Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Skunked again! Third time's a charm!

This "Perry la Perra" post is the first one that is actually about Perry la Perra! Otherwise this blog serves as a potpourri of topics that do not fit neatly into any of our other blogs.

Our Perry is a 17-pound Miniature Pinscher  (Min Pin) - a bit bigger than average. Min Pins were originally bred to kill rats in barns. Our Perry spends a lot of time outdoors trying to catch small animals. Since we got her 5 years ago she has killed countless moles; two groundhogs; and one squirrel. We don't know how many times she has tried and failed to catch any of these animals, but we do have an exact count on the number of times skunks have gotten the best of her:

that would be three.

We were not complete strangers to the dog/skunk mix the first time Perry got sprayed; we had experienced it once before with our previous dog, Clover. Unfortunately for us with Clover's escapade, and Perry's first spraying, we had trouble containing the dogs when they first entered the house, and they managed to make the whole house stink. Be advised that it takes several weeks to completely clear a house of skunk stench once it's been contaminated, filling every pore of everything porous.

Our first attempts to remove skunk stink from dogs were only somewhat successful. We had been advised to keep hydrogen peroxide and baking soda on hand during skunk season, so we were prepared with both, and bathed the dogs with an H2O2/NaHCO3 solution - we used a lot of both, and the combo was really fizzy too! It still took a few weeks, however, for the dogs to be completely smell-free.

Shortly after Perry's first encounter she happened to have an appointment at the vet, and I mentioned the skunk (although I didn't have to, her pungency was evident). The doctor told me to try Dawn dishwashing detergent (original formula) as a final step to the bath. We were given the opportunity to try the new 3-step formula about 2 weeks later. Fortunately for us on that occasion the spray was an "indirect" hit, and we also were able to prevent the dog from running all over the house before we got her into the tub, and thus kept the entire house from becoming an odoriferous dwelling. This time the smell was gone within a few days.

Earlier this month Perry took her third hit. This time we were at our recently purchased, and newly furnished, beach house, and we were in the yard with her when she chased the pole cat. We were able to stop her from going any further into the house than the enclosed back porch, and sent her back outside. We did not yet have any peroxide in the new house, although we did have Dawn and baking soda. We started by hosing our cur down, and slathering her with Dawn. After a second hosing, James went out to get some hydrogen peroxide, and was lucky enough to find it in a spray bottle. We wetted her thoroughly and then rubbed in plenty of baking soda to finish. A thorough rinsing followed. She was not a fan, especially since it was a bit chilly.

We were pleased to discover, though, that the stench was completely eliminated when we let the dog back in the house.

To sum up
To eliminate skunk smell from a small dog you will need:
  • Dawn dishwashing detergent
  • A spray bottle of hydrogen peroxide, with more to refill as needed
  • A box of baking soda
For best results bathe the dog with the Dawn first (use a lot) in order to remove as much oil as possible. Then follow up with a mix of peroxide and baking soda.

Sic Semper Tyrannus
Perry is vindicated with her toy skunk
Pam somehow got this perfect image of our huntress and her vanquished toy (stink-free) skunk. James was taken immediately back to his fourth-grade class in Virginia history. Google "Virgina state seal," he exclaimed, and then Pam saw the statement that Perry clearly was trying to make.
Thus Always to Tyrants