Saturday, July 18, 2009

Ruthie & Sophie's Not-So-Excellent Adventure

The subtitle of this post is:

"The #1 thing you and your dog DO NOT want to experience at 3:00 AM!"

(see photo below)
In the almost 30 years we've been married, we've had three German-Shorthaired Pointers and although we've had some close calls with "Black & White Kittycats," not one dog has ever gotten "sprayed" until this morning. I put Sophie out and didn't notice the skunk at the side of the house, but of course, she spotted it right away and took off in hot pursuit. She wouldn't come back when I called and I didn't have my slippers on to go and chase her. Of course I was in a panic and by the time I finally found the spotlight and my slippers, she was on her way back--rubbing her face on the ground and with her paws--you all have probably seen enough TV shows to know that's definitely not a good sign!!

When I walked over to her, I knew right away that her encounter with her first skunk ended badly! PEEYEW what a stink! Fortunately for all of us, Wal-Mart is less than 10 minutes away and open 24 hours, so I threw on some clothes and made a run for the emergency clean-up supplies. The helpful greeter told me about the skunk shampoo they had over in the pet aisle and I purchased some tomato juice too (just in case the shampoo didn't work). Mr. Johnson kept Sophie company while she was stuck in her kennel until I got back. Turns out she only got sprayed in the face, but I'm amazed at how truly stinky that skunk smell is--our whole house just reeks--especially the basement where Sophie's kennel is (the kennel is now sitting outside with the hopes that some fresh air and sunshine will help the smell dissipate).

Poor Sophie--knowing how she is when chasing the other little critters in our backyard, I bet she actually bit down on that skunk. Can you imagine how awful that must taste? I had her in the tub for over an hour, but couldn't get all the smell off her face for fear of getting the shampoo or tomato juice in her eyes, so I got some deodorizing wipes that I hope will work if I wipe her face frequently enough. I also picked up some room odor absorbers that I hope will help eliminate the smell in the house. If anyone else has had this experience and has some good tips to share, I'd be more than happy to hear them. In the meantime, if you come to visit me, I won't be offended if you walk in the house and say, "what's that smell??"


KGMom said...

Oh no poor Sophie.
Come to think of it, I smelled a very strong odor of skunk last night--but I guess it's too much to think that here in central PA we smelled skunk all the way from MN, right?

Richard said...

Here's my tip...Just add some vodka to the tomato juice. 3 or 4 of these and the house and dog won't smell so bad....:-)

RuthieJ said...

Hi Donna,
Sounds like you might have your own skunk problem in the neighborhood. Better keep an eye on your doggy too! From now on, Sophie only goes out on the leash with me in the middle of the night. I don't want to repeat this adventure anytime soon!

Thanks Richard, that just might work!

Mama Pea said...

Oh, poor Sophie. Poor Ruthie and Mr. Johnson.

We've had only one bad skunk experience in all our dog years. Max, our Bouvier, (all 90 lbs. of him) got sprayed one night when we lived 30 minutes out of town. This was years ago when our little podunk town didn't even have a convenience store/gas station let alone one that was open.

We used my precious home canned tomatoes (pureed in blender) to wash him with as we had no tomato juice or special shampoo. Glad to say it did a pretty darned good job but you can be assured that I've always kept tomato juice and dog shampoo on hand since then.

Oh, poor Sophie. Poor Ruthie and Mr. Johnson. Eeeeuuww!

troutbirder said...

Oh OH! Not good. My Chessies got nailed twice grouse hunting by Lanesboro. The only time I've been grateful for having lost my sense of smell to a virus.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Wow, are you ever lucky that you haven't had to deal with this more often. I have had to deal with it more times than I care to remember. It was a terrible concern, and still is really but the following recipe is the best ever. You can use it on your dog, on anything the smell got on and it works better than anything I have tried including tomato juice which just makes them smell like tomatoes as well as skunk. Good luck.

De-Skunking Recipe:

1qt. Hydrogen Peroxide
1/4 cup Baking Soda
1tsp. Liquid Soap

mix the ingredents into a large bowl and scrub your smelly pet with it. When
you are done rinse him with luke warm water. Repeat if needed.

Dana and Daisy said...

i like richard's idea!

Dana and Daisy said...

oh and I just have to ask, did the greeter at Walmart offer this new product just upon your entrance or did you stop and ask? lol!

Gaelyn said...

Poor Sophie, and you both too. Hope she learned a lesson.

Susan Gets Native said...

Good GAWD.
What STINKS in here ???????


Anonymous said...

You all have my sympathy, what a tragic accident.
It sure is nice to have a Wal Mart so close to you. It is the everything store.
Leave the windows open for a couple of days it will disappear.

Good Luck

Red said...

Good idea on the leash because if it's the only thing I know about dogs, they just don't learn! They'll keep chasing those black and white kitty cats... and prickly porcupines too.

So sorry for you and Mr. Johnson right now... Sophie too. I imagine the Tomato Juice accidentally in the eye won't be nearly as bad as the soap. Of course you can always dab it on with a small cloth.

KGMom said...

Ruthie--glad to see Lisa posted the recipe for de-scenting skunk odor. I knew there was one, but couldn't think of it.
Actually, I have read that tomato juice really DOESN'T do the trick, unless--of course--you use Richard's approach. ;-)
Our current dog is leashed when I take her out at night.
Our only encounter with a skunk was with our first dog, who was a lovely white fluffly mixed breed. We did use the tomato juice recipe then, and he (yes--HE) turned pink.

Stephen said...

Poor; poor Sophie, you, and Mr. J.
Definitely not a pleasent experience for any of you.

Glad to see that Lisa shared the de-skunking recipe. We'd used it years ago when our Boxer had encounters with the striped kitties (and there were more than I care to remember). As for airing the house, an open box (or more if needed) of baking soda had worked the best for odor absorbtion.

Jennifer said...

Oh dear, Ruthie. An adventure to be sure. (so far, my dog has only encountered racoons - which outsmarted her, and porcupines - which thankfully hid from, or climbed from her)

P.S. Was reading many of your other blog posts this morning and I, too, like that rust colored hat that you plan to make for yourself... very cute!

Anonymous said...

What a trooper and all 'round good dog mom, not to mention Mr. J and how her kept Sophie company while you made the emergency run.

Let's hope there not a polecat posse out there, coming back to make another attack.


NCmountainwoman said...

We have used Lisa's recipe with great success. Make certain your peroxide is not out-of-date. Use a plastic bucket since metal will encourage auto-decomposition of the peroxide. Use "Softsoap" or "Ivory Liquid." Do not use "Dawn" or other grease-cutting brands. Above all, do not use hair shampoo.

After sudsing the dog, leave the solution on the fur for at least five minutes or longer if necessary. Try to keep the solution out of the eyes (it stings) and wear rubber gloves if you have any cuts on your hands.

You can repeat the wash as necessary.

Important: Mix the solution only as you need it. NEVER mix it and store it. Pressure can build up and the whole thing can explode.

Kelly said...

Oh nooooo!! I wish you luck...poor thing...(you and the dog!)

Ruth said...

Our dog was sprayed in the face one September morning. Like you, we had trouble applying the solution around the eyes. I hate to tell you, he smelled like skunk til December, especially when he got wet. Of course it wasn't as bad as the first day.

Mary C said...

Oh Ruthie, Sophie, Mr J, I'm so sorry for all of you. It sounds like everyone is in agreement about the recipe Lisa gave you. I hope you've tried it and it has helped. My son's dogs have encountered porcupines, but I don't think they've ever gone after a skunk. I can't even imagine dealing with that.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Mama Pea,
For all the complaining I do about that Wal-Mart and the traffic on our highway, I was extremely thankful it was only 10 minutes away and open 24 hours! The 4 remaining quarts of tomatoes in my basement wouldn't have been enough to help out poor Sophie.

Hi Troutbirder,
We used to see them when pheasant hunting too, but they're becoming a more common sight out here in the neighborhood now.

Hi Lisa,
Thanks so much for this de-skunking recipe. I'm going to print it out and post it inside my cupboard door (the peroxide & baking soda are on my grocery list for the next trip to the store).

Hi Dana,
When I got to W-M, I said to the greeter, "I hope you have tomato juice on sale because my dog got sprayed by a skunk!" and that's when he told me about the soap. Otherwise I would have never thought to check the pet section.

Hi Gaelyn,
Probably no lessons learned at all--except by me and that is to not let Sophie out at night anymore unless I have her on a leash (too many wild critters are starting to show up in the backyard after dark!)

Oh Susan you can't believe how that odor is lingering!! I'm glad we don't have our house up for sale or some other event coming up where people will be coming to the house!

Hi Mom,
Even though it's fading, the smell is still here--in the basement bathroom where I bathed her, where her kennel is and on Sophie herself. Geez, what a stink!

Hi Heidi,
Well the smell doesn't seem to bother Sophie as much as it bothers us, but then what would you expect from a dog who likes to roll in raccoon poop!

Hi Donna,
The smell seems to be coming back on Sophie--I'm guessing repeated tomato juice baths are probably necessary.
I bet that pink-colored dog was quite a sight to see!

Thanks Stephen. I'm adding baking soda to my grocery list--that will be much better than trying to cover up the odor with Glade Plug-Ins (because now the basement just smells like a skunk who walked through lavender!)

Hi Jennifer,
The skunk Sophie chased didn't run nearly as fast as a squirrel or cat, and I guess with their "natural" defense, they don't need to.
(thanks for the hat compliments)

Hi Mary Lee,
Mr Johnson got bit by a skunk when he was just a little guy and had to endure the 21 shots to the tummy, so he's never gotten over his hatred of skunks. Fortunately Sophie just had her rabies shot in June! But I hope this is the last skunk we see in our neighborhood for a long time!

Hi Carolyn,
Thanks for the additional tips on the deskunking recipe. I plan to keep all the ingredients in the cupboard, but hopefully won't have to use it again (for a while at least).

Thanks Kelly. Except for the lingering odor, Sophie seems to be fine, but this is sure something we won't forget for a long time!

Oh Ruth, that's not good news! Fortunately, the odor seems to be concentrated mostly around Sophie's muzzle and nowhere else on her body. At least it's nice enough to have the windows open in the house!

Hi Mary,
I guess it could have been a lot worse and at least I've learned to be more careful about Sophie's middle-of-the-night bathroom breaks. And a skunk spray sure wouldn't hurt like a porcupine encounter would!

Jayne said...

Poor poor Sophie! I hope she's recovered by now and that your basement and house smells...err... a bit more fragrant? :c)

danielle said...

Poor Sophie. We've done porcupines, but never (knock on wood) skunks. Which is kind of funny, since we have a black and white "real" kitty the dogs chase out of our yard on a regular basis...

dAwN said...

Yikes! Poor thing!
Good thing Walmart was Open..otherwise you would have an even smellier house and pup!
Hope you are smelling fresher when we all meet up..tee hee :)

RuthieJ said...

Hi Jayne,
The smell is just about gone in the house now, but Sophie still has quite an odor around her muzzle......she must have had that skunk in her mouth and then dropped it when the skunk sprayed her. Yuck!!

Hi Danielle,
I'm guessing skunk would probably be preferable to porcupine--you have to go to the vet to have those quills removed, don't you? At least the skunk incident didn't hurt Sophie physically (just damaged her self-esteem, I suppose)

Hi Dawn,
Yes, it was sure an interesting experience......there's still an occasional whiff of skunk, but it's already much better after less than a week.