Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Never A Dull Moment

Last night posted this picture:

And I asked if anyone could guess what Reese & I were up to! My one commenter guessed it right...that the dogs had encountered a skunk and fully reeked.

We were sitting in the living room & caught a very strong smell of skunk, which I thought had just come from the woods behind our house. Skunk smells are nothing new around here...they're always squashed on the roads. I didn't give it much thought. The back door was open & the dogs were going in & out. Again, I didn't give it much thought.

I noticed the strong skunk smell again when Zoe came back in the house. Being the ding dong that I am, I called her over to me, grabbed her body and stuck my face into her neck to smell.

HOLY CRAP! Either she was rolling in burning rubber, or a skunk got her with a direct shot. And now my face smells like skunk. And I can taste the smell in my mouth. AHHHH!

Zoe gets put outside, I put myself in the shower and scrub my face with every abrasive, soapy product I can find on the shelves in my bathroom. The smell is not coming off. I want to vomit. This just plain sucks.

While I'm showering, & Reese is watching me saying "I'm glad I didn't get sprayed by a skunk Mommy!", I'm wondering if the dogs are trying to escape this family. Earlier in the day, they both got out into the front and bolted. Reese & I went down the street to try and find them, Jeff followed in the golf cart shortly after, & after about 5 minutes we found them. But they were wayyyyy in the back of a house down the street, & if it wasn't for Jeff's good eyes, we would have never found them. They don't wear collars (I know, shame on me) and I don't remember if I ever microchipped them or not.

Anyway--chasing two dogs in one afternoon is enough for me. Then add a skunk sprayed dog? Are they trying to tell me something.

I also had another thought while showering...I didn't think to check Buddy to see if he got sprayed too. In the past, when the dogs have cornered a turtle in the shrubs or see another dog on the other side of the fence, they bark like mad & won't stop until the perpetrator is gone. With the back door open, I never heard any barking so I thought perhaps Buddy had been spared.

I could only be so lucky. He's a Jack Russell, and his hunting genes led the way. He smelled worse than Zoe. I could hardly be near him.

After my shower, I went onto the internet to look up skunk/dog remedies. I knew about the tomato juice theory, but 1) I didn't have any tomato juice, 2) it was 9:30pm and I didn't want to run out to get anything, & 3) tomato juice isn't supposed to work very well anyway.

Google provided me with a host of options. There's a peroxide/baking soda/dish soap mixture, but I didn't have any peroxide. I found a vinegar/dish soap recipe. Many people suggested using a douche. Ewww.

I did have on hand a 2 gallon jug of apple cider vinegar, lots of dish soap, & 1 can tomato paste and 2 cans tomato sauce. I decided I'd tackle Zoe first with my homemade remedy.

I wrapped her in a towel, held her as far away from my body as possible because she was sooooo smelly. I soaked Zoe in a 50/50 mixture of apple cider vinegar and water. Next, I loaded her down with Dawn dish soap and scrubbed away. Skunk spray is oil based, & I figured if dish soap helped the animals stuck in an oil slick, then perhaps it would remove skunk oil too. I skipped her muzzle up to this point. Last, I applied a thick coat of tomato paste to her body & coated her muzzle in tomato paste.

The face I'm making is not for the camera. The combination of skunk/tomato/dish soap/vinegar made me feel like I was going to vomit at any moment.

Yum! Tomato paste!
I let that sit for about 5 minutes. I rinsed her well. Then repeated the apple cider vinegar mixture, repeated Dawn, & then used a can of tomato sauce to scrub with. Again, I applied the tomato sauce generously to her muzzle.

I let that sit as long as possible...probably about 5 minutes again. I rinsed her well, stuck her back outside & hoped for the best.

Next it was Buddy's turn. And he was worse off than Zoe. I read that skunk spray can blind a dog for up to 2 days, & it makes their nose and mouth burn. I can only imagine how horrible it must have been for the dogs, because I couldn't stand to smell them for one second. These poor babies were covered in it for an hour!

Can you tell Buddy isn't very happy?

They had to sleep in the laundry room last night because I wasn't sure if my remedy would do anything or not. This morning, I was proud to find that their bodies smelled more tomato-y than anything else. Their muzzles still smell slightly skunky, but certainly not any thing close to what they smelled like last night.

I think part of my success came from the fact that they must have just been sprayed when we found them. The oil was fresh & hadn't dried yet.

It still puzzles me though that they didn't bark. They bark at everything. They were either caught off guard (because they didn't make a sound) or were busy sniffing before they figured it was another animal (because they were both sprayed heavily in the face).

Ugh. Yea for home remedies!!


mommy2nicholas said...

And just yesterday Nicholas and I checked out a book at the library about skunks! I'd let you borrow it but it sounds like you have gotten to know all about them in an up close and personal way. Eww! Sorry to hear about the stinkiness but hooray for Super Mom for finding a handy fix for any problem :)

HRH said...

OMG. What a crazy evening. I always hated using the tomato juice because I think it smells almost as bad as the skunk. There are a lot of them around. I am not surprised.