Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Stink, Stank, Skunk

It was inevitable, it had to happen - an event to which I am no stranger. And as we begin to celebrate the glorious days of summer, I feel it is my duty to repeat some information I've shared before.

My husband and I are vacationing in beautiful Pagosa Springs, Colorado. If you have never been there, it is the ultimate destination for both man and beast if you are into the outdoors.

When we come to Pagosa, there is no question, our 3 Labs come with us. In fact, they should probably rename Pagosa to Doggy Heaven, Colorado. This time of year, temperatures are mild and the wind is breezy. There is little to no humidity and at 7500 feet above sea level the snows have already melted and the ground is dry. Public land abounds and dogs are welcome almost everywhere. The aspens are budding, wild flowers are blooming and the streams are flowing with snow melt from higher elevations. Evenings are cool and provide the perfect opportunity for you to snuggle with your special someone whether it be human, canine or both.

We are lucky enough to stay in a small house that backs up to the San Juan National Forest. Groomed trails right out the back door lead directly into the forest where it is easy to amble away the day. The dogs have a great time chasing sticks and scents and swimming in the cold mountain streams. Wildlife is abundant. Deer, squirrels, birds, raccoons, beavers and SKUNKS....

Late this afternoon, we stepped off the back porch and headed onto the trail. Up ahead I saw a small black and white pup that I pointed out to my husband. He didn't see it and felt quite sure that what I was seeing was really a pile of dirt. Well, piles of dirt don't move, but this black and white thing most certainly did. And I wasn't the only one who saw it. Susie Q, our yellow Lab, famous for her love of stuffed animals, was off like a silver bullet. She disappeared off to the right of the trail and then I heard a short bark....just one. She immediately returned to us. But Susie brought something along with her. A stink like none other. One that makes your eyes well with tears, your nose hairs burn and your face wrinkle in disgust. Susie had found herself one big, bad Colorado skunk.

We tried to carry on with our stroll but the stench was too much. Shortly, we turned and made our way back home. My husband and I like to think that we are professional de-skunkinators at this stage, having another yellow Lab who has been sprayed three times in our backyard in Austin. We knew exactly what must happen for us to be the big happy family we had started out as just 30 minutes before. I stayed outside with Susie under a tree while Daddy Mike hit the local grocery store to purchase hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. We needed dishwashing liquid too, but had that at the house already.

There are many solutions to get the skunk smell off a dog. There is a product called Skunk Off that lots of veterinarians sell and that you can find in pet stores and on the Internet. I've heard of a tomato juice concoction although I've personally never tried it. Limited research on the
Internet says that tomato juice does not work, nor does lemon or citrus, or "cover-ups" such as Febreeze or perfume. Check out this link for additional info: http://www.aaanimalcontrol.com/skunksmellremovalrid.htm

Below is a recipe that is tried and true. I used this very link to help me rid Miss Susie of her stink and get her to smelling like the Lab we love again - home remedy for de-skunking your dog. For me, this recipe is the most successful. This website is very informative as well, warning that the mixture breaks down almost immediately after mixing and is most effective when used as soon as possible. The website also recommends keeping these inexpensive and useful household items on hand for just such an event, but notes that mixing the ingredients together and storing them in a bottle or plastic tub is unsafe as pressure builds when the ingredients are mixed together and they will explode.

I hope you find this little tail, oops, I mean tale beneficial to you. While I can honestly say that I have never seen a skunk as big as the one I saw today, skunks are no strangers in Texas and you too may find that you and your beloved canine run up against one some day, though I hope for your sake, this never happens. Now you will be fully prepared to remedy this little calamity as cheaply and safely as possible and be free to wrap your arms around your faithful companion and shower them with all the love and attention they deserve in no time, even if they decide to pick a cute little skunk as their new best friend.

No comments:

Post a Comment