Thursday, September 1, 2011

Minor Tragedy on The Edge

Well, minor for us.  Major for one wild animal.  Spoiler alert:  This does not end well.

One of our dogs started out life on the mean streets.  A free dog.  No home to call his own.  No people to keep him in check.  No regular source of food.  He is a very effective P

redator.  He has caught and killed all manor of animals in the backyard.  Birds.  Squirrels.  Small mammals and such he usually eats before I can identify them.

Last night, after dark, The Husband let the dogs out. 

A few minutes later I jumped up off my chair and yelled at him to bring the dogs back inside.


The same reason I immediately began closing windows.


Of course by the time I could smell it, it was too late.  The odor was inside and Our Predator had taken a face full.

He's such a Predator that the spray didn't stop him.

Here's the tragedy.  He killed the skunk.

He doesn't look that tough, does he?

By the time I had the windows closed and was out the back door Our Predator was parading the dead skunk around the yard, pausing to rub his face all over the ground, then picking up the body to parade some more.

What does a biologist do with a dead skunk and a stinky dog?

The Predator had to wait outside while The Husband drove to get de-skunking supplies and I grabbed a flashlight and the body.  I hauled the carcass well back into the woods behind our neighborhood.  Hopefully it's far enough back there that we won't have to smell it for the next month.  It's hard to tell how far you've gone in the wood after dark.

So what does a biologist use to deal with the odor?  Here's the recipe:  1 quart of fresh hydrogen peroxide, 1/2 cup of baking soda, 1 tablespoon dish detergent (preferably Dawn - it's the one brand I am completely confident is safe for use on animals).  It must be mixed fresh so that's what we did.  Poor Predator got his face scrubbed and then got water dumped on him.

The leftover de-skunk solution got dumped roughly where we think the spraying actually occurred.  It can be hard to tell once your sense of smell is overloaded by skunk odor.

The smell inside?  It's hard to actually remove the odor from the air (despite what the "air freshener" commercials tell you) - the best thing is to open all the windows and let the smell disperse with the breeze.  That wasn't good enough so I also put a small pan on the stove with a little bit of water and some cinnamon sticks.  Yum.  Much better than the smell of the skunk.

So I think we've all learned a lesson.  When the dogs go out after dark we'd better make enough noise that any animals inside the fence get out.
The Predator learned that when he kills a skunk he gets a rude bath outside in the yard and then gets taken to a professional groomer the next day.

I doubt that will stop him.


  1. Sorry I was not there to help you. He looks so innocent. I am surprised the groomers let him in the room. Good luck with the house. Any complaints from neighbors yet?

  2. He does look completely innocent. Obviously it was the skunk's fault.

    My sister's Samoyed Stormi got skunked once. Sis bathed Stormi in tomato juice, which turned the white dog pink.

    Dogs sure are fun.