Midweek last week, Susan heard the dogs scuffling on the side of the house and tried to call them in. She saw a flash of white and thought maybe they were after a cat, but she caught a whiff of skunk and quickly closed the door then called for me in a minor panic. I was in the midst of a Team Fortress 2 match and couldn’t really hear her – all I heard was urgency in her voice. I knew she was downstairs making pickles and was thinking…who has a pickle emergency?!? But after the second time she called for me I came downstairs and could immediately smell the skunk. Still – what could we do? I opened the door and Nori, our black lab, was up on the porch waiting to come in. Soolin was out of sight. I could smell skunk in the air but when I sniffed Nori I couldn’t really smell it, so after running my hands over her I let her in then started calling for Soolin. She came up onto the porch tossing her head about, a thick white froth covering her mouth and chin and a long dribble of drool spraying about. Susan and I were a bit freaked by her appearance and behavior – she kept tossing her head violently, smacking her lips, and drooling profusely. I sniffed her and while the smell of skunk was very strong in the air, she smelled more of chemicals, like windex or something. We brought her inside, confused, as I kept sniffing at her mouth and wiping away all her drool. We started to panic a bit, fearing that she had ingested chemicals or something toxic, based on her behavior, the lack of a skunk smell on her, and the drool. Susan called the vet and pretty quickly we headed off to the animal hospital, expecting that Soolin was going to have her stomache pumped.
By the time we got halfway to the animal hospital we had concluded it really was a skunk we were dealing with, not chemicals. We couldn’t explain the different smells, but the way my car reeked made it clear that it was skunk on them.
It cost me $100 for the vet to confirm this, and I ended up feeling pretty foolish. Susan and I had a really long night – we had to put the dogs in a tub and scrub them with a solution made up of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, dish soap and water. The good news is aside from their faces, which we couldn’t scrub so assidiously, the dogs smell ok. The bad news is the odor lingers around our house and most especially in my car, which absolutely reeks. Based on a conversation with a co-worker who also ended up with a skunked car, I’m going to pay someone to detail it and ask them to focus on steam cleaning the upholstery, we’ll see if that clears it up.
[update] I forgot to mention the reason Soolin was drooling and frothing at the mouth. She took the skunkblast straight to the face and mouth, which is why she was so agitated and drooley. The vet told us it was harmless, but you can imagine how disgusting this must have been, even for a creature acustomed to the occasional snack on some other dog’s poop.