Friday, May 8, 2009


Early this morning, just as we were just heading out the door to work, we noticed a somewhat familiar, completely horrible odor toward the back of the house. It smelled suspiciously like...skunk...and the dog was out in the backyard!

When I went to let her in, the noxious fumes got worse, and yep, there was gunk on her head and it looked wet. After conferring with the hubby, we had no choice but to conclude that our pooch got skunked. Several of our friends have experienced this same horror, but I couldn't remember exactly which potions they'd used or how well they had worked. Fortunately, the last time we went to the vet, I happened to pick up the handy instructions on de-skunkifying a pet that were kindly displayed on the counter top.

So that's how I ended up in our front yard this morning (long story, but the other, more inconspicuous, hoses weren't an option) in my grubby clothes and full make up, scrubbing my wayward pooch with cold water. In the rain. And yes, there were witnesses.

The vet's special brew called for peroxide, baking soda and dish soap, which I liberally applied to the dog. It seemed to neutralize the smell on the furry beast, but her breath, the backyard, and consequently the back of our house, still carry a faint odor. Having experienced a house-skunking in the past, I can only hope it doesn't take weeks to dissipate.

Since telling this story to our coworkers this morning, my husband and I have learned of several alternate de-skunking recipes, many involving tomato juice, and one of which has a "secret" ingredient I cannot - in fact, will not - repeat here. But I will share two versions that were offered up. One I tried this morning and another I wish I had...

De-Skunkifying Potion #1 (provided by our vet)
1 quart peroxide
1 tsp Dawn or Palmolive dish soap
1/4 cup baking soda

De-Skunkifying Potion #2 (provided by my coworker)
1/2 cup tomato juice
1 1/2 ounces (1 jigger) vodka
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Worcestershire sauce to taste
Tabasco to taste
1 celery stick for garnish
1 lemon wedge for garnish

Clearly, Potion #2 is more suited to the skunked animal's parents. And after the morning I had, I sure could use a serving of this stuff!