This is a true story, the memory of which was triggered by this Morguefile photo that is featured in Roger Shipp’s Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner. So apologies in advance to Roger, as this is not a flash fiction tale, and it does not fit within his suggested 200 word limit. But I think this story may be worth telling.
The incident took place maybe around fifteen years ago when I let our dog out in our backyard dog run for his last bathroom break of the night. He apparently smelled something that required him to go investigate.
Hearing his exciting barking, I hurried over to see what had attracted him and saw that he had cornered a skunk and the skunk was not a happy camper.
Knowing what was about to happen, I reached out to grab my dog to pull him out of harm’s way.
Too little, too late. The two of us got sprayed.
I lifted the poor dog and carried all 70 pounds of him into the house, frantically calling out to my wife, “We got sprayed.” I asked her to Google what to do when your dog gets sprayed by a skunk.
I grabbed a few towels from the laundry room and started to pat down the hapless dog. My wife came back from her Google search saying that we needed to bathe him in a mixture of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dishwashing liquid. She also said some sites mentioned tomato juice and vinegar. “But all we have in the house is the dishwashing liquid and vinegar,” she pointed out.
Reluctantly, I drove to the grocery store to get tomato juice, peroxide, and baking soda. The good news was that it was 9 p.m. and there weren’t very many people in the grocery store. The bad news was that those who were there looked at me in horror and moved away from me as quickly as they could. Having just been sprayed by a skunk, I stunk terribly.
Wash, Rinse, Repeat
When I got home, my wife and I bathed the dog in the mixture of ingredients. Twice, in fact. Unfortunately, there was no salvaging the clothes we were wearing or any of the towels we had used to dry the dog. Those were tossed into a large trash bag for disposal.
I spent the next half hour scrubbing myself down in the shower, trying as best I could to get the stink off of me.
Our dog recovered from his skunk encounter, although whenever it rained and his fur got wet, even years later, the faint smell of skunk would return.