Bearnaise Sauce Dogs

Nose of Fire

Late last night, when I had been asleep for a short time but others roamed the house, I suddenly smelled something awful. It burned my nose. I sleep near an open window–only open a crack last night, which was windy and wet, but nevertheless open–and I've smelled skunk in the neighborhood before, but never this strong, never this acrid.

It burned my nose.

That's an important fact in this case.

Pure Luck appeared on the scene and I said, "Did Sam get skunked? I smell skunk."

"No, no. It would be much worse if he'd been skunked. I think there was a skunk in the yard, but I don't think he got skunked."

I went downstairs sniffing everything along the way, rather wildly as one might do when one is not quite awake and has–let the record show–a burned nose on the inside where it counts.

I found Sam under the dining room table, which is the place dogs go when they don't feel happy (except when people are eating dinner, at which time it is the place Sam goes in case food should fly out of heaven and into his good dog mouth). Molly spent her whole recovery from hip surgery under the dining room table, by her own choice, as if it were her crate. Finding him there didn't seem like a good sign, but the only parts of him I could reach smelled okay, I thought.

It burned my nose, please do not forget this important fact of the case.

This morning we arose and took Sam to the vet for a previously scheduled dental appointment. And as we brought him into the examining room, the vet tech said, "Oh, did he get skunked?"

"No, no," we insisted, "although there did seem to be a skunk in our yard or close by last night."

"Maybe he brushed up against something that had been sprayed," offered Pure Luck.

(If it please the court, may I suggest that it burned his nose, too?)

I rubbed the dog, as if to prove he must not have been skunked, and I bent over him, and then I rose up again.

"I think this dog was skunked," I said. "But it burned my nose!!!"

The vet tech nodded, knowingly.

"I'm so sorry to bring you a smelly dog!"

She looked patient, and replied, "Well, it will just be one of many interesting smells."

That burn her nose, no doubt.

In the end, we must plead guilty to burnt noses and general skunk-related ignorance.

And when we got home from the vet's, there could be no doubt that a damp, skunked dog had lately been in our precincts.

I'll be headed out of town this afternoon to join a youth mission trip, already in progress, so the clean-up will be in Pure Luck's hands. I feel badly about that.

If you need the skunk clean-up recipe, this is the recommendation of wiser and more experienced Bernese Mountain Dog owners:

First pat the dog down with paper towels, then make the following concoction.

The ingredients are hydrogen peroxide; baking soda and dishwashing

detergent. The proportions vary according to who you ask, but one recipe I
calls for a pint of hydrogen peroxide; a small box of baking soda and 1
or 2
tablespoons of detergent mixed into a gallon of water.

Wash it into the
dog's fur and let it sit for 5 minutes and rinse out.

The spray is oil-based, so the dishwashing detergent releases it from the fur. The baking
soda and H2O2 react chemically to oxidize and neutralize the spray.

18 thoughts on “Nose of Fire”

  1. Oh, my. How yucky!
    But at least your recipe doesn’t call for tomato soup, which is what I’ve heard before!

  2. Or maybe it was tomato juice….
    At any rate, I hope I never need to know!

  3. I grew up in Texas and this brought back memories… funny now, but not so pleasant at the time. And how do you treat the burned nose? (I remember that feeling well!)

  4. Apparently tomato juice is a myth. I’m glad because what a mess that would be with a 116-pound dog!

  5. ahhhh yes. the skunkded doggie. our recipe called for tomoato juice and everything else on your list. we didn’t do the tomatoe juice, either.
    however, everything still smelled skunky for a while.
    poor Sam.
    I don’t remember burned nose…sounds painful!

  6. Well, how were you to know. That particular smell is so pervasive.
    I remember tomato juice too. But when I accidentally hit a skunk in my then brand new car (with the vents open), I just threw out the clothes.
    Poor Sam. Poor burned noses.

  7. We learned many years ago that tomato juice, liberally applied to a white bulldog, makes an interesting fashion statement, but does nothing for the skunk smell. Poor Sam! Poor y’all! If the other recipe helps, let us know.

  8. And I thought it was gross last week when Doggie Lily decided to roll in some fresh kitty poo in the back yard (I’m assuming it was from a cat, since it smelled like rotting tuna)!
    I was just at the website for Paw Prints the Magazine, and they had a nearly identical recipe:
    I hope Doggie Sam is smelling like roses (or the masculine canine equivalent) very soon!

  9. I hope it makes you feel better to know that, lo those many years ago, I was working at a boarding school in New Mexico and was awoken (awakened?) by the most horrible, acrid smell. Soon ALL the 70 girls in the dorm were awake, getting hysterical in the way that 70 teenage girls in one space can do in about 5 seconds flat. It smelled like burning onions, like rubber, like an electrical fire…. like anything horrible.
    We couldn’t figure it out, but were really concerned that something was actually on fire somewhere. So as the head of the dorm, I decided to call the fire department. They came w/ sirens blazing, in full uniform… only to discover a dead skunk or skunks under the building. They set up their enormous industrial fans to try to air out the dorm, but for WEEKS we all smelled faintly of skunk. “Funktified” was a popular hip hop song at the time… so unfortunately for the girls, the boys’ dorm residents very quickly came up with “Skunktified”… and sang it for EVER afterwards.
    Sorry for the novel, but I haven’t thought of this episode in many years — and your description of the smell totally triggered those memories.

  10. Oh, I’m so sorry you had that experience. Hope your nose is better.

  11. Oh poor thing(s)! We have had our adopted babies skunked at the same time, the last time was a year ago when I was home and recliner-ridden after a HUGE surgery, thank the Lord. My poor sister-in-law had to come to my home the next day and bathe both babies (a long-haired Chihuahua and equally long-haired King Charles Spaniel/Pekingese mix) in your same mixture. The only thing…it works best right after it happens (she had to do our dogs that night again) and it will “bleach” any white areas on the dogs. BUT, it works…poor things had to sleep in the garage the night before and unfortunately, the skunky ran under the deck and our sunroom got a case of the stinkies. Now who gave us skunks and why?

  12. Oh, so sorry for all involved. Poor Sam, poor everyone!
    We had a little terrier mix that got skunked once. We tried tomato juice and it did not do so hot.
    Uh, did Sam do okay with the bubbly fizzy action on his coat?
    Ugh, we have them here all over in our little rural community and apparently when they are run over the stink sac deploys fully!

  13. When once we let our dog out without clapping loudly first and he returned rapidly to cower in his den, well-skunked, we were pretty sure said skunk had raced away in an SUV, burning rubber in his exit. . . what a smell! Unfortunately, we couldn’t smell OURSELVES, so my entry into my peaceful classroom was. . . . spectacular, to say the least. Very junior high: MUCH shunning–though I could understand why.
    Ah, memories!

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