An Odiferous Encounter

I take my dog Joey for a walk – sometimes in the evening – to beat the heat.

About a week ago while we were walking on the main street, a few blocks from home, I felt my dog begin to quiver.  He began to pull me towards what appeared to be a fluffy cat – at least out of the corner of my eye. I corrected him with a slight tug on his leash and at the same time turned to view the cat.

Oh my! What a pretty kitty, black and fluffy with a double-white stripe on its tail which then connected as a double-painted line up its back.

Wait.  Kitties don’t lift their tails over their backs – like a samba dancer.

It turned its pointy head and looked directly at us. From its tail came a…hissss.


I ran…dragging poor Joey while yelling, “Let’s go Joey! Run!”

As we turned the corner we glanced over our shoulders in unison. It took several blocks for the adrenaline to dissipate.

An Odiferous Encounter!

A few days later, I had been invited to a BBQ with some friends. As we sat around the table engaging in light-hearted conversation, I brought up my tale of the skunk.

“Oh”, they said in unison, “Our dog Nellie, got sprayed full-on by a skunk one night. She ran in the door, covered in black, and proceeded to run all through the house, rubbing every surface she could reach.” They rolled their eyes as they told their musky tale.

“We tried everything: tomato juice; a bath at the vet; throwing out the dog bed and curtains she rubbed against, and scrubbing the walls and floors. Nothing worked. We finally found a skunk odor remover spray online, and then after spraying it on every surface in the house and even into the air vents, it still took a few days to eliminate the smell.”

I sighed, and said, “I’m so thankful the skunk didn’t get us.”

A few days later, Joey began scratching on our bedroom door. He usually didn’t need to go out to relieve himself after nine in the evening. I said, “Okay Joey, hurry up.” As I opened the door,  he bolted into the pitch-black backyard.

Then he started to bark sharp staccato barks.

“Joeeey! Stop!” I hissed into the darkness.

My Dachshund-mix dog was bred for the, follow-my-nose-until-I-corner-them; hunting.

As he raced along the along the length of the backyard, I tried to stop him in his tracks. I didn’t see what he was chasing, so I thought, it could just be another opossum like the one he had cornered a week ago. As we reached the end of the yard where the air-conditioning unit sat on the patio, just under the kitchen window; I snatched him into my arms and turned to look at what he was barking at.

It had a pretty black-and-white tail, flicked over its back, like an s-curved banner. I panicked. I only had the light from the open kitchen door, casting its revelation in the corner, next to the air-conditioner, under the open window; backed up to the fence.

I ran while holding my trembly dog.

Not into the open kitchen door. Nooo. I ran across the patio; around the corner; along the side of the house; out the gate, and to the front door. I pounded on the door, and rang the doorbell. I began glancing around to see if any neighbors, in our quiet gated community, thought this lady, clutching a shaking dog, in her nightgown, had gone completely bonkers. My daughter-in-law opened the door. I rushed in, “There’s a skunk in the backyard!”

My daughter-in-law calmly said, “Oh yeah, I heard something outside and then I smelled something. (My daughter –in-law never gets a single feather ruffled. She would probably say in the middle of an earthquake. “Oh yeah…by the way…did you feel that?”)

I ran to the backdoor but she had already quietly shut it.

I raced up the stairs and set my dog in the tub, doused him with water, squeezed on a glob of doggie shampoo, and then lathered…and lathered…and lathered. He looked at me with a, what-did-I-do wrong-this-time, look. I dumped his collar in a sink with baking soda, and it bled; brown dyed leather. I threw the collar out along with my nightgown.

The next morning after Febreezing the entire two-story house, in every air pocket and surface – I poured a solution of bleach and Dawn on the patio. It took three days to completely de-stink the house.

It’s been a week but tonight as I was walking Joey, I saw a black-and-white kitty. My heart raced, but this time it was a kitty. Whew.