What is that SMELL!

Have you gotten a whiff of something and asked, “Do you smell a skunk?” Silly, rhetorical, I know but it’s a question I’d love to ask right now.
I’d put out some hard cash, maybe even a solid gold bar for the prerogative of posing that whimsical little phrase. It would be delightful to lift my head into a freshening breeze and wonder if a skunk waddled through at some point during the night instead of having every one of my five senses assaulted by a solid wall of skunk stench from the moment I enter my house.
This intolerable state of affairs has been ongoing since last Friday night.

You knew it had something to do with this one


I was reading in bed, tucked in early because I had to be at work before 7 a.m. the next morning. Mr. B. was out playing poker with his friends and our youngest son was downstairs, watching something wholesome and educational on television I’m certain. The peaceful evening shattered after ten o’clock when youngest son burst into my room with, “Oh no, oh no, oh no! You’re not going to believe it!”
He didn’t have to tell me what I wasn’t going to believe because the reek of skunk funk preceded him by a few seconds.
Here’s a skunk fun fact: Dogs never get sprayed before ten o’clock on a night before you have to work!
“No! What? Where are the dogs?!”
“Artie’s inside but Honey is out. And she’s jumping at the back door. I think she got sprayed by a skunk!”
You think?
By the time we had finished that little conversation, we were squinting. Tears were running out of our eyes and I could feel the hair inside my nose begin to singe. My son began to cough and gag and tried to dive under the pillows. Right, as if he could escape the horror.
As I ran downstairs, every step I took brought me deeper into the skunk fetor. It was like going through solid matter. By the time I got to the back door, I had entered the Seventh Level of skunk hell where it doesn’t even smell like skunk anymore, it’s like having a giant sulfurous rotten onion shoved onto your head. Without any air holes.
The cause of the catastrophe was crying and jumping at the back door. I must have yelled or swore because all I saw of Artie (the coward) was his big rump tearing up the stairs. I was abandoned, left alone to my devices and wit to deal with the latest bad-dog disaster.
Here’s another skunk fun fact: If you open your door when there’s a skunked dog jumping at it, the dog will run in and dive onto your bed or your couch, roll on your rug and rub it’s face along newly painted walls before you can catch it. It doesn’t matter how much you scream and swear, that’s what’s going to happen.
Unfortunately we’ve been through skunk sprayings before these two terriers came along. We had a greyhound who got sprayed twice in one week. Another time I was watching my mother’s dog when her precious got a faceful of skunk and proceeded to run into the newly painted bathroom and rub her face all over the walls. That’s how I learned about the second fun fact.
Armed with some history, I prepared the house for deskunking. I filled the sink with a Dawn/vinegar/warm water mix. I rolled up all the rugs, closed every door and went out to bring the befouled dog into the kitchen.
Skunk fun fact #3: Vinegar and Dawn dishwashing soap bath is the best home remedy for skunked dogs–unless it’s in their face and eyes. Then you just have to tough out the smell.
The smell was even worse outside if that is possible. I could barely open my eyes as I made my way to the back porch. Honey stopped jumping at the back door when she realized I wasn’t going to open it. She assumed the bear rug pose, lying as flat as possible with each leg pointing in the compass directions. This is her I have given up my will to live pose which is used only under absolute duress. All I could really see of her was two black, blinking eyes. I felt one small stab of pity but then was overcome by another wave of skunk smog.
She wouldn’t get up so I had to get her. She maintained her stiff, starfish pose until I plopped her into the sink. Then she just sat like a completely dejected dog. It was pitiful to see her defeated but it made the hour bath easier.
It’s been three days and although the stench is nothing like it was on Friday night, it still stinks. Despite all my efforts to contain the fumes, the kitchen smells the worst. Our coats and bags hang in the kitchen and they stink. When I opened my pocketbook at the store this morning, the cashier said, “Whew! I smell a skunk!” Honey is still pretty ripe because I couldn’t really lather up her face and mouth. I think it’s in her gums because whenever she yawns, we go into the Third Level of skunk hell.
Aaaaaahhhh, just in time for the Thanksgiving festivities!

Veni Vidi Vici Honey the Terrier!

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About EF Sweetman

bees, baseball, beverly, ma, culture, manners, society, writing
This entry was posted in blogging, cautionary tales, Dogs, family, humor, Observations, pets, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to What is that SMELL!

  1. It takes about months to get the skunk smell completely out of the house. My mother is an expert on this. It happens to her every 3 years or so. She takes her dog out after dusk with a flashlight now.

  2. John says:

    One word: YIKES!

  3. Oh the memories – horrors. Dawn and vinegar…my sinuses will never be the same

  4. chlost says:

    I am sorry to laugh at your misfortune, but this is hilarious!

    I suppose now I have jinxed myself and our dog will find a skunk to bother, too.

    Good luck. Maybe it is a good excuse to go out to a restaurant for Thanksgiving.

    • sweetman says:

      I would rather make you laugh than have you suffer the skunk smog, chlost! I think we’d carry the smell with us into the restaurant if we went out for dinner; there’s no getting around it, it’s a skunk Thanksgiving!

  5. This has to be my favorite post I have read today. I laughed so hard all my dogs got up to see what the heck was going on. I showed them a picture of the skunk…they were unimpressed. I loved it.

    • sweetman says:

      Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed it and I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving! I especially wish that your dogs never encounter the skunk, it’s still unbelievable!

  6. I am crying in sympathy for ya Liz…..but laughing my ass off on the inside…… does that make me a bad friend? πŸ™‚ Hope the air has improved by Turkey Day πŸ™‚

  7. sweetman says:

    No, you’re a good friend Maaaaahhhhhhhk, thanks for your honesty :). You know, Honey and I were talking yesterday (me with my gas mask, her with poisonous fumes emanating from her face) and she expressed a keen desire to visit a good friend in Texas for Thanksgiving. You can pick her up at the lost baggage area. Thanks! Happy Thanksgiving!!

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