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Despite This We Stay for January 26, 2012

by Carol Dunn
HUERFANO — The best remedy I’ve ever used for washing a skunked dog is a mixture of one quart 3% hydrogen peroxide, 8 ounces of baking soda, and two tablespoons of Dawn dishwashing liquid. It works great. The only thing is, I only had eight ounces of peroxide – and it was after midnight – in Huerfano County. You aren’t going to be running down to the store to pick up peroxide at this hour. So I mixed up what I had and used it sparingly. The first bath was for Poppy, our smallest dog. She was such a good girl. Next, what I had been dreading, was Sparky, the 90-pound black lab.
Sparky will chase a pack of coyotes. He will challenge the garbage truck every week. But Sparky hates the vacuum cleaner, and he is deathly afraid of the bathtub. Somehow, I had to get big, muscular Sparky into the tub, when he’d rather walk on two legs to Denver and back than get in there. I managed to coax him into the bathroom, but there was NO WAY he was going into that tub. He tried to hide behind the toilet. He tried to hide behind the sink. He tried to hide behind that little dooflicky that keeps the door from slamming back against the wall. I tried to lift his front legs into the tub, but he was pushing off with his back legs. I tried lifting his back legs into the tub, but he was scrambling so vigorously with his front legs that he could have plowed the garden. I really needed a dog psychologist at that moment to explain to Sparky how his fear of getting wet is totally irrational. But alas, it was after midnight in Huerfano.
While I was subduing this whirling dervish, I was face to face with the horrid skunk stench, and it was rubbing off the dog and onto me. After ending up on the floor and out of breath, I relented and woke up my husband, who had somehow, despite the odor and noise, managed to fall back to sleep, dashing my fervent hope that he would feel sorry for me and come in to help without being shamed into it. But no, his snoring had drowned out the commotion coming from the bathroom.
Between the two of us, we finally managed to lift the vigorously protesting Sparky into the tub. Then he held the dog still, while I used the meager ration of skunk smell neutralizer to bathe as much fur as I could. Sparky looked totally embarrassed, as if to say, “I really thought it was just a kitty.” After bathing the dogs and wrestling with Sparky, I smelled just as bad as they had. So I still had to wash the stench off myself.
The next morning, I sprayed the entire laundry room and the offensive bathroom with Odo-Ban, which, contrary to its name, bans unpleasant odors not odos. If you’ve never used it, suffice it to say that it is so pungent the label reads, “Do not breathe spray.” Someone please explain to me how you spray this stuff on carpets, walls and floors while not breathing. It worked out okay though, since the skunk stench was still in my nostrils, and they needed some Odo-Ban anyway. Well the Odo-Ban got rid of most of the skunk smell. Now the house reeked of the “fresh scent” of Odo-Ban. It is supposed to smell like eucalyptus, but having lived in California, I can tell you it didn’t smell like any eucalyptus tree I ever sniffed. I don’t know which smell was worse. Ok, you’re right, I do know which was worse. The smell of the Huerfanus stinkus skunk is WAY worse.