Tag Archives: Skunk

The Skunk Saga, Part III

Last night, as I was making dinner, Alex took our dog for a walk.  When he returned, he announced a skunk sighting next door. This skunk was no baby skunk like the neighbors on the other side spotted.  This was a full-grown, Simon-sized doozy, (at least that is how Alex described it, I’m still skeptical this is possible).

That should have been our warning.  Not to mention the neighbor telling us that once a week or so he sees a skunk walk up the street, through his driveway, and over to the side of our fence.  Like I said, should have.

Fast forward to 1AM.  I’m blissfully asleep, Alex is still awake, a typical Thursday night.



“Simon got sprayed again.”


So, it happened again.  The sneaky monkey realized we only stop him from going outside when he barks first.  He used to bark before he slipped out the door to chase something.  Now he moves like a quiet little ninja.  I’m not going to cause any trouble, just headed out to relieve myself, that’s all, I promise, see, I’m not barking!

Now, I know what you’re thinking.  We need to block the dog door at night.  But, here’s the thing, our cat likes to take the cap off for him pretty much as soon as we put it on.  She’ll just walk by, dismantle it with her freakishly nimble paws and return to whatever it was she was doing inside, not even bothering to go outside.  Alex’s weekend project is a lockable pet door.

Anyway, good thing we finally bought the big bottle of skunk shampoo this week to get rid of his lingering odor from last time, (one dip in the family pool last Sunday and he was back to his stinky self). Forget all that other natural stuff.  Buy the skunk shampoo and use it if you ever need it.  I take back any other advice I gave in previous posts.  Coconut oil will still mask it between baths, but this is the best for diffusing the smell.

Duh. Skunk shampoo. Why in the world did we think all the other crap on the internet would be more effective?

Back to my story.  It’s 1AM, I have 5 hours of sleep left, a tiring week, and here I am, wondering why Alex woke me up to tell me Simon got sprayed by a skunk.  Maybe I’m not the nicest person when awakened in the middle of the night.  You were already awake, great, here is what you need to do: grab gloves, a mask, a towel, remove the carpets from the bathroom, wash him, leave him in there. Have fun!

This time I was not getting my hands dirty.  Already did that.  Too bad I woke up feeling a little mean.  Sorry, Alex, you’re amazing, thanks for taking care of that ridiculously nauseating business (mostly) on your own.

Still, I can’t help but feel proud we now know how to quickly and effectively handle the middle-of-the-night skunk fire drill.  The fallout was much less devastating this time, although our house smells a bit again and he’ll need another bath this weekend. Here’s hoping lightning, or skunks, don’t strike thrice.

This time around he looks, dare I say, comfortable in his post-skunk state. Thanks skunk shampoo…

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Skunk Attack Survival Tips

In case you should ever have the same misfortune of needing to clean your dog, your home, and yourself of the putrid smell of skunk, here are a few tips.  I offer only the ones I found useful, as many things we tried, (such as tomato paste and vinegar), did not have an immediate benefit.

1.  Do not touch sprayed areas with bare hands– wear gloves!  Last night I started Simon’s third bath of the day without gloves AGAIN.  Serious brain fart.  I quickly realized my mistake, but my hands already smelled of skunk AGAIN.

2.  Do not wash everything in the washer together.  We made the mistake of throwing all our bedding in with the most affected top sheet and now EVERYTHING smells equally bad.  If some articles smell less, don’t wash them with the super stinky items.  Currently hoping that putting everything in the hot Sacramento sun for the afternoon is going to help.

3.  Baking soda sprinkled on the carpet, left over night, and then vacuumed makes a HUGE difference.  Today our house is only slightly smelly, with practically no smell in the living room or on the couch where he rolled.  Unfortunately our bedroom is ground zero, still trying to figure out what to do about that, (and sleeping in the guest bedroom in the meantime…).

4.  Coconut oil on the affected areas after bathing is the biggest secret to our success.  My mom thinks coconut oil is the answer to 9 out of 10 problems, (love you Mom!), and in this case she was correct.  It seems to isolate the spray and trap the smell.  Whereas I did not want the dog within three feet of me this morning, as soon as I put coconut oil over the area he was sprayed, (his entire head!), I could no longer smell him unless I put my nose up against his fur.  HUGE IMPROVEMENT.

I’m sure all the other tricks help to some degree or another, but those were the four that in conjunction with frequent bathing worked the most for us.  I was tempted to go to hot yoga and sweat out the oils, but then thought better of it.  Pretty sure they’d ban me from ever returning.  The good news, went to Saturday School (our version of back-to-school night) today and no one could smell me, (and, they all seemed to really enjoy my story).  Coconut oil for the win.

Hope you never need to unearth this post in the future… Happy Saturday.

Our surprising discovery.

One of the nice things about coconut oil was that Simon was actually cooperative, (vinegar, not so much). Just like the tomato paste, he thought he was being covered in something delicious.

And, now he’s our minimally smelly, rebellious punk rock child.  I think he’s over all these weird treatments.

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The Stinkiest Day of My Life, Literally

As if being awakened by my dream last night was not enough, insert animal drama.

4:30 AM, finally back asleep, dog races out the dog door and starts barking.  Please, no.  Lying half awake, I hoped he would come back in without me having to yell out the door.  Please, please, please.  The sound of the dog door told me my plea was answered.  Kind of.

Simon jumped on our bed, thrashing his body.  At first I thought, Oh no, he has a rat.  Then I realized the strong smell invading my nostrils was skunk.  He was sprayed.  Shit.  Jumping out of bed to try to grab him, he bolted for the living room, stopping first to rub his body against the carpet in the bedroom, then again in the living room, his grand finale our couch.

I grabbed him with my bare hands and carried him to the bathtub, his eyes swollen shut, whimpering.  Dazed by the time on the clock, I was still not entirely sure what was happening, I just knew I needed to clean his eyes, fast.  Rinsing them in the tub, the stench was so strong I had to grab a cleaning mask.  Oops, didn’t shut the bathroom door.  Simon escaped and rolled some more.

Finally, mask in place so I would not vomit, which with the severity of the odor was feeling increasingly possible, I rinsed his eyes and began to scrub.  This was my second mistake.  My bare hands massaged the soap into his short coat, uncertain where he was sprayed, thinking it was just his eyes.  Then I realized I was rubbing the skunk’s bright yellow spray on his neck, its powerful odor sinking into my finger tips.  Still, I soldiered on, uncertain what else to do, Alex working hard to google our options.  I was just concerned about clearing his eyes.

Fast forward two hours of cleaning the dog and our house, the smell still overwhelming, I left for work, frazzled but still on time.  Telling another teacher my story in the hall, I realized I now smelled too.  The spray was in my pores.  The vinegar, tomato paste, water, soap, hand sanitizer, you name it, was not enough.  In fact, I stank.

Another teacher walked into my classroom, unaware of my story, and declared “What’s that smell?!” Normally this question would be completely unoffensive, the common side effect of teaching a room full of thirty children, but by then the answer was embarrassing.  I had left for work, reeking of skunk, without even realizing it because everything in my house smelled.

I wanted to disappear.  I wanted to go home, although not to my home, which was still a skunk war zone.  However, being smelly did not seem like a good enough excuse to call an emergency sub, so I toughed it out.  Students entered the room, noses plugged, unaware I was the source of their displeasure.  We sat down to morning meeting and I began with a conversation about empathy.

“I’m going to tell you a story that is both funny and embarrassing, so it is important you use empathy to only laugh with me and not at me.”

The time spent preparing them for the story was worthwhile, they laughed, but only when acceptable.  Most looked embarrassed for me.  They were fascinated, enthralled, could not ask enough questions.  My favorite, “Is it the same as a skunk fart?”  And, to my great relief, they stopped covering their noses after we discussed how it might make someone else feel.  I reminded them that as much as it was gross to them, there was nothing I could do to escape.

So, in the end, I survived the stinkiest day of my life.  The rumors grew throughout the school, some teachers hearing from their kids that a skunk had to be chased out of my classroom.  Home now, my house still stinks, and I probably do too.  Next on the list, try, try, again to make the smell go away.  So far, google has not solved my dilemma.  And, yes, I’ve tried tomato and vinegar based products, thank you.