2 weeks, 2 skunks – same dog

OK, yesterday’s blog was on how having Hank trained to whistle commands probably kept him from a close-encounter of the gagging kind with a skunk Sunday afternoon.

Well, sometimes hitting the whistle isn’t an option.

Twice I’ve had dogs sprayed by skunks. Both times it was the same dog, doing the same thing, about two weeks apart.

Mysti was a super-charged English-line Golden Retriever we bought early in our marriage. Kathy worked a second job just to come up with the money for a world-class pup and the air fare to get her to Kansas. She was a huge part of our lives.

Mysti took to training very well and one hit on the whistle could turn her from a gold streak to a sitting dog quivering with excitement as she waited for hand signals.

The first spraying happened when I dropped a dove into a hedge and buckbrush thicket by a buddy’s pond. Mysti marked the bird and hit the brush full speed, surprised a skunk and took a partial spray. She actually got enough water work, and I repeatedly lathered her up with shampoo I had in my jeep, so the odor wasn’t too bad. I think I hit her with a few shots of Kathy’s cologne at home, too.

Skunking #2 was much worse. We took a break from hunting pheasants at a preserve near Sublette and were shooting some doves when  I dropped one in thick kochia, Mysti barreled in and took a full shot from Mr. Stinky.

So, we were eight hours from our Lawrence home and I was driving a tiny Ford Fiesta hatchback.

I washed her down with gallons – honestly – of tomato juice and a couple of bottles of assorted shampoos. I thought I had the problem solved – but I thought wrong.

The first hour wasn’t too bad. But the more we rolled on down the road the more Mysti smelled. By Larned I was driving down the road with a couple of windows down, trying to keep myself from getting sick in the car and get enough of the smell air-washed off our house dog to keep me from getting killed when I got her home.

I had on every coat, jacket, glove and cap I had with me as I drove across Kansas.

As I recall, I succeeded and the feeling eventually came back to my frozen face.

Since, I’ve heard the following mixture is much more effective at removing skunk spray from pets -

1 quart of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide, 1/4 cup baking soda, 1 tsp liquid soap mixed together than a bucket of water.