Skunks Don’t Play With Dogs

Well, after enduring yet another grueling 8 1/2 hour drive, I’m back in Arkansas for a week. I wish I could rack up frequent driver miles…hmm, there’s a concept. It’s such a big difference between Georgia and Arkansas: in Georgia, the leaves are just now really turning colors, and then I get to Arkansas, and they’re almost gone!

Tuesday Dad took me out to eat for my birthday at Doc’s here in Searcy, and then we came back home and got to work. I helped him reload shells while Dora waded in the pond, and then we set up the chronograph to test our work. I guess Dexter and Dora knew what was coming because they were already to the house before we finished setting up! So much for them becoming hunting dogs, huh? Our next task was to tar some spots on the roof that had been leaking. No, I didn’t go anywhere near the roof, but I know how these things go, especially when it involves Dad and power tools or elevated heights, so I made sure 911 was on standby and the videocamera was fully charged. (Hey, if there’s going to be a fall, we might as well make some money off it to cover the hospital bills, right?) Fortunately, Dad made it on and off the roof without incident. However, despite my immense care to stay clean, I managed to get tar all over my hand while helping Dad put up the tins in the garage. I was just lamenting over this when I felt a sting in my right arm. It was one of those stings that you instantly swat at, but it’s so fleeting that you think it might just be a random nerve impulse. But then, I felt another, and this one hurt. Meanwhile, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a wasp fly off out of the garage. So, with my left hand covered in tar, both of Dad’s covered in tar, and wasp stings in my right arm, we made our way into the kitchen and got some baking soda on it. I foolishly attempted to wash my hands at the kitchen sink, but only succeeded in smearing the tar. Meanwhile, Dad was hunting for WD-40. Just in case you ever get tarred and feathered or just get tar on you, grab a can of WD-40. The stuff works like magic. It even got it out from under my fingernails. Once I had the tar removed, I went back to my stung arm. I had 3 different stings on my arm, but it was the last one that hurt. I tried to avoid taking anything, but ever since I had a bad reaction to a bee sting (and the doctor said, “you might be allergic, but I’m not going to prescribe an epi pen. Just try to avoid getting stung, just in case.”), I’ve been a little wary. When my arm started getting blotchy, and it looked like hives might be getting ready to break out, I did a little Benadryl research to make sure it was safe for expectant women. Once I found out it was, I spent the rest of the night passed out on the couch in the best sleep I’ve gotten since my tummy started extending. Mom tried to wake me to get me to go to bed, but she said I mumbled something to the effect, “no, I need this sleep, don’t wake me.” I’ve still got a big red welt around the sting, 2 days later, but it’s slowly getting smaller.

Yesterday Mom and I spent the day in Little Rock doing what we do best: shopping!! Unfortunately, the air conditioning was out at the mall, and once we had hit our “we gotta hit these” stores, we had to split. It didn’t stop us from scoring some really good bargains, though. I got 3 free tubes of lip gloss from Sephora for my birthday (sign up for their rewards program–it’s free), 3 candles and room spray from Bath and Body Works for under $20 (with Mom’s coupons), and a few other deals. We headed to Michaels next so we could pick up some holiday decorations. Their Christmas stuff isn’t on sale yet, but all their fall stuff is. We made it home in time for a dinner cooked by Dad.

We also made it home to be greeted by a skunk. Well, technically, it was Dora, but she had apparently tried to play with a skunk who didn’t want to play with her. Dad had wiped her down with the pet wipes I keep here, and left her outside all day to air out, but it didn’t seem to have much effect. The whole house smelled like skunk. I went straight to my computer and googled skunk remedies for dogs. I found a ‘guaranteed’ recipe on the first website and decided to give it a try. I grabbed the hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and liquid soap it called for and set everything up by the bathtub then went to grab Dora (from outside). I didn’t realize how cold the hydrogen peroxide was, but it was too bad. Poor Dora started shaking and whining while I scrubbed the mix into her skunked fur. Amazingly, the smell was instantly neutralized. Even so, I let it sit for a minute before I rinsed it off. Once I finished rinsing, I stuck my nose to her, expecting to smell skunk, but it was completely gone. I think by this time Dora had realized it was gone, too. She seemed happy to be in the tub. So, I don’t remember the website, but the formula is 1 qt hydrogen peroxide (3%), 1/4 cup baking soda, and 1 tsp liquid soap (for scent). It works like a charm and leaves the coat silky smooth. The only place that still smells like skunk on her is the very edge of her muzzle near her nose, where I was unable to pour the mixture without getting into her nose or eyes. However, I took a washcloth with solution this morning and wiped down her nose so it’s much better.

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