Oh Skunky Day

October 9, 2014

Skunk

I know it’s been a long time since my last post, but I have been to hell and back the past five months or so, but that is another blog post–maybe a post for next week. Now it’s time to get back into the swing of things.

Yesterday on Oct 8, I decided to get up and watch the lunar eclipse that took place-funny how the news got the time wrong, ha. I am always fond of astronomical events, especially if they occur during my lifetime after several hundred years. Remember I am a science nerd?

Anytime I go outside, Shadow, my Belgian malinois, always follows me. Nothing so special there.

While I am watching the eclipse, I hear that he is after something–no surprise there. He is always after something and treeing it whether it’s raccoons, opossums, deer, armadillos, coyotes, squirrels, you name it.

I hear a yelp and some growling about the time I see a shooting star and continue to watch the eclipse. Something must be really make a last stand or something. I take a moment to peek and nothing seems wrong or anything, so I go back to watching the eclipse, and the moon is nearly covered by the earth’s shadow.

Then it hits me. The rancid odor of a skunk starts wafting my way. Then, Shadow, runs by me for a double dose. I can’t breathe and am nearly retching from the horrid smell.

“Oh my god, you have to be kidding me!”

Yep, he had been nailed by a skunk. I remembered  my husband had seen one in the yard a couple months ago, but it hadn’t been back. It was probably coming back to savor some of the ripe scupperdines and persimmons that were on the ground and they like to come around about twilight or daybreak. They also like full moons, so it was prime time for a rendezvous with a skunk.

This particular skunk didn’t smell like the ones we drive by on the highway. It didn’t smell so “sulfury”. This one smelled like wild onions gone bad, burned rubber, and strong garlic mixed together.

I think this stuff would probably do a better job than pepper spray or tear gas for self defense or for law enforcement to incapacitate a criminal. Then everyone would know who the cops were after just from the smell.

I call my husband at work about the emergency after going inside. I remember seeing a remedy on Facebook that worked better than vinegar or tomato juice, but my brain doesn’t fire on all eight cylinders in the early hours.

We find out, and we have to pick up a few of the ingredients. The antidote is safe for both pets and humans, and the stuff you need is very commonplace and inexpensive. It actually kills the smell instead of just covering it up and it is not as toxic or as irritating as other organic solvents like alcohol or benzene. Organic compounds don’t dissolve so well in water, and unfortunately for thiols, water just makes them stink that much more.

The main ingredients that make skunk spray so stinky and difficult to remove are called thiols. I remember learning about it in organic chem and that is the nice little additive that is added to propane gas–I’ve always wondered could they have added another compound that didn’t stink so bad so we could detect the gas? Ugh. Skunk spray has a cocktail of three or more of these foul smelling compounds!

Skunk Spray Antidote-Developed by Paul Krebaum

  1. 1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide solution-make sure it’s fresh and unopened. Hydrogen peroxide is a bit unstable and breaks down over time. Also make sure it’s 3%; higher concentrations can cause injury to you or your pet! I’ve worked with more potent hydrogen peroxide at the lab and it can itch and burn like a mother and make white spots on your skin if it gets on you, so take it from me!
  2. 1/4 cup of baking soda
  3. 1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap (not detergent)

Combine the ingredients in a open container. Do not put in a spray bottle or any other closed container as the ingredients produce a live chemical reaction that has gasses releasing, so this could cause injury. Put on some rubber or latex gloves so you don’t get the skunk spray on you. Put on old clothes. Get a sponge or an old cloth to massage the solution onto you or your pet. Rinse with warm tap water. You may want to shower after bathing your pet!

Repeat if necessary, or you can use shampoo after the first use if the smell is minimal.

For best results, treat while the skunk spray is still wet (right after getting skunked). After it dries, it is more difficult to remove the stench, but not impossible.

I’m pretty sure my grandma would have liked to have this recipe for antidote instead of using tomato juice and vinegar. So here is my funny story and confirmation that this solution works.

Unfortunately my husband had to bathe him. Shadow doesn’t like baths and he won’t cooperate with me. He’s about as big as I am to make matters worse. So, Shadow had to spend the day outside until bathtime.

AK Taylor

About the Author

AK Taylor

AK Taylor is an award winning YA author who has been writing novels since age 16. Beekeeper, outdoor sportsman, avid adventurer, and animal lover. Taylor lives in the backwoods of Middle GA where she continues to write stories.

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