Recently while our son was away at camp, my husband and I took our dogs and went to our second home in Flagstaff for a much needed respite from the Phoenix heat. We haven’t been there much lately because two years ago we had a fire and it has taken this long to get all the repairs finished. But finally, the smell of smoke has been replaced by fresh paint, new carpet and thoroughly sanitized furniture.
When we arrived, our Airedales, Amber and Krissy, ran wildly through the house and yard, relishing in each scent of the cool mountain air. We let them romp freely while we got busy with chores with the house.
It was about 11 pm on the second night we were there. I was in the other room, writing an email to our son at camp when all of a sudden I heard my husband yell from the other room. That’s when I began to smell it…SKUNK in capitals. I leapt up from the computer and headed around the corner to the family room just in time to see my husband leading our dogs into the house by their collars. He yelled, “I think they got sprayed by a skunk?!” This leads me to the first thing NOT to do if you think your dog got sprayed by skunk:
1: Do NOT bring your dog in the house. You may think you know what skunk smells like, but when it’s that up close and personal, this smell takes on a life of its own and it quickly permeates everything—including you.
My husband started rubbing his hands alternately around Amber’s body and then Krissy’s to see if he could find the source of the noxious odor. “Do you think they got sprayed?!” he repeated, but I could hardly speak, my eyes were welling with tears. “Get the tomato juice, “I was finally able to gasp. My husband let go of Krissy’s collar for a moment and she promptly went over and wiped her face on the carpet. This brings me to the second thing NOT to do:
2: Do NOT try to waste time trying to find the source of the smell and let your dog wipe her face on your new carpet. The next day I spoke to my neighbors who live across the street. They had been sitting outside until the smell of skunk forced them indoors. They were across the street. Trust me, it smells worse in your living room.
“Let’s put them outside!” I started to shoo them back outside. “Wait!” my husband yelled, “I don’t know where the skunk is!” We finally decided that we should put them in the garage and that I should sit with them while my husband went to the store for tomato juice. This brings me to the third thing NOT to do:
3: Do NOT sit with your dogs in an enclosed space. I felt like I was slowly being gassed to death and even though we left the garage door open for three days after that, the garage still smelled like skunk.
My husband and I still argue about the efficacy of the tomato juice treatment. I really didn’t think it worked all that well. He claims it did, but I think his olfactory nerves are permanently damaged. As for the dogs, they don’t seem to mind either way. They’re just looking forward to the next time they can chase that stinky black cat with the white stripe.