Pepé Le Pew, I now ban you from my childhood memories. I’ve learned first-hand there’s nothing—absolutely nothing—remotely endearing about a skunk.
There’s a risk of having dogs and letting them have the run of your yard, I guess. As the hurricane kicked up her heels Sunday night and my kids prepared for bed, I called the pups for one last trip outside to do their business. Bad move.
Outside, just a few yards from our front door as my nose would tell me two days later, a skunk was doing his business—looking for grubs or checking out my mums or whatever skunks do at night. Within a minute, both dogs came charging back inside, plowing through the unlatched front door on their own and bringing in this weird, smoke-and-chemical stench with them.
One dog was literally foaming at the mouth. We later figured the skunk must have sprayed her right there. Both were freaking out and tearing through the house, rubbing their heads here and there. The kids were terrified and cowered in my bathroom. Upstairs. Where the dogs followed.
So within a minute’s time, the dogs—and their unbelievable stench that actually smelled nothing like the distant skunk smell I kind of like when I drive around the country—had raced over the whole house.
I got them out onto our screened porch and grabbed some shampoo. What a colossal waste of time. I washed each dog twice with ice-cold hose water outside as the storm drew near. Then I remembered, “Tomato juice.” Isn’t that supposed to work? So I had my son, who wore a bandana around his face to help block the odor, open a can of crushed tomatoes for me—the closest thing we could find to tomato juice. I dumped it all over the white dog. It did nothing but create an orange, still noxious mess.
While the kids managed some sleep that night, I couldn’t, as no matter which way I turned I was enveloped in skunk smell; turns out, the fumes had clung to my hair. The receptionist at the vet was kind enough to bring that to my attention.
The next morning, as the storm was upon us, I headed out with the kids as soon as the vet and other stores were open to get supplies. Hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, Dawn dish detergent, Skunk Off spray, new filters for the furnace (it had gotten into the HVAC system) and lots of neutralizing sprays and air fresheners.
Here’s what I’ve had to treat: The sidewalk outside near where the skunk sprayed. The floor of the garage, where the dogs slept that first night. All cloth and cardboard materials inside the garage. The car, which was parked in the garage. Every room in the house, including all curtains, carpets, sofas, and beddings. Closets. Myself.
back to normal, though my nose still catches something “off” here and there. The white dog is whiter than ever, thanks to four washings of the peroxide and baking soda mix. Plus three doses of a skunk off product. The brown dog cleaned up more easily. Still, their invisible fence battery packs won’t come clean—even soaking them in bleach hasn’t done the trick. But at $225 a pop, I’m not crying uncle yet.
I’m hoping the dogs have learned their lesson. But I doubt it. They keep tearing around the yard on the trail of something. At least now I’m somewhat ready. I know what to do. And what not. No crushed tomatoes.
And NO Pepé Le Pew reruns are allowed at our house. Ever.
- Skunk Odor (moreaboutmydogs.com)