Even after living most of my life in homes out in the woods, I still find out I am not as prepared as I think I am for nature.
I learned this simple fact of life late Monday night when my beloved pooch, Sadie, decided it would be a good idea to try and make friends with a skunk in my yard. The skunk was not feeling as friendly as Sadie, and decided to douse Sadie’s face with skunk juice.
I ran in the house to catch Sadie, but it was too late. She was shoving her face on any soft surface she could find to try and wipe off the smell. My wife, who was sitting in the living room, didn’t have a clue what was going on, until the smell hit her too.
By this time, Sadie had escaped from my grasp and was running for my open bedroom door. She was on the bed by the time I got to the door.
My evening was going downhill quickly.
Finally with a good grip on her collar, I led Sadie to our bathroom, lifted her in the tub and yelled for the wife to hop on the Internet and find a solution to the skunk smell on the dog. While Valerie, aka “the wife,” fought with our slow rural Internet connection, Sadie proceeded to rub her face all over my hands, face (which was next her hers as I held her in the tub) and my shirt.
Finally Valerie found the skunk recipe. All I needed was 1 quart of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and dish detergent. Problem. I only had a half bottle of hydrogen peroxide, a little baking soda and a small amount of dish detergent. Too bad, it would have to do.
Valerie mixed up the solution, while Sadie continued to rub every skunk drenched part of her face and head on me.
Within a half hour of the beginning of these events, we were bathing Sadie in the foaming solution, trying desperately to not gag.
Once completed, and Sadie was toweled off, I had a dog that smelled a lot better (although there was some lingering smells on her nose, head and collar). I, on the other hand, and my entire house, smelled like a skunk warehouse. We were out of the skunk deodorizing solution and no air spray to freshen the house.
I tried scrubbing with soap to the point of making my skin raw, but I am pretty sure the stinky molecules are lodged permanently in my sinuses.
Yeah, I did find myself hunched over the toilet fighting the urge to vomit at one point.
Sadie, meanwhile, was curled up on the couch, looking sleepily at me as though I was disturbing her nap time.
As for my sleep, that wasn’t happening Monday night and Tuesday morning. I discovered it is hard to sleep when each breath you take is filled with the oily scent of a skunk gland. It doesn’t help when you sleep with a CPAP machine that pumps air into your airway all night — which in this case was putrid air.
Sitting at my office desk Tuesday I tried not to think of the Pepé Le Pew odor emanating from every part of my skin and was making a shopping list of items that should be in the cupboards of every Northern Michigan home: A case of hydrogen peroxide, three large boxes of baking soda, a large bottle of dish detergent, various amounts of air fresheners and whiskey.
The whiskey is to deaden my senses a bit the next time I have to deal with a dog that tries to make friends with a skunk.
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