Stink, stank, stunk

Saturday night is quiet.  Just me and my hubby hanging out enjoying a little quiet time together.  About 10 o’clock, Sascha needs to go out for the evening.  We talk about going to bed soon.  Sascha wants to go and stretch her legs around the yard.  I’m sure she will be some squatting and depositing her last of the evening.

It is cold out.  I go through the usual routine of having Sascha sit on the rug.  She knows she has to sit and stay before I can open the door.  She sat and looked pretty proud of herself for doing it.  The door came open and up she popped to bounce out the door.  In the little garage, Sascha did a couple of hops and twists.  She always seems so happy to go out.

At the back door, she poked me in the back of the knees.  It’s her way of saying I wasn’t moving fast enough.  That impatient Border Collie likes things to move at her pace and not mine.  I grab her collar so I can ensure she doesn’t dash out the door before I can hook on the lead.  That rambunctious Husky would run and run until she’s tired.  Then she’d stop to look around and see where she was, miles from home.

The hook clasps onto the D ring on her collar.  I hold on to the lead and stick my head out of the door.  “Yahoo,” I yell.  “Look out world, here she comes!”  She darts out of the door and slinks into stealth mode on silent feet over to the deck.  Her nose goes in between the stairs as she tests to be sure whether her quarry is still under there or not.

He must not be hope at the moment.  Sascha dances off around the snow pile and out into the snowy yard.  She prances around and flips snow around her.  Finally, she circles the empty patch of yard that has been exposed by the daytime sunlight.  First, it’s the squat.  There is another circle around the patch of yard before she picks just the right spot for the last bit of action.

I stand in the doorway calling out, “Sascha, come here, Sascha!”  Of course, she ignores me.  She heads toward me and then veers off toward Rich’s garage.  Her nose goes up and I see the hackles on her back go up.  I heard the coyotes earlier howling.  I hope they aren’t stalking the roads just yet.  Her nose goes higher and she starts sniffing really fast.  What in the heck!  I call out some more and try to entice her to head on into the house.

Suddenly, something small and furry steps out from the doghouse.  Sascha’s head whips around toward me.  I see her eyes go wide and she gets that silly grin on her face.  She is thinking, “small and furry thing!”  I look down and see the small and furry thing moving very fast in front of me.  Now, my eyes get wide.  Skunk!

I swear that Sascha came across the driveway in a single bound to grab the skunk by the back of the neck!  I scream really loud and slam the door shut.  I just can’t stand there waiting to get sprayed.

I’m off like a flash racing for the back door into the house.  “Oh my god!” I yell as I come into the kitchen. “The skunk is back and Sascha has him.”  Rich jumps up and comes running toward me.  I head for the hallway closet to get the supplies for the preparedness kit.  The groomer gave me a recipe for a neutralizer in case Sascha ever got skunked.  Thankfully, I got the supplies and had them on hand.  How did I know?

Rich ran to get a bucket to use for the mixture.  I got the peroxide, Dawn, and baking soda from the closet.  I look for a sponge under the kitchen sink.  We look over the recipe and talk about the expected results.  I run to the closet to find old clothes I can throw away and change quickly.  Then I leave the kitchen and let Rich put together the ingredients in the blue bucket.  Time to find out where Sascha is and how bad it is out there.

I walk to the garage door on the driveway.  Looking through the mullioned panes, I don’t see her or the skunk.  I slowly open the door and stick my head out.  Nope, no black dog or black and white small and furry thing around.  I move out around the snow pile.  There is Sascha out in the yard holding down her new friend.

I start to yell for Sascha.  She is just way too happy out there.  The fluffy tail is wagging and her head is bobbing up and down.  She is playing with the skunk.  Unfortunately, the skunk is lying out flat.  Is he dead?  No, wait.  His head comes up and his tail comes up.  Sascha seems to laugh and slaps him back down with her huge paw.  That can’t be good.  She reaches out and grabs him by the scruff of the neck.  I can’t hear laughter, but she seems to have the body posture for laughter.  She’s enjoying herself.

So the skunk is not dead.  That’s bad.  I have to try and get her away from him.  I walk out past the slab in front of Rich’s garage.  Sascha’s line stretches out over my head.  With my hand up way over my head, I walk until I snag the line.  I start trying to reel Sascha in and she fights me every step of the way.  She stops and digs in her feet to stop me from pulling her.  I can’t drag her any closer and she tries to slip out of her collar.  Darn dog!

I shift my weight and yank really hard.  Sascha comes forward toward me about a half a foot.  I get my footing and pull her again.  Now I can drag her toward me.  I keep reeling her in toward me.  She lunges backwards and almost pulls me over.  I catch myself and dig in my heels.  Two stubborn females can put up quite the battle, but I’m winning this one.

I manage to get Sascha all the way to the driveway.  Now I had to hold her there.  She is barking and jumping around like crazy.  Calm down, you nut!  By the time I haul Sascha to the house, Rich is outside with the bucket and sponge.  Time to start swabbing down the crazy dog.

I hook my hand through Sascha’s collar and reach for the sponge in the bucket.  The water is nice in warm and it is freezing cold outside.  This is going to be fun.  I start at Sascha’s head and dab on the soapy mixture.  As I reach into the bucket, I look up to check on the skunk.  Oh my god, he is up on his feet and walking toward us.  What does he think he’s going to do, kick Sascha’s butt?

I yell for Rich to do something to stop the skunk.  What would that be?  I send Rich inside for a flashlight.  I figure shining a light on the skunk might stop him.  Luckily, the skunk changes his mind and starts to totter off to the deck.  He is going back into hiding.  Really?  He’s probably just going under there to die!

Rich can’t convince the skunk to stop his tottering.  The skunk is probably in pain.  He is just thinking about getting to safety now.  I have to say he is a lot slower now than he was when he tried to run by me earlier.

Rich waves good-bye to the skunk and hooks up the water hose.  I keep working solution into the thick Husky fur.  Sascha is still trying to jump and dance around.  She’s not ready to let the skunk slink off to lick his wounds.  She almost pulls me over to the ground.  Somehow, I catch myself and get my feet back under me.  I’m still more stubborn than she is mad.

Rich holds the bucket while I dunk Sascha’s tail in and swish it around.  I massage in the solution that I’ve applied.  Time to apply more solution to the face and down the body.  Rich gets the nozzle ready for the first spray.  The water is cold, but it should do its job.  Sascha stops for a minute when the water falls over her.  Then she starts fighting back to keep from being dowsed well.  I hook my hand in a little bit deeper and hang on for dear life.  With the other hand, I squeegee soap mixture and water through thick dog hair.

We think we have the first dose washed off and try to see if Sascha still smells.  Yep, that is a definite.  I drag the dog back over to the bucket and start applying solution again.  Sascha is a little calmer, but doesn’t want to stand still.  She moves around and tries her best to avoid the sponge.  No way!  You do the crime, then you put in the time.

One more soak down with solutions.  Rich is standing by with the hose and ready to rinse.  I drag Sascha over to rinse down again.  We work together against her best efforts to shrug us off.  Finally, the water is running clearer.  The sniff test indicates Sascha doesn’t smell as strong.  There is still the question about whether she is skunk free or not.

All that solution and rinsing has left a he puddle of ice forming on the driveway.  I am slipping and sliding as I try to hold Sascha.  She is still trying to get back to the yard to look for her little friend.  That isn’t going to happen.  Time to drag this dog into the workshop.  Rich brought the crate up from the basement.  Unfortunately, Sascha is spending the night out here until we can determine her scent status.  She could potentially contaminate the whole house.

Rich grabs Sascha by the collar and leverages her into the crate.  She is not happy.  There is a lot of whining and crying.  Oh no, she is most definitely not happy.  In the meantime, we stop and get our breath.  Too soon for that though.  The workshop smells like skunk!  We figure the skunk started to spray when Sascha first grabbed him just outside of the door.  That makes it right in front of the outside wall of the workshop.  Great.  Now we hope the smell doesn’t make its way inside the house.

Back out in the driveway, we start picking up buckets and sponges.  The water is solidified into a sheet of ice.  I walk gingerly around it to gather things up.  My pants legs are soaking wet from slinging water and solution.  My sweatshirt sleeves are dripping wet.  Now that I’m no longer struggling with a wet dog, I’m cold!

We finish the clean up and move inside.  I strip off the wet clothes and grab a robe from the laundry room.  Nice to have these hanging here for the hot tub.  I don’t have to wander through the house in wet and smelly clothes.  Next, I get a garbage bag and pile my clothes into it.  These are toast.  No point in keeping these.  It’s out to the garbage can in the garage with these things.  Sascha whines as I walk by her.

Back in the house, I try to warm up.  The adrenaline is wearing off and I start to relive the incident.  Rich asks questions and I try to answer them.  He asks why I didn’t announce that Sascha was coming out of the door.  I explain that I was trying to bring her in and not put her out.  I told him how the skunk tried to run past the door on his way to the deck stairs.  That’s how he got in and out from that side of the driveway.  On the other side, he climbed over Rick’s kayak and around the side of the house.

Remember a couple of weeks ago, Rich and I came home late one night.  I hit the garage door opener and turned into the driveway.  The skunk was walking in front of the door at just that time.  We surprised him and he ran into the garage.  I had to back out and turn off the headlights.  He eventually made his way out of the garage and ran around the front of the house.  I assume he took the back way to the deck.  I should have known one of these days he would try coming around while Sascha was out.  I guess that day came.

On Sunday morning, we rescue Sascha from her crate.  She is upset, but seems unharmed.  While she is outside, I run to the drug store for more supplies.  We plan to soak her down again.  I got another collar while I was out.  We figure that one on Sascha was toast.  No point in keeping the stinky thing.

Back at the house, Rich grabs Sascha and gets her downstairs to the basement.  I shut the doors to the back room and Rich puts the dog into the utility sink.  Time for round two to begin.  Rich is in charge of applying solution and working it in.  I’m in the support role this time and maneuver the dog so solution can be applied to all areas.  Then it is time for the rinse.  Like they say, rinse and repeat.  We manage to get another cycle in.

With towels applied to all part of the dog, we stand back to admire our handiwork.  Sascha is finally happy.  Amazingly, there is little odor.  The only spot we can tell there is a problem is the nose.  We figure she took in spray through her nose and mouth.  That means that she has scent in those linings and not much you can do about that.

I find an older cover to throw over the couch and Sascha settles in to link her wet paws.  For now, the plan is for Sascha to spend some time in the basement to be sure that she doesn’t regenerate that skunky smell again.  Since she is upset about being left by herself, I join her on the couch and hang out for a while.  It has been a long and rough few hours for her.  After an hour, Sascha still smells like Dawn.  That is a good sign.  Of course, her face still smells bad.

After a quick conference, we agree that she can come back upstairs.  There is no red chair time, of course.  That means her face is too close to your own.  She moves around the house lying in the sun and under Rich’s desk.  It is almost back to normal.

We did worry about injuries that Sascha might have gotten from the skunk or from the treatment.  After an inspection, I don’t find any scratches, bites, or scrapes.  I don’t know how, but she came out of the experience unscathed.  That is if you don’t count the intervention on the scent.  I call the vet to make sure I don’t need to take her in.  They don’t want her in the office if she isn’t hurt.  I think they are worried about the possible smell.  I assure them she is almost totally scent free.  I don’t think they believe me.  She isn’t hurt, so there is no need for the long ride to their office.  I put in a call to the groomer so she is aware of the situation and can call me on Monday.

Monday morning came.  Rich felt that he was safe to return to work.  I still wonder if I smell like skunk a bit.  I was first line of defense.  That makes me a little leery of walking into the office.  I stay at home.  I need to talk to the groomer to try and schedule an appointment for a real bath.  Lorraine calls me and we talk.  I thank her for the preparedness kit.  It was a lifesaver.  Monday is busy, but one of the groomers will come by on Tuesday to bath and check Sascha out.

During the day, I run out to buy a new lead for outside.  I realize my hand smells like skunk whenever I put Sascha out.  I didn’t stop to think about the condition of the lead prior to that.  While I’m at the pet store, I look for something to help with bad breath.  I just don’t know if it will help with skunk breath.

Every time I put Sascha out, I look very carefully for the little black and white friend.  They usually only come out at dusk, but I still worry.  This evening, I made lots of noise and looked for him everywhere.  It won’t help though.  We were making lots of noise when he tried to rush by us.  Stupid skunk!

So it was a quiet Saturday.  Then it wasn’t.  I figure when the weather warms up, we’ll know whether the skunk made it or not.

P.S. Rich plans to pour ammonia into the cracks of the deck to chase out anything that could be living.  We might see Sascha’s little friend sooner, if he made it through the night.

Sorry, there are no pictures for any of this.  Probably a good thing though.

Maybe there is a blues song in this story.  Wonder what that would sound like?  Would it be a boogie we could call the Skunk Boogie or just the Sascha Skunk Solution Blues?