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.