Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What's that funky smell?

**I originally wrote this on November 9, but for some reason I saved it instead of posting it**

What smells like burning rubber, incense, a pine forest and an orange grove? Give up? It's our house.

Remember a few weeks ago when I told you about a run-in I had in the neighborhood? And just a few days ago when I had a text conversation with my roommate?

The Roommate came home on Friday evening and as he has done hundreds of times before, let the dog out in the backyard to pee before going to bed. Everything was normal on Friday except that there was an unseen visitor in the yard.

It was that darn Skunk that we've been seeing around the neighborhood and apparently he got quite a scare out from the dog and decided to raise his tail to both the dog AND my roommate.

I was in bed, asleep, when suddenly there was this strong smell of burning rubber in my room. I immediately recognized it as skunk spray and thought - well guess I'm not sleeping with the window open tonight - only to realize that my window was already closed. The smell got stronger and stronger, almost to the point of making me gag.

Somehow in the madness of all that was going on, The Roommate came back into the house and the dog followed him. The dog was freaking out because he had gotten sprayed in the eyes and he smelled like a pile of tires that were on fire. The smell kept getting stronger and stronger.

Panic spread throughout the house as I was slowly waking up and grasping the situation. The Roommate is standing dumb-founded by the front door while the dog is frantically rubbing his face onto the carpet trying to get the skunk oil off of his face.

I quickly banished both of them to the backporch and told the roommate "You've got to wash that dog NOW." Even though it was 12:30am, a dog that's been freshly sprayed with skunk isn't something that you really can let go until morning to take care of. Skunk Spray is pretty wicked stuff - even though the dog and The Roommate were only in the house for a few minutes the smell was penetrating everything. I quickly closed doors and windows while I tried to figure out how we were going to fix the situation.

I grabbed the laptop and typed "remove skunk spray from dog" into google and came up with more answers than I cared to filter through.

Surprisingly, most of them did not go for the old wives tale of the use of "tomato juice" as the end all be all to get rid of skunk spray. The tricky thing with Skunk Spray is that it's an oil so using water does nothing to neutralize the smell, you've got to break down the oil. Most told us to use a combination of Vinegar or Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda - you create a type of "oxygen generator" that supposedly bonds with the Skunk Spray and breaks it down.

I got him set up with the tools he needed and tried to figure out what I was going to do. It would be impossible to sleep in the house, the smell was overwhelming to the point of extreme nauseousness. There was no sleeping going on at this house tonight. Fortunately The Best Friend lives around the corner, I called him to tell him what was going on and he extended an offer of their couch for the night. I told them I'd grab my pillow and be over.

The Roommate was up until almost 3am washing the dog and trying to get himself cleaned up - to no avail because who has "skunk wash" just sitting in their pantry.

I got up early Saturday morning and ran to PetCo to buy some "Skunk-b-Gone" and specialized deodorizers. The Roommate spent at least 6 hours cleaning the house, mopping the floors, doing laundry, cleaning surfaces, scrubbing the walls. The problem with skunk spray is that once it gets in the air, it will settle everywhere. It is so invasive that it was on our coats, even though we had not even opened the closet door.

While I was laying on my friends couch, the only thing that I could smell was skunk, it had gotten into the hairs in my nose and my goatee. If I was having issues like that, I could only imagine how bad it was for The Roommate that had gotten sprayed and was covered in wet dog and wet skunk.

After two days of scrubbing and the use of multiple bottles of specialized cleaners the house is almost back to normal. One of the problems with Skunk Oil is that if you miss just a little bit of it, it's a little bit too much because it is so potent. He's probably going to clean the floors at least two more times and we'll still have a scent in the house.

Now we're afraid to go in the backyard and walk in the neighborhood after dark because we called the City and Animal Control no longer comes out to trap skunks....possum and raccoons are fine but not skunks. So we're getting the word out to everyone to have their eyes open because we don't want them to have to go through the same thing The Roommate did.

So it's official, Skunk Watch 2008 is ON and it's on with a vengeance.

**UPDATE - After a few weeks and several more scrubbing downs, the house is back to normal.  The dog got a really bad eye infection that required eye drops and if he gets wet he still smells like skunk.  ***


Xmichra said...

we went camping one year and the tent got sprayed by a skunk. Had to toss everything in it... that is some powerful stuff. Sucks about the poor dog though... i would imagine the eye infection would have hurt.

Hope you and yours have a very merry christmas Michael :)

The Big Finn said...

Next time, I would call animal control and just tell them that you're overrun with raccoons and possums. The traps they'll set are probably the same traps they would use to catch skunks anyway, and once they caught the skunk they probably wouldn't just let it go.

Andrea Knapp said...

I thought you had already posted this? Sounded familiar!

Poor Stoli!

Michael said...

@XM - That sounds terrible, I could just imagine...but at least you weren't in your own home.

Michael said...

@TBF - Yeah I should do that. They won't come for skunks - bastards!

Michael said...

@Andrea - It's becuase you're psychic!