Saturday, April 26, 2008

Ahhhh..... Nature!

I really enjoy living here on the slopes of the mountain. The view is excellent, it's a quiet neighborhood and we're at the end of a cul-de-sac, which makes me less fearful of letting the kids play outside. Since we've been here, I've seen all kinds of creatures that you wouldn't encounter in suburbia; coyotes, quail, hawks, lizards of all kinds, rabbits... the list goes on.
Last night, we were introduced to another member of the local fauna...

Around 11pm, my wife, a friend and I were out on the back patio, enjoying a beer and some good conversation, taking in the balmy night air and looking out over the city. My dog Lena started up from her slumber at my feet and disappeared into the night. She does it a lot, to investigate the sundry noises and smells that abound around here and I normally pay no heed, as long as she gets back by my side within a few minutes.

Come back she did, foaming at the mouth and inundated with an ungodly stench, frantically rubbing her face in the lawn to dispel it.

Dear God.

Now I, like anyone here in the States, am familiar enough with the smell of skunk, as you occasionally get a waft when you're driving around, but that really doesn't do it justice. Up close, this smell was orders of magnitude worse, so soul-searing, so eye-burning, so tear-inducing, so flat-out gag-a-licious that I couldn't recognize it at first. I just wanted to get away from it, get away from my suddenly nasty smelling dog. Our friend LuAnn recognized it instantly - her dogs have been hit in the past - really, there's nothing she hasn't been through, it seems.
I escaped inside, ostensibly to dredge the internet for solutions, but let's be honest, I wanted to get AWAY.

I found a site that recommended using a mixture of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and liquid soap (I had heard of using tomato juice, but this author said that just masks the odor, it doesn't get rid of it). Shucks, we had no peroxide.

I hopped up, explained the recipe to my wife and LuAnn, grabbed some cash and bolted for the truck, backing out of our driveway so fast that I popped my son's soccer ball (it had no chance to escape!). There's a 24hr Winco not far off and I was only too happy to LEAVE to go get the peroxide.

The smell followed me, of course, but it was the diluted, mildly unpleasant odor that I was familiar with, not the full force kick-you-in-the-ass-and-take-your-bike kind of reek that I had thankfully left at the house.

My clothes smelled of it and I was especially paranoid walking through the store. I tried to keep my distance from everyone (it was surprisingly busy at that time of night), but you can only be so far apart in the checkout line. Nobody said anything, for which I am thankful.

I got home, and explained the recipe. The smell was by now throughout the house, and the dog was still outside!

"Let's hose her off and wash her with the stuff out here," I suggested.
"No way! The hose is too cold for her," said LuAnn "Someone needs to take a shower with her in warm water."
"Like, INSIDE the house? Are you serious?"

Finally, we dragged her in through the back patio door straight into our master bath, and LuAnn gamefully volunteered to do the do.

I must confess to a weakness here, for I in no way objected, just grabbed my Flashman book and retreated to fresher air.

About 45 minutes later, LuAnn and Lena emerged, and the smell was just about gone. From the dog.

The stench of skunk still permeates the property, and when I took the dogs out back this morning, it wasn't hard to pinpoint the spot where Lena learned her valuable life lesson...

RESPECT THE SKUNK!

6 comments:

Hammer said...

I got sprayed once.Damn stink took 10 days to wear off.

I'll remember that recipe.

Mushy said...

I heard tomato juice was good for that...is that true?

Kevin said...

That's what I've heard too, Mushy, but the site I looked at last night said tomato juice just covers the scent without eliminating it. Peroxide's a fair bit cheaper anyway, so I went with that. Seems to have done the trick - either the smell's gone, or my olfactory center's been burned out, 'cos I can't smell it anymore...

Christina LMT said...

Kevin, I'm so sorry! My ex ran over a skunk once, and I swear the odor never completely faded...

Julie said...

Holy Crap!! POOR LUANN!! Luann always gets the sharp end of the stick...
By the way, I can't believe you drug Lena into your beautiful, newly remolded house!!!!!!!!! Sorry to say, Lola and Taylor would have been roughing it with the hose. I must be evil.

DirtCrashr said...

Skunk! Yikes, I know....