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NWI Parent
NWI Parent


June 9th, 2012 - By Rick Kaempfer

We should have known something was up. It was a warm spring night, the windows were open, and our dog Ivy desperately wanted to get outside. She ran to the front door. Then she sprinted to the back door. Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. It was like the house was on fire.

So, being incredibly stupid people, we opened the back door and let her out.

Like a bolt of lightning she darted out the door and started barking. This was not abnormal behavior. Her barking is usually directed at another dog out for a walk, or a little critter of some kind. She’s gone after rabbits, squirrels, possums, and who knows what else. A few rabbits haven’t lived to tell the tale, but usually it’s just a harmless game of chase or “stay out of my hood.”

On this night, the barking was no different than any other night, but when we opened the back door to let her back in the house, we immediately knew something was wrong.

As Lynryrd Skynryd once sang: “Oooh, that smell. Can’t you smell that smell?”

She had an oily substance on her neck and she reeked to high heaven. It was god awful, but it didn’t smell like that skunk smell we’ve smelled before. This was a highly concentrated ammonia-ey (new word) super intense stenchy stench. If rotting garbage and a sweaty hockey locker room had a baby that needed a diaper change, it would smell exactly like this.

“She got skunked,” I said.

“No,” Bridget countered. “That doesn’t smell like a skunk. Do you think she gutted an animal or something out there?”

I agreed it didn’t smell exactly like a skunk, so like a complete moron, I went out in the backyard with a flashlight to see if I could find a wounded animal. I found something else instead.

A very scared skunk.

So, again, like complete morons, we ran into the house and brought Ivy with us so she wouldn’t get skunked again. Ivy ran all around the living room, and then went into the basement, while we looked up what to do with her on the internet.

The first thing all the sites said was: “Don’t let the dog in the house. The smell will go wherever your dog goes, and it’s very difficult to get it out of the house. Sometimes it takes weeks.”

When Bridget read that aloud, Ivy was lying down on the living room rug, rubbing her neck into it. Fantastic.

The second thing the site said: “Wash the dog with hydrogen peroxide and baking soda.”

Of course, we didn’t have nearly enough, so I drove over to Walgreen’s. As I was walking up and down the aisles looking for baking soda, a lady said to me: “Did you get skunked?”

“Can you smell it?” I asked.

She nodded.


When I got back in the minivan, I smelled it there too. I had now brought the stench into the car with me as well. Terrific.

Bridget and I spent the next 48 hours de-skunkifying the dog, the house, the car, and ourselves. We put bowls of vinegar and baking soda all over the house and the car, and the windows were opened wide to circulate the air. Ivy was washed with that peroxide/baking soda mixture about six or seven times. We even rubbed baking soda on ourselves and showered repeatedly.

It’s been three days now. The skunk is smell is gone from the house. Nobody turns up their noses at us when we walk around in public anymore. Even Ivy only has a faint trace of that smell on her neck now. Let’s just say that the boys have stopped hugging her for awhile.

But to use a technical term, it’s been incredibly yucky.

Remind me again. Why did I think it was such a good idea to get a dog?

Filed under: parent.

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