Monday, July 26, 2010

Max on Monday revived: Skunk-Vader

I started this blog with an occasional post from my dog, Max. He is a critter with a personality of his own. Part baby-dog, part fierce defender of the area in view of our home, he has not posted much due to his busy schedule of napping, begging, and chasing any animal which dares to enter our backyard. Also, it seemed incongruous to post about such serious matters as the Bible alongside these oft silly observations of canine behavior. However, I think I may resume it, with all due respect, as comic relief. Sometime the subjects which I write about here are so intense (although I have yet to do them justice), that I need a laugh once in a while. You might, too.

Now, the story of the invader. For some time now, I have been dreading that which I knew would ultimately occur: the meeting of Max and the invader-skunk...hereafter known as Skunk-Vader. Many nights around 10 p.m., Max would suddenly become alert and start running crazily from the front to the back of the house, wanting to get out and chase/eat/play with whatever was currently making its way through our backyard. I usually would check just to see that everything was alright, but not let him out, because soon after, the smell of skunk would waft through the air. Well, he was out running in the backyard at about that time the other night, playing with one of our sons, when the meeting finally occurred. Somewhere between the shed and the compost pile, Skunk-Vader shot Max with a load of stink. My son brought Max inside to tell us about it, and the show was on. Needless to say, the smell followed them inside, and my quick-thinking husband sequestered Max within the computer room and kitchen by closing a door. I hopped onto the computer and quickly found an article about deskunking a dog. Of course, although the recipe called for things which were fairly common, we had none of the ingredients at hand, so I jumped into the car to take a quick run to the store. Meanwhile, my husband made sure that the skunk was no longer in the backyard, and got out the galvanized tub and some old towels.

At the store, I roamed the aisles looking for hydrogen peroxide, which was not in any of the places which I thought it should be: near hair coloring, first aid, cleaning or baby supplies. To my dismay, I still could detect a faint skunk odor, and realized that in the few moments I had spent in its presence, it had penetrated my long hair, which in the humidity had billowed out into thousands of smell-catching tentacles. It was very embarrassing to have to ask the guys stocking the shelves where the peroxide was, while smelling like that. Thankfully, there were few customers in the store, so I was able to get onto a line with only one person ahead of me. The faint smile of the elderly cashier let me know that it was not my self-conscious imagination which led me to believe that the smell had, indeed, followed me into the store. On the way home, I had the car windows open and the air-conditioning on in order to keep the car fairly ventilated. Twice (in a 5 minute car ride), I passed places where other skunks had led attacks. Apparently there had been a coordinated invasion of this otherwise suburban area. I rushed inside and started spraying Lysol in order to combat the stink which had made its way into the living room. Then my husband and I washed Max with a thankfully effective solution of peroxide, dish detergent and baking powder, being sure to not get it into his eyes and ears. Max was undaunted by his experience and struggled powerfully at first to avoid the dreaded BATH, as he always does. Then he settled down and let us scrub him, as he also always does. As we did, I wondered if the peroxide would bleach his black coat in some way. Well, it didn't. In fact, it left his coat quite black and shiny, surprisingly. The recipe was amazingly successful (, and Max was left with only a faint smell near his mouth, because he couldn't drink this solution and he as yet does not know how to gargle. The skunk also had been a juvenile, and was not yet as stinky as it undoubtedly would be one day, although it had made a valiant effort. Let's just say that I hope it will find an alternate route for its nocturnal journeys in the future, and that Skunk-Vader II: The Return of the Stink will never be written.

Special thanks to Dawn dish detergent, baking powder, and hydrogen peroxide for combining in such an effective bath brew, and to Citrus Magic Solid Air Freshener (Beaumont Products, Inc of Kennesaw, Georgia (USA) for somehow getting the skunk smell out of our home in just a day or two. No, I am not being compensated in any way to write that! Just relieved that it is over and appreciative of products which actually work.

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