Our dog Nina is a member of the family. She is in the center of our family whenever we are together. She follows me from room-to-room all day long, right at my heels. When I sit at my desk, she pushes all 40 pounds forward past my legs and feet and lays under my desk. At night, she sleeps at the foot of Jeb’s bed. Some mornings I go in there and she’s on the pillow at the top of the bed, and Jeb is at the foot. I’ve still never really been able to figure out how she does that.
Every morning, Nina and I go for a 4-mile walk/run. It’s 5AM when we leave the house. There’s a certain neighborhood we circle, and when we reached that neighborhood, I would let her off of her leash and let her run free until we finished the circle and headed back to the main road.
Three weeks ago, Nina shot past me, nose to the ground, rear end in the air, almost like a cartoon. She took off and would not come to me when I called. I finished the neighborhood, and figured I would just call a local policeman (who is Nina’s mom’s master) and see if he could keep an eye out for her. Just as I reached the main road, I smelled skunk and thought that a car must have just hit one.
Then I saw Nina, running toward me, stopping every two feet or so to drag her face on the grass. And, I knew. I knew before she even reached me.
She’d been sprayed, point blank range, right in the face by a skunk.
I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to bathe a dog’s face. But, after three weeks of it, I’ve become a master.
I’m also here to tell you, everyone has ideas about what will work for skunk spray. I’ve tried:
- Tomato juice. When that wasn’t enough, I took raw tomatoes and rubbed the tomato juice all over her face. That didn’t work
- Feminine douche. Not kidding. Someone swore by it, and desperate times call for desperate measures. There were two types – one with vinegar and one without. I bought both and used both. They didn’t work.
- Oatmeal anti-odor dog shampoo. It was a desperate moment.
- Skunk away enzyme killing solution for which I paid $10 at the local Tractor Supply Company. That didn’t work.
For a week, she had to live outside. The smell was too bad. The friends I have in the neighborhood – down the street a block or even a street over, could smell her. It was terrible. So, I bathed her every single day, trying each one of those fixes I listed above, or trying a combination of some or all of them. Nothing worked.
But, then the temperature dropped to below 30 degrees, and I had to do something.
I figured — the skunk spray is an oil. What I had to do was get rid of the oil. If Gregg comes in with engine grease on his jeans, I am able to remove that by scrubbing them with Dawn dishwashing liqid. You know — “Dawn takes grease…out of your way!” Worth a try, I figured.
What finally took the smell away enough to allow her into the house was this:
- I wet her face with V8 low sodium. (V8 was all I had on hand one time when two of my dogs got into a skunk and it worked like magic – obviously, they had a much less close-range concentrated shot).
- Then I scrubbed her face with Dawn – right around her nose and up to the corners of her eyes. By this point (2 weeks later) she just stood there and took it. Poor dog.
- Once I had a good scrub going, I added baking soda to the mix and (gently) worked it into the lather.
- I rinsed it off, scrubbing it all the time, with V8 juice.
The smell is still there, but it doesn’t knock you over. I can’t smell it unless she’s right up in my face. I have had to put her outside on the days I write, because once she gets under my desk, the smell kind of wafts up to me. And, I’ve been washing Jeb’s bed covers WAY more regularly than before.
I’ve also quit bathing her daily, and now it’s down to every 2 days or so — and the smell is only in her face area, so I don’t bathe her whole body anymore, just her head and face.
It has been TERRIBLE. Needless to say, she doesn’t get put loose when we go out in the mornings anymore.
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