Wednesday, July 01, 2009

eau de skunk

What's worse than the smell of skunk? The smell of skunk on a wet dog!

That was last week's adventure: a thunderstorm during which we discovered that Juliet had left the yard (she's been doing this of late, far too much) and been sprayed by a skunk. That was fun at 10:00 PM! Off to the store to get tomato juice and give her a bath, which sort of helped.

A call to our groomer/dog boarder alerted us to the ineffectiveness of tomato juice (it did help diminish the potency of the smell), and she put us on to what she uses: vanilla and baking soda. Seriously? I can handle that. And better yet, I think Juliet can handle that! And be sure to clean inside the ears, she told me. So off I went to stock up on vanilla (thank goodness for Dollar General) and refresh my supply of baking soda.

I tried to tell Juliet that she was having a day at the spa, but at home. She played nice long enough for me to get some vanilla worked in to portions of her face and then she bolted. Sigh. This was not going to be as simple as I thought.

In the meantime I got some further deskunking advice from a friend at church whose dogs have regular encounters with skunks. He affirmed the vanilla and baking soda, but added "Dawn" to the mix. I wasn't keen on the idea of Dawn on the dog, but what about shampoo!

Then Rigel started smelling like skunk, though fortunately not in the "oh god, keep your distance" kind of pungency. There is a lingering odor out in the yard around the vegetable garden, and McKinlee has wanted to sniff under the shed. "No! Danger Will Robinson!" INside the shed Ken says it smells like a dead animal, which would explain the buzzard I saw yesterday keeping an eye on our domain.

Several days into all of this I have learned the following:
It's not easy to coax a 50-60 pound dog into the bathtub.
It's even harder if you try to do this by yourself.
It's harder still to keep her there once you introduce smells that are unfamiliar to her.
Dogs don't like the sound of spray bottles.
The sour smell diminishes over time, leaving an odor resembling something akin to coffee beans.
Procrastination and denial are powerful allies when it comes to facing a challenging task.
After a while you don't smell the skunk spray on the dog unless you stick your nose up against their skin.

I know this must be done. Maybe today is the day. I covet your prayers for fortitude. I will gird my loins.


Songbird said...

We've just been through this, and my husband could not handle the 116-pound dog alone. Did no one recommend peroxide? It reacts with the baking soda and detergent. We had to do Sam twice (the second time both of us). I wrote about the formula at my place; look for the post "Nose of Fire." Hope you have weather that allows windows to be open. It's been cool and wet here which means it's hard to keep the windows open AND the dog is wet all the time!

Jules said...

PeeeU...says PePe LePew! Oh my...I am sure it was not funny!

Jayne said...

Oh my.... poor you. Gird strongly my friend, gird strongly. I am thinking of you! (from afar) :c)

mompriest said...

In addition to peroxide, I've often heard that one should use dish washing detergent - breaks down the oils in the spay...

otherwise - ewwww...

Kip said...

I'm so glad I've never had to do that, you poor thing! Love those kebobs in your header and oh my, those brownies make my teeth hurt but look so darn good!!

Pam in Moncton said...

There is a product called "skunk off" which you should be able to get at any vet. Works great from our experience with Nicky and the skunk. You still have to hold the dog still and rub him with it but it works great.

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