The other night Blaze, Marshal, and I arrived in Maine and I was very excited about it. I had to be here for the arrival, early the next morning, of some heavy equipment and the people who know how to operate it. We are undergoing some outside work that involves one of my long-time goals of uncovering some massive pieces of ledge near the water.
It is an absolutely necessary project… you know, for the wedding.
I am using the wedding as an excuse for a number of garden projects I have always wanted to do… but don’t tell JoHn.
So JoHn and Granny were coming up the next night, but the dogs and I were alone for this one and here was the plan:
- Come in
- Turn the lights on
- Build a fire in the fireplace
- Put sweats on, and comfy socks
- Put on some Downton Abbey
So I figured I’d start the fire and head outside with the dogs to run them around a bit so that, once back inside, I could settle in with a mug of tea and my cozy fire and one, two, or seven episodes of Downton.
So out we headed into the pitch dark, cold and rainy night.
Here is what I remember:
- Dog butts rushing away from me, across the lighted patio and up the stairs and into the night.
- Marshal emitting his unmistakable ‘Don’t worry Blaze I have your back!’ loud-growl-slash-low-and-mean-woofing that meant he was backing away from the action as she moved in
- Me. Screaming, “MARSHAL, LEAVE IT!” “BLAZE! TO ME! COME!”
- Sniffing, snorting, growling
- Me yelling, “Shit!” and rushing inside for the flashlight because I was thinking they had cornered Spike
- Me rushing back out and seeing Blaze coming toward me, into the light, but something was off….
She was sort of all tripod-ish.
I realized what she was doing was rubbing her face on the grass, kind of frantically. And as we reached each other I was all, “Hey, Blaze-y what are you do…. oh! Man, Blaze did you roll in poop? Geez girl…” And then it hit me.
This odor was so potent, so unbelievably strong that I was already tasting it, and in this low, almost gravelly sigh, I growled, “Noooooooooooooooooooohhhhh!”
And monosyllabic thoughts pelted me.
I sprang into action as Marshal trotted down next to Blaze (most likely to tell her not to worry, he made sure that skunk was not in her yard anymore).
I rushed to the house, making sure I shut the door behind me so they couldn’t follow, and grabbed my steel mixing bowls. I knew right away that I’d have to wait until the morning to get any commercial deodorizing solution, and I didn’t have the hydrogen peroxide that you can mix with baking soda and dish soap to make an effective (albeit explosive) skunk stink remover. But I did have vinegar, dawn dishwashing detergent (skunk stink is all oily), and pet shampoo.
I rushed to the sink and filled one large bowl with cool water, and in the other ones created a good diluted vinegar solution.
Back outside, checking them both, it was clear that Marshal was really just backup in the caper. He stunk, but Blaze had taken a direct hit to the face. No time to be all respectful of her royal dignity as I flushed her eyes with the cool water. This was followed by dousing both dogs with the vinegar solution (that we didn’t get in anyone’s eyes).
They smelled like late fall easter eggs, after using the PAAS coloring kit and following the ‘vivid hue’ instructions.
And then there was the washing.
With the Dawn dishwashing soap.
And the hose.
Did I mention we were cold? Well we were.
So we were all steaming.
And then there was more washing.
With the oatmeal doggy shampoo.
And the hose.
And the cold.
And the steam.
And then there was the towel celebration.
What is it with the towels?
They love the dang towels!
So we dried off with the towels and there was much rejoicing.
Marshal smelled and looked great.
Blaze looked great, but a good whiff of her stinky noggin still made my eyes water.
Also, she kept trying to kill Marshal. This was mostly, I think, because he seemed so happy with this whole great adventure!
After Blaze joined me for one last shampooing (and a much-needed shower for me), we came downstairs and they had cheese and I made my tea and we all finally settled into our well-earned fireside episode of Downton Abbey. But I thought that Blaze wasn’t too interested because she looked like this:
And every time Marshal went near her, she would try to eat him all over again.
Finally, I had to have a chat with her. She told me that the whole thing was just so humiliating. All that washing and scrubbing and shame and she didn’t even get to keep the skunk because Marshal chased him away.
And for that he deserved to die.
And she said it like it was just so obvious.
I told her that what she had just lived through – the whole being washed with the hose thing, and scrubbed by someone else thing was exactly what prison is like (because I have watched Orange is the New Black a few times) and also that prison is way harder if you are a royal because there are way fewer skunks.
She seemed to take this in and decide that Marshal could live, at least for the night.
And in the mean time, I’m in the market for a stuffed skunk.
I think it might ease the humiliation of a certain Princess, if only just a bit.
Thanks for readin’.
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