Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Skunk-Vader II: The Return of the Stink

It's been almost a year since I wrote about our dog Max's encounter with a skunk .  At that time I wrote about the whole adventure of cleansing him from the skunk smell after he had a too-close encounter of the worst kind.  I wrote that I hoped that Skunk Vader II:  The Return of the Stink would never have to be written.

Yet here we are.

The other night, the same son who had taken Max out to play last time started banging on the back door.  I thought I had accidentally locked him out, so I went to open the door.  However, I immediately could tell from his expression that something was wrong.  Through the glass windows he explained that Max had run into a skunk again.  Already it was quite obvious, even through the closed door.  No one could mistake that smell.

Did I mention that I had finally given Max a bath about a week ago?  It is a huge process to trick him into the bathroom so I can wrestle him into the tub.  I tried hard not to sulk.
Nooo...I screamed silently to myself.  Why did such things always happen at the end of the day, when I'm tired and just want to relax?  There was no getting out of it; I ran to see if we had all the ingredients for deskunking.  Actually, I ran praying that we had all the ingredients, because I sure didn't want to have to go to the store at that hour again, like last time, and then come back home to wash the dog.

First, it seemed that we didn't have enough of the 3% peroxide, for I could only find one bottle.  We needed two.  Then, thankfully, I spotted another bottle, which had fallen over and was hiding under a carton. [And, yes, inanimate objects are prone to hiding, especially late at night when one needs to de-skunk a dog.]

I breathed a silent thanks and hoped that we had enough baking soda.  We had just one cup, which was just enough.  Grabbing the bottle of dish detergent, I gave a huge squirt of blue liquid into my mix.  The recipe only called for one tablespoon, but I wasn't taking any chances.

Meanwhile, Max was running crazily in the backyard, rolling in the dirt and rubbing his face into it with the enthusiasm of a wild maniac.  My son retrieved the washtub as I sighed and cut up some rags to use as washcloths.

My son held the dog on his leash as I put on huge rubber gloves and scrubbed the mix of peroxide, baking soda and detergent all over Max's stinky self.  He lunged and struggled to get away, as usual (the dog, that is).  Later, we wrestled Max into the large galvanized tub for more scrubbing and rinsing.  I thought that we would be bombarded with mosquitoes, but even they did not want to get too close to the stink.

By now Max was starting to enjoy the process.  He hates baths, but he loves the hose.  I tried to rinse off all the mixture, while keeping it away from his mouth, as instructed.  Max, meanwhile, tried to drink as much of it as he could.  His chin (ground zero for the skunk's spray) had been all foamy, but now it was starting to resemble Max's usual contours.

Remarkably, the smell seemed to be mostly gone, as well.  I toweled Max off while my son held him via leash on a concrete sidewalk.  No way was I going to release him to run all over the backyard and rub himself in the dirt.  Then we wrestled him into the kitchen for more drying.  Max helped by shaking himself mightily every thirty seconds.

Locking Max into the kitchen with the baby-gate, I gave strict instructions that he was not to be allowed out until I returned from  the backyard, where I would be cleaning up after our escapade.  I did not want Max to run upstairs and roll all over our beds, even though the stink was 99% gone.

Less than ten minutes later, I returned to an empty kitchen.  "I told him not to let Max out of the kitchen!," I breathed in carefully restrained dragon-Mom-mode.  "He escaped..." came the reply.  I decided not to freak out.  It was too late for further scolding, anyway:  Max had already gone on his after-bath crazy run through the house.  I may have glared a bit, though.  In fact, I'm sure I did.

Like last time, Max was a bit subdued after his experience...and his fur is shiny, very shiny.  I know him, though.  If another skunk came through the yard, he would be the first one out there, willing to 'play' again with his striped buddies.

Now if I can just remember to get more 3% peroxide.  I always have baking soda and dish detergent anyway.

Dogs will be dogs, and skunks....well, you know that they will keep on stinking and insisting on meandering through our backyard between nine and ten at night, yea, even until heaven comes and their stinky smell is replaced with something a bit closer to the smell of roses.

Meanwhile, I will keep plenty of peroxide in the house....and try not to incinerate humans or canines or even skunks with dragon-Mom comments or piercing glares.

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