A few weeks back, my dog Hudson got skunked. The way my other dog, Chester, tells it, he and Hudson were in the yard minding their own business, when a 700-pound skunk/elephant hybrid appeared. (It should be noted that we rarely believe anything Chester says except, “I want to eat,” because he always does want to eat.) For no other reason, save for the fact that Hudson was tying to kill it, this mythical beast sprayed Hudson. Then, according to Chester, took all their money and ran.
This is where I came in. Having heard the commotion, I opened the door. There was Hudson with more than a dab of Eau de Skunk on all the pulse points. The next thing I knew, both dogs were inside the house running and rolling around and doing their best Bolshoi Ballet moves on our couch.
Now, we all think we know the smell of skunk, but it’s only until it fills your house and settles into your furniture that you become keenly aware just how mistaken you are.
“Call 911!” yelled my wife. She was so alarmed she stopped watching Supernatural on the CW channel. “There’s a chemical spill!”
“The dog got skunked,” I said.
“Get the kid and the dogs out!”
“It’s not a chemical spill, the dog got skunked.”
“Breathe through your shirts!!”
“THE DOG GOT SKUNKED!!!!!”
She digested this news for a second, before yelling, “Get the tomato juice!”
We didn’t have tomato juice, so my daughter grabbed the ketchup. “Will this do?” she asked.
No it won’t, and neither will tomato juice. Vets will tell you that while there are some good over-the-counter remedies for getting the skunk out of your dog’s fur, a good homemade concoction is available, too, and much cheaper. Here’s the recipe for a dish I call De-skunked Dog:
1 quarter-cup of baking soda
1 tsp. liquid soap
1 quart of hydrogen peroxide
Some dog shampoo
1 skunkified dog
Mix the first three ingredients and lather it on the affected areas of the dog. Repeat. IMPORTANT NOTE: keep away from eyes! SOMEWHAT IMPORTANT NOTE: The hydrogen peroxide may discolor fur, so unless your dog wants to be a platinum blond, do not leave on for too long. Once you’ve rinsed the mixture off, lather up the shampoo for a sweeter scent. While the skunk-smell will linger until the fur grows out, the stench will be far less stenchy. As for that tomato juice, save it for the Bloody Mary you’ll need after bathing your dog.