Wild Kingdom*

*(not that kind of wild, for that, I refer you back to Martin and Danny)

(posted by asta)

I was in such a state yesterday that I forgot to introduce myself. How rude. Then again, it may be my awkwardness with introductions that subconsciously had me skip mine. I never know what to say, since I feel anything I say will be inadequate, misleading, subject to misinterpretation, or a combination of all three. I am both greater and less than the sum of my self-descriptions.
Enough prevaricating.

I’m a female married anglo living in “la belle province” on the outskirts of Montreal. This is the second time in my life I’ve lived in Montreal and while I didn’t return willingly, I’m enjoying it more the second time around. Age mellows. Speaking of age, the calendar and statistics say I’m middle-aged. I don’t believe a word of it-although the bathroom mirror tells a different story. I’ve had two disparate careers, none of which I’m prepared to talk about here. It’s a small world.

Friends and acquaintances tell me that I am (among other things) the most pulled-together, organized, and unflappable person they know. I tell them they need to meet more people…..let me illustrate.

We own a Miniature Schnauzer named Spenser. He’s a great little buddy, and despite his advancing age and a heart murmur he’s a pretty happy guy. Except for thunder. I won’t go into why he’s terrified by it, since it’s all just supposition on my part anyway. He just is. He shakes and hyperventilates and doesn’t believe me when I tell him it’s nothing.
So for four hours he stayed glued to my side as the heavens roared.
Finally the storm passed. Time for bed. Plenty to do tomorrow. Since he hadn’t been outside for awhile I thought it best to let him make a visit to the tree in the yard before calling it a night.
There’s a lovely calm in the air right after a big storm, everything smells clean and fresh, right up until the moment he met his first skunk.
I didn’t even have time to sound the alarm. POOF.
My little guy stops dead in his tracks. He’s been gassed.
Now I’ve heard other people’s tales about this happening, but I’ve never had it happen to any of my dogs before. I’’m alone in the house. D’s away on a road trip. Lucky him. It’s too late to wake any of the neighbours and ask them for advice. All I remember is that tomato juice is an old wives tale.
So this is where I make my first mistake.
I pick up Spenser and bring him into the house.
Oh*My*Gawd!! As I’m running and gagging my way to the kitchen sink I’m already thinking that I’ll never get the smell out of the house.
Deposit freaked-out, half-blind dog in sink and turn on the water. Second mistake. I’m just spreading the smell around.
Pick dog up, run to the bathroom and deposit in bathtub. Remember to put towel under dog so he doesn’t slip. Wet shaking dog is now thoroughly traumatised. Leave dog in bathtub and run to computer room and turn on machine. Elapsed time- three minutes. Curse machine for taking another two minutes to boot up. Google search skunk spray. Jackpot on first try. All I need is a gallon of peroxide. Sure, I always have a gallon or two around the house. Run back to bathroom to see how much we do have. Looks like about two cups to me. No problem. He’s a small dog, we’ll just make this work. Run back to kitchen for baking soda and liquid soap. Gag. Make note that kitchen will need serious attention later. Mix up solution. Apply to dog. Rinse. Damn. Forgot to wait five minutes. Hard to tell if dog still reeks. Think olfactory nerves are fried. Reapply solution. Wait. No watch on. Hard not to notice that bathroom is small enclosed space and I still want to retch. Get up and turn on bathroom fan. Rinse dog. leave dog to find more old towels.
Check computer to see what it says about house smell and whether or not my clothes can be saved.
Discover just how big mistake number one was. Says nothing but time and ventilation will work. Clothes can be washed with high concentration of bleach. Probability of dark clothing surviving bleach- less than 20 per cent. Will pack in plastic bag and worry about later. Back to dog . Towel off. Smells…. better but I can still smell skunk. especially around snout. Put dog back in tub. Give face extra attention. Leave dog and hunt for more towels. Grab Lysol spray and frantically spray upper level of house. I’m kidding myself. Return to dog. Rinse. Okay. Not great, but much better. Towel off dog again. Let dog out of bathroom to run around and finish drying. Elapsed time 40 minutes.
Grab all the towels and head for laundry room. Put three cups of bleach in the wash and let it rip. Strip remaining clothes, bag them and head for the shower. Get out of shower. Dress and grab jug of bleach. Wash down front door, front landing, kitchen and bathroom. total elapsed time 1 hour 25 minutes.
The house stinks of skunk, bleach, Lysol, and bayberry room freshener(it was there,so I sprayed)…. but mostly skunk.
Dog is curled up in ball on his bed five feet away,sound asleep. Am considering slathering myself in teatree oil in hopes that I can smell something besides skunk before dawn.

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