Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Max the Dog vs. The Skunk

Happy New Year!  Jamey, Jason and I were in San Diego on New Year's Eve at the Winter Conference (except I went to sleep at about 10:30, because I am old and tired), and Grace was on an Inner-City LA Mission Trip with her youth group (they stay inside at midnight because of possible stray bullets from celebratory gunfire).  So Max the Dog must have been lonely, and, to get back at me, last night he went looking for a friend.  Yes, around 1:15 a.m., I was awakened by barks, rustling leaves, and the most unbelievably strong skunk odor of all time coming in through our closed bedroom windows.  Let's just say that once that smell got up my nose, it seems there's no getting it out.  I have been smelling skunk ever since - at this point going on 16 hours (I tried breathing through my shirt, and then I actually put lotion up my nose, but nothing works!).  It didn't help that I opened the window to tell Max to stop the barking and go back to bed, therefore letting in even more of the odor.  That was when I noticed that Max was out in the garden rolling around in the pile of dead leaves, coffee grounds, and horse droppings that are awaiting spring rototilling (when horse poop is preferable than the way you smell, that is just sad).  That made me wonder what was rustling the leaves under the window - sure enough, my flashlight shone on the black and white culprit.  How does one make a skunk leave the premises?  My Annie Oakley reflex kicked in first, and I tried shooting it with the BB gun, thinking that if I could just make it sting a little, he would wander back down to the creek.  Alas, the picket fence was in the way, and my BBs just bounced off, and I was afraid to use the light or get closer.  Second idea - spray water on him.  But unfortunately, Mr Skunk just so happened to be right by the spigot.  Plus it was really cold out there.  Option three - I put my head under a pillow and tried to go back to sleep.  It worked, a few minutes at a time, and of course there was no skunk out there in the morning.  Just a horribly embarrassed-looking dog.  And a stench that all of our neighbors could smell.
How to get skunk smell out of a dog, his bed, and your house?  The following things have all been done today:  Open your five-pound bag of baking soda (I really have one - I use it for cleaning), shake it all over the dog (turning him from black to gray), and his bed, and in his doghouse, very liberally.  Pour vinegar on dog (this was my favorite part, because it reacted with the baking soda and made him all foamy.  And because he kept licking his nose, as if he thought it was a pickle).  Wash the dog's bed, blanket and collar with a combination of detergent, more baking soda, lemon soap, vinegar, and bleach.  Twice.  Light the strongest candles you own and let them burn all day, and try not to think of how much money you just spent on that good-smelling candle that is now half-used.  Leave dog bed and dog out in the sun, and thank God that is was sunny today.  Pick up the 75-lb dog, because he knows what's coming and is hiding from you, and plop him into the washtub that you filled with water, baking soda, and Fabuloso (it is cleaner from Mexico - I am not sure what's in there, and I don't want to know since they don't have an EPA like ours.  All I know is it is amazing!!).  Scrub and scrub and scrub, and hold onto the dog when he tries to escape and shakes his skunkiness all over you.  Give the dog the leftover fish from your fish taco dinner, since he has looked so forlorn and sad all day.

 On tomorrow's agenda - wash the inside liner of the dog bed, since it still stinks, hose out the dog house, and thank God once again that you are having 70-degree weather in January as you open the windows to let fresh air into your smelly house.
Score:  Skunk 1, Max the Dog 0

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