Thursday, March 21, 2013

Seamus vs. Skunk

I keep wishing and hoping for spring to finally arrive in all of it's glory.  I'm anxious to see the green on the trees and smell the flowers and grass.  But there's one smell that scares me....odor of skunk.  I'm a little wary of skunks ever since one decided to wrangle with my sweet Golden Retriever, Seamus.

This was actually in the autumn about five years ago.  I guess spring and fall are  busy for the little stinkers.  The husband was away on a business trip (things like this always seem to happen when the husband is away) and I gave Seamus a final trip into the backyard before bed.  He trotted back in and suddenly I realized that something was a-stink.  In fact, I could hardly breath for the heavy musky putrid skunk smell.  Seamus didn't seem bothered.  In fact he might have even looked a bit proud of his new perfume.  He didn't understand why I was trying to get him to go into the laundry room and away from any carpet or upholstery.  Not only was I trying to contain the smell but I needed a minute to figure out what the heck to do.  I called the husband, mostly for moral support since there is little he could do from 500 miles away.  He suggested the old tomato juice routine.  The only tomato product I had was some paste, so I figured, "Why not....should be the same thing just more concentrated."

And then it got better.  Seamus loves the water - lakes and oceans and such; but, convincing him to get into the bathtub has always been a challenge.  And he weighs a hefty 95 pounds.  I got him into the bathroom and closed the door, but he wasn't going easily into the tub.  So I decided to start to apply the tomato paste first - outside the tub.  I quickly realized that this was a messy job so I decided to reduce the inevitable stains and laundry  by taking off my jeans - and then my shirt -  and tossing them outside the bathroom.  So now, in my unmentionables I'm smearing tomato paste onto my exuberant Golden.  He isn't cooperating too well and starts to back away from me resulting in --- tomato paste on the walls, the cabinets, the floor and all over me.  The place looked like a slasher film with low budget fake blood.  Then, suddenly his doggie brain noticed that this was food!  So he decided to lick it off and make a snack of the tomato paste.  (Trust me folks, I'm not making this up!) So, before he ate all of my supposedly "deskunking" potient, I decided to get him into the tub.  This required lifting at least one end of a now slippery 95 pound dog over the side of the tub and convincing him to stay put.  It was NOT pretty.  But finally I got him into the tub and lathered and scrubbed and rinsed about five times.  Then out of the tub and onto the shake, shake, shake, and shake that dogs love to do, spreading water all over the bathroom.  Now I have a pile of laundry, a dirty bathroom, a dirty me and..............a STILL stinky dog.  Not to mention, a rather stinky first floor.   And family was due to visit the next day.

The next morning, bright and early I was on the phone and the computer searching for ways to get rid of the stink.  The best thing I discovered was that PetSmart offers a special "deskunking" bath in their grooming department.  So, off I go to PetSmart with Stinky Seamus where they did some doggie bath magic.  The smell still lingered some, but at least you could stand to be near him.  I also found some other magic stuff to spray in the rooms near the door he came in which apparently got a larger dose of skunk stink.  It took weeks before the smell was completely gone. I also discovered that there are services around here to trap and remove animal "pests" from your property.  They tell me that catching a skunk who walks across your property is a pretty hit and miss adventure compared to catching a skunk who is living under your porch.

So now, if I smell skunk when I go to let Seamus out....well, he just has to hold it a bit longer!


  1. Don't our dogs just love the stinky stuff? I haven't had this experience with a skunk yet with any of our Airedales -- and hope I never do! I know it was an awful experience but you did a nice job of telling it with humor, Nina. Now I've had a good laugh for the day and can go to bed with a smile on my face! Thank you.

  2. Thank goodness we don't have skunks in the UK. Ruby has had the odd encounter with fox poo and badger poo, and they're pretty smelly. I loved your story, you must have been exhausted by the time you'd finished. I think I'd have made do with the hose and the cold tap outside.

  3. I had to laugh. We don't have skunks over here but my dog has rolled in fox poo. Luckily my dog is small, so no great effort to bath her.

    1. Well, we don't have fox least around our house, but there's quite an active rabbit settlement in the neighborhood resulting in little piles of pellets here and there. Seamus doesn't seem to care about rolling in it though. Guess I should count my blessings!