Chewing On The Past...Or Ma, That Ain't Garlic You Smell! - Home on the Range Blog at - 135661

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Chewing on the Past...or Ma, that ain't garlic you smell! 
Nov. 8, 2009 11:56 am 
Updated: Dec. 14, 2009 8:12 am
 Living in our old house in S California, the weather usually was fairly temperate in the early fall, so we often slept with the doors to the back yard open. Cider, (our red-headed stepchild, a Golden Retriever) was still a large puppy that particular year. He slept on the bed with us, and would, on occasion, trot outside late at night to stretch his puppy legs. He always wears a bandana, and has a long beautiful, very dark red coat. One night, he made a new friend in the yard. I never SAW the friend, I only know what he/she looked like from the evidence left behind.

I was aware that Cider had slipped off, as it was, and still is, his habit to step on my stomach on his way down....and he lands in the middle of me on the way back up. He returned to his spot in between us on the bed, where he successfully manages to pull the blankets off BOTH of us, and snuggled in. Shortly after, Randyman and I found ourselves gagging and wretching simultaneously, due to the incredibly powerful, garlicky aroma which was wafting off of his beautiful coat, and attaching itself to our unsuspecting and vulnerable noses. Cider had found hisself a skunk.

We had to strip the bed of all blankets and toss them in the wash, as he was soaked with the evidence and had deposited a fair amount of it on the bed as he had skidded into his little nesting spot between us.

We busted out the tomato juice, just like the old wives tale said to. I bathed him in our clawleg tub, and as a result, I had a stinky dog AND a stinky bathroom. Cider reveled in the attention, and enjoyed racing thru the house, dragging his wet fur down the sides of the couch and the hall, until we could capture him and pin him down long enough to attack him with a hair dryer. This was more than a small challenge, even for Randyman, as the dog seems to grow extra legs and all of them work at 100 mph, pummeling you in the gut as you pin his wriggling, writhing carcass to the floor.

We adapted to the smell a bit, as the tomato juice did little to correct the problem. Two nights later, he had yet another
rendezvous with his black and white amigo and we repeated our performance, this time bathing him with shampoo in between the tomato juice soaks, 3 different times. Again, it did little to cover up the smell.

I was considering shaving him bald, wondering how he would look as an 85 pound naked rat. (I hated the thought, as I really do love his coat)
As a precaution, we closed the outside French doors to the bedroom, as well as the back kitchen door, so the only access left to him was the dog door, which we knew he would only use if he really had to, as he was pretty large and had to work to maneuver his way thru it...

But thru it he went, as he apparently had made a date with Pepe Le Pew. He got outside, this time, without waking either of us...probably because of the accumulated sleep loss of the previous nights.

To the best of my memory, all I recall is hearing him barking.

I bolted upright, never having heard him bark before, and I flipped on the light. I could see an ominous cloud oozing down the hallway and filling our bedroom...and I gazed on Cider with admiration, seeing him elevated to the level of Lassie or Rin Tin Tin, even as I called out a warning of "FIRE" to Randyman...

It took only seconds to realize that it was not smoke we were seeing...

Cider had apparently brought PePe to meet us, and for whatever reason, had waited until she was in the hallway to bark out a warning. She released her entire arsenal of toxic gas inside of our hallway, just mere steps from the bedroom.

It's pretty amazing how quickly one can move at 2 in the morning, given the proper motivation. Door and windows were flung open, fans were set up, carpet cleaner was sprayed down on the rug and walls were quickly scrubbed down. (Cider was not the target this time, and had escaped unscathed.) We set to work and continued until dawn...Cider watching disinterestedly, mildly miffed because his door was locked down fast and he was confined to the house.

We were fortunate, as the fog did not seem to settle into the carpets or any of the furniture, and once cleaned we were in good shape once again. Either that, or we were just getting used to the smell.

There is one other occasion when I was awakened from a sound sleep and was unable to accurately process what was actually happening.

One fateful, and memorable night, I awoke to find myself very wet. I was MORTIFIED,  to think that a woman my age could actually wet the bed!! In horror, I ran to the shower, with the realization that I must have done it hours before because I  was not only wet, but COLD!!!

It was in short order, that I also realized only my back was wet, and I began to grow suspicious...

We have a fabulous big waterbed with the waveless tubes in it. Comfy, yes, and it does not require the heaters which were a necessity in previous of the tubes had sprung a leak. I didn't know whether to be upset, or relieved. I opted for the latter, my reputation and self esteem intact.

BTW, I did find a recipe that actually WORKS on a skunky dog. Its not food, but it IS a recipe, so I will share it with you here.

1 qt hydrogen peroxide
1/4 c baking soda
1 tsp dishwashing liquid
Combine ingredients in open container. Do not store in sealed container as it can EXPLODE

While still bubbling (the solution, not the dog, if the dog bubbles you have bigger problems) work into intellectually challenged, overly social dog's coat, careful to avoid eyes and muzzle as solution is harsh. Leave on for 10 minutes and rinse thorougly. Dog will likely be several shades lighter. (yes, my Golden Retriever resembled a long coated Yellow Lab for sometime, but smelled much more presentable)

Hope this helps, should you find yourself in a similar situation to ours!


Food critic
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His "spa"
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Dinner guests
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Cider, the Alvord Alligator
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Where'd I drop that soap????
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bed hog
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Cider in his element
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Nov. 8, 2009 2:45 pm
I'm laughing so hard I scared the cat! I don't have any dog stories of my own to tell, but I'll share this little wildlife adventure that my friend had. She had left the door to the garden open on a hot summer night while she watched TV. In stroll three fat raccoons just as casual as you please, as if they were saying, "Relax, we know where everything is." They headed straight for the dog's dish and started eating, hardly paying any attention at all to my friend's shrieks and frantic broom flailing. She finally got them moving towards the door, but they took their sweet time. No hurry. Whatever. See ya. So where was her dog all this time? She has no idea. Hiding out in the other room? Man's best friend, indeed!
Nov. 8, 2009 3:42 pm
What a funny story! And what a beautiful dog! I always enjoy your blogs. Keep it up!
Nov. 8, 2009 4:34 pm
haha great story telling. i totally got a visual. Cider is so cute.
Nov. 8, 2009 4:37 pm
Skunk in the house! It is probably best you yelled "fire" to wake Randyman up. If it had been me, and I yelled "Skunk", my hubby would have been under the covers until the emergency subsided. Our Siberian Husky liked to shake the smell off of himself (and all over everything else -walls, bed linens, books next to the bed, etc. He got skunked at least three times. It took months to get the smell out of his fur even though we kept washing him. Even worse was when the CAT got skunked. They really don't like being bathed, and he wasn't in a good mood to begin with. I think he tried to lick it off of his coat, because when we mistakenly let him in, he made a beeline for the food bowl and was trying to eat his wet food like crazy. When I yelled that he had been skunked, my husband's solution was to put him back outside, where he got onto the roof of the house. The most embarrasing skunk episode was when I was hosting a pot luck dinner for my mother of Twins Club. It was dads too, that evening, and my house was pretty full. So naturally, everyone decided to congregate in the kitchen, in front of the oven. By the time I got the garlic bread out from under the broiler, it was burnt and smoking. I didn't want the smoke detectors to go off, so I quickly ran out onto the deck where the guys were manning the BBQ. I left the tray on the railing, and my hubby decided to toss them onto the lawn for the birds in the morning. About 15 minutes later, a family of skunks arrived to eat the burnt garlic bread. Someone must have surprised them, because the fumes were intense. Then I had a housefull of people trying to eat with very strong and close skunk smell. We tried fans, and open windows and closed windows, but it was intense for awhile. The party ended early, which was too bad because we were having a good time. Now that we have coyotees in New England, the skunk and woodchuck populations have dwindled. I'm going to file your deskunking receipe for future emergencies. Once again, I really enjoy your blogs (and photos).
Nov. 8, 2009 5:39 pm
Sorry for laughing. It was just to funny. Once again you have helped me convince my DD I'm nuts. Thanks for a great blog. Mag
Nov. 8, 2009 8:55 pm
My dog never had a problem with skunks but when he was a puppy we used to keep him in a big pen in the basement while my sister and I were at school. One day, we came home to find someone hadn't fastened the pen properly and Tanner had escaped. My sister and I were little, Grade 6 and 8 I think, and so naturally our favourite sodas were orange and grape crush - which my parents bought in the big flats and kept beside the fridge on the floor. Tanner decided to have himself a treat, so he grabbed a bunch of cans, punctured them with his little puppy teeth, and then proceeded to shake them all over the walls, floor, stairs, and his fur. We came home to find orange & purple sticky goo all over Tanner, and all over the basement. It looked like our carpet had been tye-died. My dad used the ruined carpet to convince my mom that the basement needed renovations. Tanner's much better behaved now, but he will never live down the grape crush carpet-ruining reputation.
Nov. 9, 2009 1:38 am
I love reading your stories!! And your 'child' is beautiful :)
Nov. 9, 2009 1:49 pm
One evening my boyfriend and I were watching tv with the doors open. Suddenly, I felt my throat slam closed. A skunk had just chased our then 16 year old dog through our house! The dog didn't chase the skunk, it was the other way around. The smell was so intense that it literally made my throat just close up! The skunk didn't spray but our house still smelled for weeks. I can only imagine what your house smelled like!
Nov. 9, 2009 2:50 pm
This story is hilarious! It made my day; gave me the laugh I so desperately needed on this blah Monday! I love your blog, thanks for sharing. What a beautiful dog!
Nov. 9, 2009 4:27 pm
OMG too funny. I feel sorry for you with the smell. My baby (cocker spanial) has never been sprayed but my neighbors king shepard did-->at midnight--right outside my bedroom window. And is was a hot, hot, hot summer night. EWWWWWWW. Your story has me laffing almost uncontrollably.
Nov. 9, 2009 5:13 pm
I could not stop laughing!
Nov. 9, 2009 6:11 pm
Omg...I can totally feel your pain...this sounds like something my dogs would do! What a great story!
Nov. 9, 2009 7:27 pm
I have an 80 pound black lab who is significantly more gifted in being cute than having any common sense. Thank heavens she hasn't been skunked, but she has gifted me with cats, the neighbors dog, two humingbirds, a bone of a questionable bipedal mammal which the police were VERY interested in, and a climbing expedition up the refriderator that had three of us scratching our heads as to exactly HOW that entire 9 by 9 pan of lasgna ended up missing. Good times!
Nov. 9, 2009 7:34 pm
Thank you Petey.. our baby is on the bed right now with me. She is a 10 month old Golden who hasn't ran in with the skunk but she sure finds the litter box a wonderful place. Thanks for the story! I so so loved the laugh! :D
Nov. 10, 2009 1:45 pm
Loved that one. The best. Love & Smiles Malcolm
Kay D 
Nov. 10, 2009 5:07 pm
I thoroughly enjoyed your story. If you've not done so before, you should maybe try submitting some short stories to ?whoever? - I believe you have the hold-your-interest, funny story-telling gift. When reading a lot of little stories, I always imagine the writer thinking in their head how cute or funny their little added-in comments are, but, (bless their heart) funny leaves when they are down on paper. Not so with you. You are truly blessed. Have I gushed enough for you to understand as I would like to end before ramble-on starts to set in.
Nov. 10, 2009 5:51 pm
Lol! I really enjoyed reading that. :) Our dog has gotten skunked a few times, and *hopefully* there will be no more. If the unfortunate happens again though, my brother and I will be trying your recipe out! Thanks for sharing! :)
Nov. 11, 2009 7:48 am
Nov. 11, 2009 10:09 am
Of course I find this blog today of all days! 7 am this morning, we let the dogs out to do their thing. 5 mins later, there are no dogs in the fenced yard. Our beagle/jack russel mix picked up the trail of rodent, and had followed it, of course being tailed by the German Shepard mix. After a half hour of calling, we finally got the Shepard to come home, and she promptly led us to our other, very stuck and very embarrassed dog. She smelled to high heaven and couldn't scale the fence of the yard she had burrowed into. She hung her head low the whole way home she was so ashamed. She still stinks, but she had been banished to the lead in the front yard, and she is smart enough NOT to trail skunk again!
Nov. 11, 2009 11:41 am
You are a gifted writer! I enjoyed your story of the "fire" very much! Please keep writing!
Nov. 11, 2009 11:59 am
Thank you! I appreciate all the nice comments, I really do!
Nov. 11, 2009 2:02 pm
oh my gosh i remember when we brought our buttons home he was a old man but we took him from the spca anyways and added a coupple years onto his life. but he was skunked. i also tried the tomato juice and let it soak on him (he was a pretty good sport) though i don't think he was to happy about the red dye that was in the tomato juice as it turned him slighly pink for a coupple weeks which was just funny enough for us not to horridly mind the remiments of the skunk smell...word to the wise if you must use tomato make sure your dog isn't white and there is no red dye number what ever in your tomato juice.
Nov. 11, 2009 3:16 pm
I grew up in Downers Grove but Navy took me here to Oak Harbor, Wa. I am staying here when I retire. Downers is no longer the tiny town it was when I grew up there.. Tina
Nov. 11, 2009 4:37 pm
I enjoy reading your blogs!! :) You have a way with words --- please write more!! :)
Nov. 11, 2009 8:23 pm
Hilarious..put a smile on my face.
Nov. 11, 2009 11:00 pm
my friend, that is priceless. Have had 2 dogs, both were friendly with skunks and as luck would have it, neither one got skunked. (Thank goodness) Neighbors dogs often got nailed, so that recipe is a good one to have. Thanks for the memories :-)
Nov. 12, 2009 10:26 am
I love the way you write! I could actually visualize it all so well, I felt like I was there!! Thanks for sharing this memory. It was hilarious! I was laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes. You'll never know how much I needed that, so thank you!! I sure bet it wasn't as funny while it was happening!! ;)
Nov. 12, 2009 3:16 pm
I'm 70 and as far back as I can remember, I've either had dogs, cats or both like now. We've fed stray outside cats and that draws skunks. But my problem now is that I have lost my sense of smell. My dogs could roll in cow poo and then get sprayed by a skunk and I'd still open the door and welcome them back into the house for I wouldn't be the wiser. Scarry!!
Nov. 12, 2009 4:05 pm
ROFL!! I don't know when I've laughed so much at a blog entry. Thanks for the wonderful story, Petey! I could picture the entire thing playing out as you were describing it, right down to Cider becoming a bleach bottle blonde :-)
Nov. 12, 2009 6:04 pm
Cider is gorgeous! Years ago I had a boy friend that was mortified that he was waking up "wet" every night, which was not revealed to me until he solved the mystery! Seems the cats had made pin holes to tiny, no leakage occured until his weight had been on the bed some time! I feel for you. Only my outdoor only dogs ever made time with a skunk...that was bad enough!
Nov. 22, 2009 1:12 pm
Hilarious story!! Cider is beautiful - we've had 2 goldens in the past. We now have 2 labs (1 choc. and 1 black). Never been skunked, but last night they chewed their way in to a brand new 40 lb. bag of dog food. Ate so much they moaned and groaned all night long and today are still moaning and belching.
Dec. 14, 2009 8:12 am
I miss my water bed with the tubes. It seemed when one tube went the others seemed to follow about every thirty days. It took days for the the mattress cover and foam liner to dry and just became so hard to deal with that my husband made me get rid of it and get a conventional mattress. I really miss the comfort. It did last twenty years so I can't really complain.
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About Me
Kids are raised, we are ranchhands on a 250,000 acre working cattle ranch 110 miles from the nearest small town, so we raise a lot of our own food, vegetables, fruits, milk,eggs and meat. Love riding and working cattle, but find myself spending a lot more time in the kitchen, and the garden.
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Having 2 Jersey cows as well as milk goats, playing with fresh milk is a hobby, making our own butter, yogurt, sour cream, cheeses, soap and all the other great stuff you can do with fresh raw milk.
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Homemade from scratch...anything! All traditions are sort of gone by the wayside, as we live so far from family now
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A layered Jello dessert...the middle layer never set, so it did the 'ooze-wiggle'...and...well..I liquified a couple of chickens on 2 different occasions, turning them into a black gel. Moral of that story is, don't start cooking then go clean barns!...and there was the time that my kids were helping me make Thanksgiving dinner and SOMEbody (who resembled my youngest son) forgot to put the sugar in the pie!!!
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