Story Value

random musings and episodes from the life of a 40 something comidienne/corporate refugee/mom - since whatever doesn't kill you provides excellent story value.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


If you want to test the depths of your love for someone -- watch them get sprayed in the face by a skunk and see how much togetherness you're willing to endure.
I still like to think I'd have no questions if this happened to my husband or two children ... but with our dog, I was surprised how quickly ny fickle heart was re-evaluating the relationship.

Teddy has been a member of the family for a year and he his absolutely the best dog ever. He's cute, smart and lovable. I think he could save me from choking like that dog in USA Today or alert loved ones if I ever was trapped in a well.

I'm ashamed to say that none of this came to mind when he was sprayed ground-zero by the worst smelling skunk juice I have EVER encountered. I gagged and immediately thought "oh well" as I fished in my pocket for a $20 to pin to his collar for Alpo. "Good luck in the world smelly, we'll miss ya!"

Heck, I still have the breeder's email. I could probably get another that looks just like him.

My train of thought was stopped by a single look from my husband. He has mastered the wordless "shame on you" look that conveys utter disappointment and inspires a more selfless call to action.

"Set him free and call Animal Control." I suggested. Again, the look. "I don't mean we'll give him away -- just have Animal Control give him the bath tonight and then we can "adopt" him in the morning."

I thought this was a clever solution. My husband didn't even acknowledge I had spoken. I think he's just jealous that he's not the 'out of the box' thinker I am.

"Just get the dog shampoo." He said.

Eager to redeem myself, I brought him the dog shampoo and began to scour the Internet. There were about 200 hokey cures and more point/counterpoint chatter about the Tomato Juice bath myth than the Zapruder film. In the midst of this chaos, I saw promise -- a website that claimed to have tested 58 different skunk juice remedies and held the salvation of several 100% guaranteed instant solutions using common household products. Sold! for $27.00. I know this sounds like a ridiculous investment, but you must understand.

By this time, Teddy had run in and out the family room and the whole house reeked extreme. Eye-watering, nose-singeing, lung-burning, gut-wrenching stench. I dry-heaved in the bathroom for ten minutes and had was reduced to shallow mouth-breathing through a shirt. Even though it was 10:00 at night, we were in the third day of an crazy 95 degree+ heatwave and it was still at least 85 degrees in our living room. I thought, forget Antrhax, if the bio terrorists figure this one out, we'll all be bowing to Mecca. Threat level puke.

After typing in my credit card number in order to receive the awesome stench-eradicating wisdom, I downloaded a simple PDF document. The first eight pages were some clown's personal story of their dog being sprayed by a skunk. Um, shut up for $27.00! The next ten pages itemized roughly the same series of remedies I had found for free using Google. I had been hoodwinked by marketing genius that I knew I might find inspiring once I could breathe again. Right now, I needed oxygen.

I made the midnight dash (ok, 10pm) dash to CVS where I speed-shopped for vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, Sprite and about 8 Summer's Eve disposable douches.
That, right there, is love. Love means having the courage to put 8 disposable douches on the counter for some buck-toothed, faux-hawked teenager to snicker about while he rings you up.

I'm sure I'm the talk of the skate-park. "Peee-Ewww, here comes Mrs. not-so-fresh. What a lovely Summer's Eve! heh, heh, heh." Whatever. I had a dog to douche. Or rather, I had a dog-douching to watch. When my animal control idea was shot down, I demoted myself to bathtime cheer-leader.

I raced back home with the supplies and my far-kinder husband washed Teddy down repeatedly with every concoction listed in my $27.00 manifesto. Then he stripped down outside and streaked back in the house holding a wet Teddy over his goodies.
I only wish I moved faster to snap our Christmas photo.

My husband and Teddy rinsed off inside and called it a night while I placed the recommended dishes of coffee grounds and vinegar around the house to clear the air. Nothing doing. The stink hung in the air with the persistence of a Special Olympics telemarketer. (note: it took me more than 10 minutes to get that bozo off the phone the week prior.)

We all slept fitfully, except my two boys who didn't notice a thing until they were eating breakfast. Day four of our heatwave and we were off to the boy's school for end-of-year ceremonies.

My 3rd grader's back-pack cleared out his classroom. All the kids had to leave their backpacks in the hallway for the rest of the day.

At the kindergarten celebration, we oddly ended up at a table by ourselves. No one said anything, but I could tell by the pressed-lip smiles that the stench cloud had followed us out in the world.

Two days have passed, and I am sorry I ever thought about getting rid of Teddy. The stink still lingers, but we're getting used to it.

I do have a couple extra Summer's Eve douches left -- I wonder what the return policy is on those babies. I'm feeling much fresher.


Blogger Sam said...


I am crying! (It's like I can smell it from here, and my eyes are watering.)

My favorite parts are the 8 douches on the counter and the Christmas photo. Poor Teddy! Poor you!

Not to alarm you, but it took 3 full months for my car to smell normal again (see the blog I just e-mailed you.)

At least you have each other! :)

P.S. I discovered that the two best de-smellers for car and home are available at the pet store: activated charcoal, and some kind of white rock for fish tanks whose name I've just forgotten...both of them are used for fish tanks. Check it out--they're both cheap. I put them in cut-off pantyhose feet with a knot tied in them.

1:18 AM  

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