Getting ‘skunked’


Getting “skunked” is a nightmare that pet parents hope to avoid. Their pets feel the same, but it happens every day. If you think that “getting skunked” is when someone beats you at a card game or fails to make a payment, it also falls into the “I never want that experience” scenario.

“Our five-year-old, King Charles Cavalier/poodle mix rescue dog, Freddy, is the love of our life, along with our cat, Archie,” said Lisa. “One morning at 6 a.m., I opened the door to let him into the backyard. That’s when I saw it: a skunk. It was the characteristic cute black animal with two white stripes down its back.”

Lisa took off running to save Fred … but it was too late. The skunk spotted Fred innocently sniffing his back yard and — like in slow motion when you can see what is about to happen and are powerless to do anything about it — the skunk spun around and sprayed Fred in the eyes.

The smell was sickening and poor Fred was covered. He did the only thing he knew for safety and made a beeline through the open door, into the living room, rubbing his face on Lisa’s new leather coach.

The skunk’s oily spray dripped off Fred’s fur onto the wood floor. “I grabbed a cloth and tried wiping his face, but instead the goo spread over his fur,” Lisa said. “It is one thing smelling skunk odor from your bedroom window at night. But being next to it and having it permeate your home is nauseating.”

Lisa’s husband, Clark, jumped on the internet and discovered that using tomato juice to remove skunk spray is a myth. Luckily, the information offered a better solution: 1 quart of 3-percent hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup baking soda and 1 teaspoon liquid dish washing soap.

“We didn’t have [the dish soap], so Clark drove to a 24-hour store,” said Lisa. “We will never be without these products again.”

They mixed the ingredients and, without getting Fred wet with water, applied it full strength as per the directions, making sure to keep it away from his eyes.

“We were all traumatized,” Lisa said. “The first application removed most of the smell, so we applied it twice more and then bathed him in Nature’s Miracle Skunk Odor remover. We also used the bio-enzyme product to remove odors from our clothes, floor and couch.”

As Fred was recovering, curled up in his bed and covered in a towel, his best friend and family cat, Archie, walked up to him. Archie lovingly washed Fred’s ear, letting him know that all is well and that he is loved even though he had a “date” with a skunk.

Lisa said Fred was not himself for days. “He would cautiously look outside and not want to go out.”

Was he humiliated, scared or feeling vulnerable after his experience of being attacked by a cute cat-like creature?

Like Lisa, my friend Lynda had a similar experience.

“As my elderly poodle, Silky, and I walked in our yard, a skunk surprised us, turned and sprayed Silky in her eyes,” said Lynda. “I knew just what not to do: Not to let her in the house until I was ready. My sister’s dog had recently ‘met’ a skunk and ran under her bed, smearing skunk oil all over her bedroom.”

Silky immediately rolled in the dirt, rubbing the oil off her fur as Lynda raced into the house and prepared the skunk mixture. “I picked Silky up with a towel, put her in the tub and poured the mixture over her,” Lynda said. “The skunk’s green goo slid off her fur and went down the drain. And with it, 98 percent of the smell. I gave her a second rinse and the hydrogen peroxide whitened her white fur — so it was an adventure with a happy ending.”


• “The skunk odor took five days to leave our home,” said Lisa. “We placed open boxes of baking soda and white vinegar in shallow bowls around the house to neutralize the horrible smell.”

• Lynda added, “I placed cut onions in bowls of water to absorb the odor from the air in my home.”

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