Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Inconvenience of Skunks

My dog has now been skunked THREE times in the last four years--yes, count 'em, three.

The most recent occurrence being 45 minutes ago at 4 a.m.

Is this just bad luck? Is it karma? Was my dog some kind of evil skunk poacher in another life? Or is it a direct reflection of us, are we being punished for something, because let me tell you--it's not pleasant!

The first time she was sprayed by one of those striped menaces was two days before my wedding. I kid you not. We were having some people over, enjoying some drinks and good company, when the dog began scratching at the back door to be let in. As I approached the kitchen to the back door, I could already smell it and I knew.


What a way to break up a party. Two trips to the store to get tomato juice later, she was sleeping, wet and bleary-eyed in the kitchen while we tried to sleep with the smell of skunk permeating our nose, skin, hair, everything. I mean, that stuff STICKS! You feel like you can smell it for days and it stays in your house (and in the dog) FOREVER. So needless to say, I smelled a little skunky on my wedding day. My friends and family were nice enough not to mention it.

The second time we were living here at our current residence (a.k.a. the in-laws') and again, it was late at night and we had to make a late night trip to the store and give her a hasty bath. Thankfully, no major life events or milestones were on the horizon, so I guess that was a plus. However, again, it took months for the smell to completely dissipate.

Now, onto the most recent turn of events. My dog has a tendency to stay out at night and wander into the woods where we live and not come home. No matter how long we call her, whistle or clap, she won't come in before we go to bed. Tonight is one of those nights. As we lay in bed, sleeping soundly, I hear barking in the distance. A lot of barking. I immediately wake up, my stomach churning, and I know something is wrong. Sure enough, five minutes later it starts to POUR outside and the dog is barking to come in. I get up and as I near the door, the smell hits my nose. Oh no. Not now. Please, not now. I peek my head out our bedroom door and the smell gets stronger. I swear I almost turned around and left her out in the rain. But no, she is a member of the family, albeit the smelliest one by far, and I open the door and let her and her stench into the front hallway. Stifling a gag, I look down at her and don't know quite what to do. It is 4 a.m., none of the stores are open, it is pouring outside and both my husband and I have to work early in the morning. My husband has to go on the road for a job and it's the one day a week that I actually go into the office, so I have to go. Of course the dog knows this fully well, so I look at her disapprovingly. "Now I have to wake Daddy up and tell him. Are you happy now?"

I start softly. "Honey, wake up. The dog got sprayed by a skunk." A gentle nudge. Nothing.

A little louder now, "Honnneeey."

He rolls over and groans.


That finally startles him awake and he quickly looks at me and says "What?!"

"The dog was sprayed by a skunk again."

"Really?" (No, this is some REALLY funny joke that I thought up in my sleep at 4 in the morning.)

"Yes really."

He gets up, goes out in the hallway and proclaims that yes, she has been sprayed (good thing I had him there to confirm that for me) and that there was nothing we could do about it tonight so we should go back to sleep and deal with it tomorrow. Fantastic. Except that now the entire place smells like skunk and it is pouring outside so we can't even leave her out there. That is what brings me to my current state at 5 a.m., not able to sleep because it STINKS IN HERE!!!!

The dog and my husband are both sleeping soundly, though, in case you were concerned.

So later on today, somewhere in between dropping the kids off at my mother's, going to work, picking the kids up and coming home, I have to procure some tomato juice so we can try to de-skunk our stinkin' dog. While all that happens, she will stay outside, and I swear to God, I don't care if it's raining. I have to draw the line somewhere, don't I?