Eau d’ Skunk

skunkThere are definite advantages to living in the country: plenty of room to grow vegetables, fruit trees and chickens; an abundance of wildlife (I love falling asleep with hoot owls and crickets as background music); room for our one cat and four dogs to roam; fresh air, lots of trees…the list is endless. There is nowhere I’d rather live than in this little slice of heaven on earth.

But the truth is, there is also the occasional downside to being out in the boonies. Some of those are an extension of the advantages—such as abundant wildlife. I’m not big on snakes, even though my husband has a fascination for them. I love the deer—as long as they stay out of the above-mentioned garden. And although our gentle chickens bless us with fresh eggs, they’re also an attractant for some of the smellier species out there—skunks.

We have a natural division of labor around here. I’ll do almost anything including, but not limited to, cleaning up dog and chicken poop, manual labor (your typical landscape work, painting, deck maintenance, etc.,) cooking, cleaning, canning and anything that’ll get me out of the house on occasion. But I have to admit, I’m not fond of wandering around the property after dark. So, Chris has, by default, received the job of locking up our chickens at night. It’s not a tough chore—walk down to the coop and close the little cluckers in. However, over the last several weeks, it’s taken on a more challenging task—out-maneuver the skunk that’s found its way into the coop every night to feast on chicken food.

If anyone’s up to the task, it’s my husband. I think he gets a kick out of it. Anything to add to the adventure of a typically tedious task. And since it takes him an inordinate amount of time to complete said task, I’m sure he takes the opportunity to bask in the quiet of the night while he’s down there. It’s quite peaceful, if you’re not worrying about wandering mountain lion and bear—as I tend to do. But last night, he was gone longer than usual. And then I smelled it. A skunk. It wouldn’t be the first time he pushed the little bugger too far.

Five minutes later, he appeared with no pervading aroma, although he did see the skunk and had to slip out the lower gate in order to evade him. So what made it spray? Then he asked, “Where’s Einstein?” We’re not talking Albert here, but our little white bichon. It didn’t take long to realize that it was he who caused the skunk to spray, and got caught in the crossfire. Now what? As Chris was trying to convince me that we could leave Einstein outside all night (yeah, right!) I was searching the Internet for a miracle cure for skunked dog. There was no way I’d sleep with Einstein barking all night long.

As I read the list of ingredients, it hit me that even in this circumstance, God was present. I had everything necessary: distilled vinegar (which I’d just purchased,) baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and Dawn dishwashing detergent. Not only that, but I never brush Einstein unless I’m planning on bathing him (confession of a bad dog owner,) yet that evening I felt compelled to do so. You might think that’s no big deal, but you get a bichon wet without brushing him first, you’re hurtled into dog-groomer hell. A half hour later, Einstein no longer reeked and we were able to sleep in peace—with the owls and crickets harmonizing background music.

It’s the little things in life that make me grateful! What about you?

2 thoughts on “Eau d’ Skunk

  1. Oh goodness Jennifer. What a fiasco! I had heard tomatoe sauce bath for skunk spray works good but you dog, like my friends, are white so he dog was turned pink. Einstein would have been humiliated. Oh my!!!! Poor doggie. We’ve had different things happen due to living in the country like our Golden dragging home part of a deer carcuss. Or another time on a Easter Sunday, hung out in his dog house where it was discovered he was munching on a bunny….horrors! My dog had eaten the Easter Bunny!!!! Another time, for some unknown reason, I flipped on the front porch light when I came downstairs to grab a aspirin, when low and behold, there was a huge raccoon perched on the bottom bowl of our three tiered fountain!!!! I had wondered why my fountain had been getting so dirty. There was the culprit!!!! I later found out they love taking baths and cleaning themselves!!! Gee, there was the answer. The joys and adventures of country living!
    By the way, glad Chris didn’t get sprayed!!! He would have had to spend the night in the chicken coop!!! 🙂 🙂

  2. I love the story Jennie, I don’t know if you remember the time Grandma and Grandpa were on their way to our house in Alameda, when they ran over a skunk. At that time the cure was
    tomato juice, but they couldn’t figure a way to wash the car with it. I am glad you had the key ingredients on hand.

    Everyday I am grateful for indoor plumbing and electricity. I am sure I would have gotten along in the days before they were created, I would not have had a choice, but I am grateful I have them now.

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