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Adventures with Wildlife: SKUNK! September 16, 2009

Posted by Dindy in Animals, Memories, Personal.
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A friend of mine has had a skunk move into his garage, and he’s not quite sure what to do about it. He’s quite proficient on the internet so he doesn’t need my help in coming up with a solution that won’t hurt the skunk or his cats, however he has reminded me of my adventure with a skunk, which happened in the days before the internet.

I actually wouldn’t have had this adventure were it not for the dog, a goofy german shepherd mix named Charm. We lived in upstate New York at the time, in a  little town called West Leyden, in a charming old house that had previously served as a church and as a one-room schoolhouse.  We were out in the country and there was a woods behind our house where Charm and I regularly went for long walks.

Since we were out in the country, we didn’t bother with a leash. Charm stayed in my general vicinity on these walks. He would on occasion disappear on the hot trail of some critter or another, but would check back in every once in a while to make sure I was okay and to let me know he was okay and he was having a grand time. He was generally within  earshot.

There was lots of wildlife in this woods- it was not unusual to encounter deer, raccoons and squirrels. One time we even came close to a bear. However on this particular day, Charm was trotting happily at my side and I was wending my way through the trees when we came upon a skunk.

Now the thing is, Charm was a very friendly dog, so he went trotting up to the skunk, eager to say “howdy” and sniff the skunk’s butt in that universal way animals have of getting acquainted. Sadly, the skunk was not as happy to meet Charm as Charm was to meet the skunk. Before I could call the dog off, we got sprayed.

We.

As in both of us.

Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road by Loudon Wainwright III

Charm was NOT a happy camper as we walked back home, and neither was I. In fact, it’s pretty safe to say that I was a much less happy camper than he was. When we arrived back at the house, my husband must have smelled us coming because he wouldn’t allow either of us inside. I’ve never quite forgiven him for that.

Now this was long before the days of the internet, so the only remedy I knew of for getting rid of skunk odor was tomato juice- something we didn’t have. I poured tomato sauce and ketchup over myself, but it wasn’t enough to do the trick. Bill drove to a store and bought some tomato juice and brought it back and after pouring copious amounts over myself and rubbing it in real good,  I got rid of the smell.

However, if I’d had the internet, I could have looked and found these remedies for getting rid of skunk odor:

http://www.vernonhills.org/thingsyoushouldknow/Skunk.asp

http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/skunk.htm

what to do if you make contact with a skunk

As far as getting the skunk out of his garage, well, as I said, my friend will have to do his own research about that.

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