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"Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."
- Unknown

"That which does not kill you, makes you stronger."
- Handed down through the ages.

"Life's tough. It's even tougher when you're stupid."
- John Wayne

Skunk - 2, Chicken Mama - 1

Notice what time I'm writing this, will you?

I got home late tonight, a little before midnight.  I was purdy darn tired and ready to tumble into bed, but the reason (even after leaving work at a decent hour) was a good one:  my folks and I had a spontaneous & lovely 2-hour chat / catch-up over a bottle of vino.

So, why the extra late hour now?  Well, you did read the title of this post, didn't you?

During the usual flurry of 22 legs entering and exiting the door all at once upon my arrival (2 dogs, 3 cats, 1 human), and after my 2nd load from the truck (car's waiting to get into the doctor), I scooped Annie Blue up to give her some love.  The smell of her fur is one of my most favorites in the world:  it smells like clean (not wet!) wool.  Burying my nose into the scruff of her neck, I smelled a light but particularly identifiable smell.  "Ohhh, sh*t."  I dropped her down and rushed to the door . . . to find Tucker skooching his face all over the yard.  Sh*t, sh*t, SH*T!  

Okay, think!  Tomato juice?  Nope, Clamato.  Nottttt the same.  Wait, do I still have . . . YES, I did!  The bottle of de-skunk stuff I'd bought a couple of years ago was right where it should be with all the other animal ointments and sprays.  

Now, me!  Okay, out of your clothes!  Grabbed an old pair of Tom's shorts & a T-shirt that could be thrown away.

Now, grab Tucker.  (Skunk must surely be long gone by now.)  Liberally douse Tucker and rub, rub, rub the stuff in and down to his skin (muttering out loud about how happy I was that I'd had him shaved not too long ago).  Where did the skunk get him?  Oh!  RIGHT!  That dripping stream of green right there on the side of his neck!  Of course!

Okay, Maisy?  Get in the house!  

And there she was at the door waiting like a good dog, smiling . . . green skunk juice dripping off her nose.  Of course.

Note to self:  skunk is NOT yet gone.  

Where are the other three animals?  Riiiight, still outside.  Of course.

Liberally apply de-skunking agent to Maisy, wondering when the *#@! the neutralizing agents will kick in?!

Walk into the sunroom and notice how STRONG the smell is in there!  What the?!  Did the damn thing spray the HOUSE?

"Maisy & Tucker, STAY in the house!"  Armed in my T-shirt and shorts (did I mention that it's barely above 40 out?) and a flashlight, I go exploring.  Underneath the trees juuust outside the sunroom window, I hear a rustle.  YEP, there you are, you little . . . !  Ohhh, and look, there's Bonzi, two feet in front of you, hissing at you with her hair on end.

"Sssst, sst!  Bonzi!  Come!"

Fortunately, since I treat / train cats the same way as I do dogs (I know no other way!), she does.  Okay, back 'round the house and toss her inside.

Out and around the house to the big deck again, and there's Dosie, taking up where her big sister left off!  "Dosie?  Come!"  Second cat in house, check.  Where's Annie Blue?  I dunno, but I have bigger fish to fry!  (Besides, I'd like to think she's a little more "traveled" and world-wise than the two little ones.)

Back inside for my "take care of the situation" equipment, and a quick, "Sorry*, little guy," and that was that.  (Which is a little ironic considering what he/she had just done, but still, a life is a life.)

Anyway, that was the fattest skunk I have ever seen!  I actually palpitated its stomach to see if there were babies in there (although it's the wrong time of the year for that), but nuthin', fortunately.  However, the fact that it didn't skeedaddle DOES worry me a little . . . although it did look extremely healthy - very white teeth and all.  But, skunks do carry rabies, don't they?  Tucker is due for his rabies shot in mid October and Maisy's has already lapsed.  Annnnd, Maisy did have a 1/4" piece of skin taken off the end of her nose.  Hmm.  Yuck.  I'll probably call the local vet (even tho I can hardly stand the idiot, and the lack of admiration seems to be county-wide) tomorrow to run the situation by her to see what she recommends.  (Haven't YET gotten my passport renewed so haven't gotten the animals to their regular & EXCELLENT vet who is in Canada.)  And, I'll save the skunk:  it can be checked for rabies, if necessary.

I almost wonder if one of the dogs injured it and that's why it wasn't running away, but there weren't any obvious injuries.  I'll examine it better tomorrow (today) - doing so tonight wasn't terribly high on my list of to-dos.

I'll think I'll try to drown my pillow in essential oil tonight and try to sleep.  Or puke.  It's a toss-up.  You wouldn't BELIEVE what this house smells like.

(Pictures tomorrow.)


  1. Poor you!!!

    When I lived in Cleveland, our neighborhood had a high population of skunks - I even thought of rescuing a couple of darling babies I saw wandering in a busy street where their momma had been killed. I actually got sort of used to the scent of skunk and the smell always brings me right back to that neighbor now.

    I never had it on my pets or in my house however...

  2. Wow! Not the best way to end the day-hope you saved some of the wine to drink after the ordeal! Skunks are nasty little critters in more ways than one. Our friends had to have their dog put down after a tangle with one. Did the neutralizer work? I've always wondered if it was worth puchasing and having on hand, just in case. I'd rather have it and never need it rather than have an emergency and be unprepared. Hope you can throw the windows open today!

  3. oh, you poor thing to have to deal with THAT at the end of a long day! Glad you were able to dispatch it at least just in case it was infected with something - did it bite any of them or just spray? Around here we have a high incidence of rabies but our #1 carrier here are raccoons. Get a gallon of peroxide to keep on hand, I've found that to be semi-effective and a lot cheaper. Although nothing is that effective when cleaning up skunk or male cat spray, they are the worst!

    Don't freak out too bad about the vaccines, there is a bit of protection provided long after the "date" the vaccine lapsed, especially if the dog has had several rabies vaccines throughout their lives, wouldn't stress too much unless it was a puppy or under age 3, and even then be looking for bite wounds & infection which can get pretty bad. Sucks about your local vet, I worked for one really anal one, then a total whack job before I finally ended up working for a fantastic hospital with great vets, good ones are hard to come by! ACK! Hope today is MUCH BETTER!!!

  4. Oh my poor baby! I don't know what to say. After all you've had to deal with lately, this is just too much! How you have the sanity left to write a blog post (of high caliber) about the whole situation is beyond me. The trials and tribulations . . . unbelievable.

  5. Honestly, you couldn't make this up! It is really a cryin shame that you cannot just come home after a nice celebration and slide into a nice, cozy bed. My guess, given the health of the beastie, is that he/she wasn't rabid. Whenever I get a whiff of one around, my doggies are kept on short leash. They wouldn't have the sense to NOT get in a skunk's business. Hope you got some sleep and I hope the eau d'pepe d' peeeuw fades quickly. Thank goodness for your sense of humor!

  6. Let's at least hope that ALL of your animals learned a valuable lesson from the experience!!!

  7. Oh can I ever feel for you! I just had the same incidents but a week and a half apart. Juts when you think the stink is gone, here comes another of the 4 legged kids with a unique odor.

    I have never seen the black & white, but for some reason I think it is living under my house!!! Help!!!!


  8. Oh yes...........I would definitely know what it smelled like. Been there, done that.....a couple of weeks later, still had a nasty stink but you could no longer tell "what" the stink was. That actually made it worse if someone came around and wondered why the house smelled so bad. :(


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