Not punk’d, but SKUNKED at 2 am


With the changes in climate comes all-nighters. Despite taking Zyrtec D, squirting Flonase, later spraying Saline solution, and placing Breathe Right Strips for needed oxygen, my plugged-up nose woke me from a dream conversation about trap-neuter-release (TNR) clinics for feral cats. “It’s 2 a.m.,” Mickey Mouse on the watch face announced.

Brushing bedding aside, I said, “Ok.” That word was Schroeder’s cue to roll out of bed and down his doggy stairs. KRZA radio was calming the air waves being purified by the air cleaner in the living room. I coughed and coughed again. I parked myself in the bistro chair on the deck as I watched Schroeder start his perimeter check. The air was cooler and began to open my nasal passages.

Over head the International Space Station was shining through the Aspen trees. As the moon overlooked the earth, stars flickered in the night. In the distance, I heard a lone dog’s yip, then another. The traffic noise mimicked ocean waves on Galveston Beach; yet the night air was more like air currents from the peak of Mount Blanca than an ocean surf.

Then, Schroeder’s urgent yelp broke the silence. I saw him chasing a small animal that I thought was Mama Kitty. I yelled, “Schroeder, NO!” I was scared for him not knowing what he was chasing. He has let racoons know they aren’t welcomed here. I didn’t want one of them to turn on him and hurt him. So, I yelled again.

Still barking, he pursued the creature that didn’t run as fast as a cat. He barked and barked. I saw a creature jump—was that a cat? Then, I smelled a pungent breeze mixed with a grilled odor. I thought someone must be cooking outside. I smelled onions, or was it garlic?

All of a sudden, this canine charged for the deck, then all the way through the back door, into the dining room where he sat and looked at me. “Mama, help me,” he seemed to beg.

Now the odor was overpowering. My eyes were burning, and I realized, “It’s a skunk!” I called Schroeder and checked him over. “What is that yellow stuff?” He had markings on his legs, his rear, a little dash on his forehead. I couldn’t get him to roll over to see if his belly was marked, too.

Whatever it was, my first act was to wash it off. The yellow came off and something in the two shampoos must have tackled that odor. But his brief whiz through the house planted the odor deep into the air. The Air Purifier didn’t have a prayer. It was all over the kitchen, in the dining room, my bedroom, and in the living room.

I read on Petco.com that skunk spray is yellow and making a solution of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dish soap is a solution that will get the skunk odor off a dog. It says to not use tomato juice or soup or to follow first instinct to wash them. “Uh oh.”

The Petco site also said that boiling vinegar and letting the gas waft through the space helps to remove the odor. I boiled three pans of vinegar all night long and caramelized some of it too.

I searched three online sites for a shampoo to get the skunk odor out. I found De Skunk at Walmart and quickly made a curb-pick-up time for that and groceries as early as possible.

Still, I need to shampoo Schroeder again with DeSkunk, launder bedding and throw rugs, and run another shower for myself. On this winter night, Schroeder has a note for readers: “Being Punk’d is not as bad as being skunked at 2 a.m. in your own backyard as you’re making perimeter rounds.”

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