the Tour de France for a while and headed up to bed about 11:00. Jinx needed to go outside so we let her out and all of a sudden she started barking – a weird bark that wasn’t just the “screw you, squirrel!” bark. She was quite alarmed. I joked about her barking at the skunk, and as I went to call her in, so she didn’t tick the neighbours off, Tucker sneaked past me and bolted to the back of the yard. Jinx retreated a bit, and Tucker went nuts barking. I could see something that looked like a cat. A large cat with a bushy black and white tail. Not a cat at all.
Suddenly, he turned and raced at top speed back to the house. I was still at the back door hollering for him to come back. He was shaking his head violently and foam was flying off his jowls. Then the smell hit us. It was like nothing I’ve ever smelled before. It was burning rubber and garlic and death. In a second, it was everywhere in the entire house. He was still shaking his head and flinging stinky foamy spit everywere. We herded him into the tub and started hosing him down. Troy looked up “skunk spray removal” on the internet and while he ran around opening windows and getting ventilation going, Trevor brought me dish soap and Tucker got his first bath of the night.
The internet told us the tomato juice remedy is myth (and we know that everything you read on the internet is true… that’s how I know Michael Jackson faked his death) but suggested mouthwash so we mixed mouthwash and dish soap (to make it thicker) and Tucker got his second bath. Recipe 3 suggested baking soda, peroxide and dish soap, so we tried that for his third bath. He was still a stinky, unhappy dog. And it was past my bedtime.
I was afraid to let them out the back, figuring they would go and roll around in the skunk spray so Trevor took them for quick walk to air them out. Jinx seemed to have escaped unscathed but Tucker still smelled like a giant tire fire. Tucker sleeps in our room, thankfully not (always) on the bed, but neither of us slept much, wanting to make sure he didn’t sneak up and infect the bed irreparably. As it happened, the entire room smelled like a skunk had taken up residence by the morning. Apparently memory foam and skunk have a particular attraction for each other.
I took a vacation day today. I started by hitting the grocery store at 8:00 for cleaning supplies. I spent $60 on more peroxide, carpet freshener, pine sol, baking soda, furniture polish, scented candles, room fresheners… anything Not Skunk.
When I got home, to add insult to Tucker’s poor injury, he was favouring his back end and acting very strangely. Since I had planned to call the vet to see if they had any skunk shampoo, I mentioned it to them and they sugested I bring him in, which I did. Although they couldn’t find anything specifically wrong with him, he squeaked and cried when she touched his tail. Not sure how, but it seems he sprained it. The huge, whip-like rope of a tail that a number of family members have not-so-subtly suggested we have docked. He is not wagging anything right now, poor dog. In fact, he spent a stinky day refusing even to lie down, just standing somewhere in whatever room I was in, looking pathetic.
Anyway, I spent the day trying to cover all eau de Pepe in the house with lavender Pine Sol, Creamy Custard candles, Pet Fresh carpet deodorizer (I had no idea how dirty my baseboards were!). Tucker had a leave-in stench treatment at one point and actually smelled ok until he went outside and the sun warmed him (and his odour) up again. I finally broke down and gave him another bath with the special vet’s shampoo, being careful not to touch his tail. Now he doesn’t smell so much of skunk as he does of urinal cake. Every time he passes by, I am reminded of a freeway rest stop bathroom. Not pleasant, but miles more palatable than skunk.
I think I managed to eradicate most of the skunk smell… every once in a while a wave of it hits me again and I panic little wondering if one of the little bastards has returned. All the windows in the house are open, I had visions of one finding a way in.
I certainly hope Tucker has learned his lesson about skunks – both dogs eye the scene of the crime suspiciously every time they go out. We’ve never claimed he was the Einstein of dogs, though, so I will be ever vigilant from now on. I certainly have learned my lesson – the only permanent way to get rid of skunk smell is to set the house on fire. I’m still considering it.