The Unwanted Intrusion

Beau doing his own version of downward dog at the Zoi-Roy backyard last Saturday, August 6, 2016. Photo courtesy of Mara T. Yee

Beau doing his own version of downward dog at the Zoi-Roy backyard last Saturday, August 6, 2016. Now why can’t I do that and not be in such great pain? Photo courtesy of Mara T. Yee

Two weeks ago, our dear Beau got skunked! We had let him out for his pre-bedtime ritual under the Redwoods. I was tidying up in the kitchen. I noticed he took a little longer than usual. So, I called out to him. It took about a minute or so but I heard the familiar gallop around the side of the house and up the back steps. He came crashing into the kitchen and straight for his bed, which I had just fluffed and covered with a new blanket.

And then the sonorous mephitic assault permeated the kitchen with such venom, I ran out and called my hubby quickly.  He was getting settled in bed already.

“Hon, Beau got skunked!”

We frantically googled remedies, potions, and bath concoctions. No, tomato juice does not work. That’s a myth. Yes, first thing you need to know is “DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE, LET THE DOG INTO THE HOUSE!”

Flower, the Skunk from the Disney movie, Bambi, got his name after Bambi, supposedly learning to talk, called him a pretty flower. Illustration courtesy of www.gallery.yopriceville.com

Flower, the Skunk from the Disney movie, Bambi, got his name after Bambi, supposedly learning to talk, called him a pretty flower. I have always been baffled at the depiction of these animals as though they’re the epitome of wholesomeness and utmost cute-hood, if there is such a thing. Illustration courtesy of http://www.gallery.yopriceville.com

Too late! We ran back to the kitchen, where we witnessed our big black lug rolling around on his bed, huffing, blowing his nose, growling at no one in particular, and desperately rubbing his face on his bed.

And so it was that the dog had to be bathed past midnight twice over, with an agreed concoction of baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and a splash of dish washing liquid slathered and rubbed on his black frame. The bed had to be placed outside. We gathered the towels. and aired them out on the porch. I had to wipe down the kitchen cabinets, just in case. We opened all the windows in the entire house. Then we had to shower ourselves.

Pepe Le Pew is a cartoon character in Loony Tunes, known for his obsession with romance and the can't take no for an answer peskiness. He sports a French accent and turns off female prospects because of his overly assertive manner and odoriferous personality.

Pepe Le Pew is a cartoon character in Loony Tunes, known for his obsession with romance and the can’t take no for an answer peskiness. He sports a French accent and turns off female prospects because of his overly assertive manner and odoriferous personality. This is a contrasting depiction to the Disney character. You’d almost expect this one to be best friends with Speedy Gonzales.  Illustration courtesy of http://www.seekingbostonmarathon.com.

Even as we finally crawled into bed way past midnight, we still kept trying to smell ourselves, our sheets, our hands, everything around us. We were at last, too tired to gag.

What a potent weapon that was!  I later discovered that skunk spray is a combination of sulfur-containing chemicals, most notably, n-butyl mercaptan. It has the distinctive ability to not just offend but to physically nauseate. And a human nose can smell it up to a mile (1.56 km.) away, down wind, and can linger up to 6 months. It is also inadequately comforting to note that once a skunk has reluctantly released its chemical defense, it will take up to 10 days to replenish enough for a reload.

After several more baths, a frantic call to the gardener experts about luring and trapping, frenzied house cleaning, and sadly, throwing out the previously loved and worn beds, the rank smell is starting to dissipate in the house.

Yesterday, lo and behold, one of the traps contained a dark striped stranger. Could this be he/she?  Hubby said it looked very cute. Beau made a tentative approach. We covered the trap with a large box, hoping Beau will not come near it anymore. One would think that he learned from the experience by now. At least, we’d like to think. After all, he still growls at a friend whose dog tried to bite him. And that was years ago.

At the Balae get together in Portola Valley. Beau is able to socialize again, finally, after two weeks of seclusion for his smelly past.

At the Balae* get together in Portola Valley. Beau is able to socialize again, finally, after two weeks of forced seclusion for his smelly past. Photo courtesy of Wyatt Roy (on timer and rapid clicks!)

Thou shalt not re-engage with a stinker, mon coeur! Or we will disown you. Do not be a sucker for abusive encounters.

*Balae – Filipino; what you call the parents of your daughter or son-in-law.  I heard from friends that in India, the father of your in-law is a “samdhi” and the mother of your in-law is a “samdin.” Cool!

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28 Responses to The Unwanted Intrusion

  1. Poor Beau! I hope he learned a valuable lesson, although in my experience with dogs, the lesson is short lived.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. prior.. says:

    just dropping by to say hello – and I have a photo to share with you this coming Friday….
    a vegetable – and I am sure you can guess what it is ….
    be back then

    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a frustrating happening. I can only imagine how bad it all was smelling. Have never encountered a skunk, and hopefully never will. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • likeitiz says:

      Let’s just say wishing the experiecnce on anyone should be reserved for your worst enemies. The smell likes to dwell and insinuate in the deepest little corners of your home, setting up camp and squatting as long as possible.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Prior-2001 says:

    enjoyed the skunk toon images – cute-hood not realistic at all!
    and sometimes driving back country roads we smell a skunk and if it gets in the car – it is yuk – how much more to have all that sulphur chemical stuff brought directly in – and oh Beau — ouch!
    and I was right there as the post unfolded – “under the redwoods” remebering how beautiful they are – and then yikes – talk about a draining experience – and right at bedtime too – thanks for the tips too –
    oh and side note – seems baking soda is good for so much – this summer I have been reading some material ((about cleansing with it)) from dr sircus and also a Friend was saying they are using it for some cancers – and i was wondering if the peroxide made beau’s hair a little orange?

    Liked by 1 person

    • likeitiz says:

      Hahaha! Thank goodness, the peroxide did not affect his hair color. Imagine if it bleached him or something. He would have been one giant stinky funny looking pooch!

      Yes, baking soda has many uses indeed! Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Prior-2001 says:

        ha! yes – peroxide highlights with the stink…
        and this story reminds about how powerful smells can be and how the olfactory senses permeate the whole body – serious – felt the nauseous with ya – and with the tip to not bring them Indoors.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. pattimoed says:

    Poor Beau. Poor you!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pilgrim says:

    Good grief, poor dog, poor you. What an ordeal.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a stinky ordeal. I’m glad you can breathe freely again.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. auntyuta says:

    “Beau is able to socialize again, finally, after two weeks of forced seclusion for his smelly past.”

    This is such a beautiful family picture. I am glad Beau could be in it too and leave his “smelly past” behind. You did a good job with him. I can imagine how exhausting all this must have been!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What a horrible experience. Glad Beau was okay. We don’t have skunks in Australia so to me they are just cute not potential enemies.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. lyonmarquette says:

    Mama skunk gave birth to half a dozen skunklets(?) under our backyard deck. And there she nested her adorable brood for about 6 months ’til they could fend for themselves. We would often see this quiet, nocturnal, black & white family setting out or coming back in single file from their nightly patrols, their shiny, slick coats reminiscent of a formally attired crowd exiting a bash at the opera. Their obnoxious, smelly defense aside, skunks are elegant looking creatures that are immaculately as clean as cats. They are also possess an independent and puposeful spirit much like felines, showing no affectionate tendencies towards humans like dogs. Quite snobbish in a way as they generally would rather ignore you unless you interfere with their daily routines.

    The gang of racoons and neighborhood cats that usually haunted our garden, discovered quickly enough that it would be wise to give the skunkies a wide berth when crossing their turf. If the police graphics of their coats were not enough deterrence, a generous dose of the crowd control chems would send all potential aggressors scampering away. We never heard nor saw the debris of violent encounters with other species. Only the odor infiltrating the house gave us a clue that some critter was receiving instruction on good manners from our striped guests. Repeated occasions of the smellies probably meant the need for re-education for some obstinate parties. The slightest whiff of skunk scent in the house would set off the alarm bells from the wife calling everyone to battle stations, ordering battening down the hatches and breaking out perfumed candles and cans of Febreeze. If the attack came early enough in the evening, the commander wife would deem it wise and prpoer

    Liked by 1 person

    • lyonmarquette says:

      (Sorry, hit the post button inadvertently with my gorilla finger.) ………..wise and proper to evacuate to Kohl’s where there are enough provisions on sale to wait out the chemical onslaught, while we male soldiers held the fort.

      Enduring the skunk’s fragrance always brings to mind my Mama’s traditional concerned query whenever she encounters strange species. In this case: “What is the purpose of a skunk?” Mama could never figure out the utility of a critter that you couldn’t eat and why on God’s earth did he create such an animal.

      Well…..skunks do keep the coons and cats from crapping in our yard. They make for attractive, clean and quiet neighbors. I delight in their skunk antics as they play and sniff about the garden in the moonlight and have never seen nor smelled skunk droppings. The female of the human race however, will always squeamishly view them as “filthy rats” and a good reason to for an impromptu soujourn to Kohl’s. And finally they provide useful topic in reply to blogs about dogs that serve to entertain me while I desperately battle insomnia in the wee hours of the morning.

      This all brings me back to Mama’s question at the zoo: “What is the purpose of a hippopotamus?”………Still trying to figure that one out.

      Liked by 1 person

      • likeitiz says:

        This account is hysterical! Sounds like you’re nocturnal too. And quite considerate of these odoriferous bunch. Yes, they are cute, as my hubby opined to me. But boy! Are they such malodorous bunch. And because they’re diminutive, they are easily threatened. Our Beau would never harm a single hair on their striped mane. But there’s no convincing any of these small critters, including fellow dogs of other breeds. He’s the gentlest of souls.

        But, my tolerance for the rank odor is almost nonexistent. The gardener came by and scooped the trap into his truck. “East Palo Alto far enough for ya?”

        Like

  11. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Oh my word I dread to think what the smell is like, but you must be glad it’s over. Poor Beau 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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